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What Is the Compostition of Vinyl Tile?

Vinyl tile is a common choice for homeowners who want a tile option that is easy to clean, comes in a variety of patterns, and costs less than ceramic. While the vinyl materials do not last as long as ceramic or stone, they are extremely spill resistant and can be installed by most homeowners. The tile comes in self-adhesive varieties, making it even easier to install. Vinyl itself is a plastic material used widely in construction.
Vinyl tile is made out of layers of plastic and other petroleum products to provide an even floor surface. Tiles are flexible or "resilient," with a softer feel underfoot than ceramic tile or wood, and can last up to 30 years when properly cared for, according to home maintenance resource ServiceMagic.
Vinyl is a type of petroleum byproduct that is mixed with other chemicals to form a durable resin. Since this resin is only a liquid on its own, it is coated over other materials like fiberglass and inert sand layers to form tiles. The resins are then hardened, which makes them chemically inert, thermoplastic (flexible with heat), and resistant to most solvents except for ketones (which should not be used to clean vinyl). Asbestos was once used in vinyl tiles before 1982.
Design and Protective Clear Layers
Over the base layer of vinyl manufacturers place other layers of protectants. The top layer is usually made of clear vinyl resin, and holds the pattern of the tile itself. Dyes and pigments soak into the layer to create the required design.
Protective Wear Layers
Over the top of all other layers manufacturers place a protective wear layer, usually made out of urethane. While the protective clear layer protects the vinyl base from gouges or cuts, the wear layer protects the floor from ordinary scuffs and scratches. With most vinyl tile this layer can be stripped and replaced if necessary.
Some types of vinyl tile, especially vinyl composition tile, use recycled bits of vinyl and other plastics to form the base of the tile. This makes the tiles more eco-friendly, although they are still made out of petroleum products instead of natural ingredients, like linoleum tile.