Self-Adhesive Vinyl Tiles

A Look at the Chemical Composition, Environmental Impact and More

vinyl flooring
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The modern age of manufacturing has led to the creation of a number of dynamic flooring materials that can provide renovators with numerous options. Vinyl, especially in its self-adhesive backed foam, is one of these new space age products, crafted from controlled chlorine and polyethylene gasses which are combined in an advanced matter.

Self Adhesive

This property refers to the fact that the product is sold with a paper backing, that can be removed to reveal an adhesive underside. This allows the vinyl to be adhered to nearly any surface. However you should use caution, grainy, wet, or particularly dusty floors will cause a problem, and the tile may have a problem sticking properly, especially over time, The strength of the glue used can increase its hold but may also contribute to the toxicity of the gasses that are emitted from its installation.

Chemical Composition

Vinyl flooring is actually made of PVC, poly vinyl chloride, It is produced in a similar fashion to the actual material, and results in polymers that are strong, though they can be made malleable through the introduction of water. In the past the waste runoff of these chemicals could cause environmental issues, however recent innovations have allowed for the capture and storage of these materials. Despite this, the containers that hold these substances are often cited as possible targets for terrorist attacks.


Like plastic, vinyl is a relatively flexible material that is resistant to almost all stains, water damage, liquid penetration, and physical impact. In flooring applications, it is generally relatively thin, although it can be made more solid and dense in order to handle high traffic situations. When manufactured, vinyl can be surface printed to take on nearly any look. It can also be embedded with huge pigments which will dimensionally embed in the material in order to help it resist fading.

Environmental Impact

Because chlorine is used in the composition of vinyl, disposal of this element can be dangerous to the surrounding environment if not done in a responsible manner. Some people also claim that its storage may represent a terrorist threat. In addition, low-quality products can off-gas small amount of Volatile Organic Chemical particles, although there is a debate as to the danger and toxicity of these, and at what level.

Design Options

Vinyl is one of the most versatile flooring products on the market. It has the ability to be printed to look like nearly anything, and over the years that process has gotten even better, allowing for high-end luxury materials to be produced. It is often used to simulate more expensive natural products such as solid wood or natural stone. It can also be textured to further enhance this effect. However, it has not reached the level where it can completely simulate the look and feel of these options.


One of the benefits of vinyl flooring is that it is relatively easy to install. Most tiles can be adhered directly to the subfloor, or even most existing floor surfaces using either glue or the peel and stick backing on its underbelly. That subsequently makes them easy to remove as well, and these products are very popular short term solutions for volatile environments.

Installation Articles

Life Cycle

While vinyl is strong, durable, and reliable, it does fade over time. More expensive luxury tiles and thicker more durable products will resist this to some extent, but even the best options will only last for a little more than a decade. Luckily the low price and lack of contractor assistance needed to install or remove these materials can offset this issue, however, vigilance will be needed. It is also important to protect the subfloor that exists beneath these floors over time so that the can be reused when necessary.

Temporary Flooring

Self-adhesive backed vinyl is a great, inexpensive, easy to care for option for bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and kids rooms. They are particularly prized in apartments, as they can be removed when the residency is over without causing damage to the subfloor. They also have commercial applications although it is important to understand the characteristics of the particular product being used before adding them to high traffic locations.