What is VCT Flooring?
Vinyl composition tile (VCT), once referred to as vinyl asbestos floor tile (VAT), is a finished flooring material used widely in both residential and commercial buildings from the early 1950s into the early 1980s.
Does VCT Floor Tile Contain Asbestos?
As mentioned above, from the 1950s thru early 1980s, there was some asbestos in the vinyl floor tiles. The asbestos tiles were usually 9″ square.
Modern vinyl floor tiles and sheet flooring sold since the early 1980s do not contain asbestos. These modern VCT tiles are composed of colored polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chips formed into solid sheets by heat and pressure. Vinyl composition tile are generally cut into 12″ squares and are usually 1/8″ thick.
Installation of VCT Flooring
VCT floor tiles (or sheet flooring) are applied to a smooth, level sub-floor using a specially formulated vinyl adhesive or tile mastic that remains pliable. Using a fine notched trowel, the adhesive is applied into an area that the installer can set tiles before the adhesive begins to lose its adhesion. The installer must be careful not to leave gaps between tiles, yet not allow adhesive to squeeze between tiles. The adhesive is very difficult to remove as it remains somewhat pliable, even when “dried”.
Do the Color and Pattern Go All the Way Through the VCT Floor Tile?
Yes. Scratches and small gouges in VCT flooring will still reveal the same color and pattern through the VCT floor tile. That’s because VCT is formed by applying heat and pressure to PVC chips at the factory.
Maintaining Commercial VCT Flooring
Despite being a low-cost, durable flooring choice for many commercial applications, VCT flooring does need frequent maintenance. Regular sweeping, mopping, buffing and recoating are all important aspects of vinyl flooring maintenance.
New and Stripped VCT Flooring Needs to Be Sealed
On new vinyl composite flooring, be sure to remove all excess adhesive that may have squeezed up between tiles and scrub entire floor surface with a blue floor pad. Mop with clean water and allow to dry, then apply 2 coats of a water based acrylic floor sealer followed by 2-3 coats of a high quality acrylic floor finish.
Old Floors With Very Little Existing Finish
Scrub the entire floor with a blue floor pad and free-rinsing, low-foaming, all purpose cleaner. Mop with clean water and allow to dry, then apply 2-3 coats of a high quality acrylic floor finish.
Old Floors With Thick Build Up
Scrub the entire vinyl floor with a black floor pad and free-rinsing, low-foaming, floor stripper solution. Removed stripped, dirty solution with a commercial wet and dry hard floor vacuum. Mop with clean water and allow to dry. Apply 2 coats of a water based acrylic floor sealer then apply 2-3 coats of a high quality acrylic floor finish.
Scrub n Shine is the leading Twin Cities vinyl flooring maintenance and vinyl floor cleaning service contractor.
Contact us to discuss your VCT flooring.
10 Helpful Resources About VCT Flooring
- Glossary of Floor Care Terminology
- Should Commercial Vinyl Tile Flooring Be Sealed and Finished?
- What is a Floor Sealer?
- SEAL DOESN’T MEAN “FINISH”
- Is Floor Finish Fully Cured as Soon as it is Dry?
- What Causes Discoloration Under Floor Mats?
- What’s the Difference Between Floor Finish “Build” and “Build Up”?
- FLOORS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF BUILDING MAINTENANCE
- How do I know when floor finish is dry enough to re-coat?
- HIGHER SOLIDS IN FLOOR FINISH DO NOT EQUAL HIGHER QUALITY