Many people wonder what the differences between luxury vinyl sheet, or LVS, and epoxy flooring and other resinous finishes are, as well as which offers greater benefits.These flooring types claim to offer seamless, long-wearing and sanitary surfaces for commercial applications. Which is better? Review our five reasons why epoxy floors and other resinous systems generally prove to be more advantageous than luxury vinyl flooring for a variety of industries and applications.
LVS relies on water-based adhesives and heat-welded seams. If presented with the alkaline moisture vapor issues frequently occurring in concrete slabs, the adhesives underneath can degrade, compromising the bond of LVS and causing bubbling, seam separation and other floor surface issues. Heat-welded seams can crack, allowing harsh cleaning fluids and other substances to leak underneath, further breaking down the adhesive.
Epoxy and other resinous options require no adhesives or heat welds. These fluid-applied floors bond directly and completely to the prepared concrete slab, eliminating the risk of cracked or separated seams. Superior chemical and moisture resistant options provide additional protection against alkaline substrate moisture vapor transmission.
LVS has heat-welded seams that are weak points in the flooring structure. The seams can crack and curl when frequently exposed to harsh cleaning fluids and disinfectants, changes in temperature or high traffic. Any breach in the floor surface is a magnet for microbes and pathogens seeking a place to proliferate. Pockets of moisture can develop between the concrete slab and LV sheeting, creating a perfect environment for harmful germs to colonize. During renovation, it’s not uncommon to see excessive mold growth on the underside of existing LVS that’s been removed.
Epoxy floors and resinous systems, in contrast to LVS, become part of the concrete slab itself. With industrial-strength chemical, acid and alkaline resistance, Florock finishes stay intact even when cleaned multiple times per day. Our antimicrobial formulations are available to help limit growth of microbes throughout the depth of the flooring material. In addition, virtually no cracks or seams, there are fewer places for pathogens and mold to grow.
LVS must be installed within a relatively narrow temperature range. Installation outside of these temperatures can cause poor results and void the manufacturer’s warranty. For new construction, where environmental controls may not yet be in place, LVS’s restrictions can impose excessive schedule, juggling, delays and result in higher installation costs.
Resinous flooring offers formulations that can be installed in a variety of temperatures, even well below freezing. This allows maximum jobsite flexibility and savings.
Old LVS floors must be removed before a new surface can be laid. The new LVS installation results in cut-off material and waste—all of which ends up in local landfills, time and time again. In addition, LVS flooring contains polyvinyl chloride, phthalates and formaldehyde, which can outgas for months after installation, contributing to poor indoor air quality (IAQ).
Epoxy coatings and resinous flooring are uncompromisingly durable. When time for a recoat finally does arrive, the existing floor can often remain in place. Even if a completely different type of floor covering is selected in the future, the new material can usually be installed directly over the epoxy or resinous system flooring. The savings in removal costs, avoidance of installation cut-off waste and landfill fees is just the beginning. With few exceptions, Florock products are zero VOC, and are completely inert after full cure, with no outgassing. They contain absolutely no phthalates or formaldehyde.
LVS flooring systems can appear to be low maintenance in the beginning. But, because the surface does not have a high performance finish, the top layer can wear away in high traffic areas, taking easy clean-ability with it. Managers then find themselves returning to waxing and other labor-intensive methods in an attempt to preserve the looks and performance of the floor. The chemical resistance of LVS flooring, as well as abrasion, puncture, tear and gouge resistance, is typically very limited.
On the other end of the spectrum, the indefatigable wear, scratch and puncture resistance, as well as superior chemical, acid and stain resistance of epoxy floors and other high performance resinous systems beats LVS every time. Decorative, fluid-applied industrial grade floors require no waxing or augmentation to maintain their beauty, luster and longevity. That means no waxing, stripping, harsh cleansers or specialized maintenance equipment training for personnel—and significant savings all around. The impressive lifecycle value of resinous and epoxy flooring in comparison to LVS is clear.
For more information about the benefits of epoxy floors compared to luxury vinyl flooring, get in touch with a Florock representative today.