Glossary of Resilient Terms

For definitions of other terms not listed here, please go to these vinyl sections: How It’s Made, Styles, Before You Buy, Before Installation and Maintenance.

Adhered
See Perimeter Adhered.

Aluminum Oxide
Added to the urethane finish for increased abrasion resistance of the wear layer.

Backing
Vinyl is constructed of several different layers: the wear layer, the printed or decorative layer, an inner core consisting of a foam and vinyl layer, and a backing. The type of backing determines how it can be installed.

Cork
The bark of a tree commonly known as Cork Oak and native to the Mediterranean region. The bark naturally splits every 9 to 15 years and can be safely harvested causing no harm to the tree. Cork is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and mildew.

Decorative Layer
The rotogravure printing process offers a multitude of design possibilities that are expressed through the decorative layer such as patterns, geometrics, natural stone designs and more.

Floating
A method of vinyl flooring installation in which the flooring is not bonded to the substrate by any adhesive.

Full Spread
A vinyl flooring installation method in which the adhesive is trowled over the entire substrate.

Inlaid
A vinyl manufacturing process that uses solid colored vinyl chips laid on top of a carrier sheet and then bonded together with heat and pressure. The inlaid process has been around for years and generally results in geometric type patterns and designs.

Inner Core
Consisting of a foam and vinyl wear layer, the inner core provides durability, insulation and comfort.

Linoleum
Made of natural ingredients that include linseed oil, cork, limestone, wood flour and tree resins. The color goes all the way through, making it extremely wearable and durable.

Perimeter Adhered
A vinyl flooring installation method in which adhesive is only applied to the perimeter of the flooring and also at the seams.

Resilient
These floors have some "give" or elasticity when you walk across them. This category includes linoleum, cork, rubber and specialty resilient.

Rotogravure
The most commonly used method for making residential vinyl floors.
This process involves a print cylinder that spins around while the vinyl's core layer (called the gel coat) passes underneath. The cylinder systematically prints various colored ink dyes to create the pattern.

Rubber
Rubber flooring is extremely durable, virtually indestructible, quiet and warm to walk on. It also resists dents and stains and its waterproof surface has an anti-slip finish. However, rubber is relatively expensive and must be installed by an experienced installer for maximum performance.

Seams
Since vinyl comes in 6’ and 12’ widths, seaming may be necessary depending on the area to be covered. Certain patterns will hide seams better. For example, tile patterns with grout lines are better able to mask seams.

Seam Sealer
A thin liquid adhesive applied to the cut edges of carpet to lock in the tufts and prevent edge ravel. Seam sealers may be visible in contrast with different vinyl textures and finishes.

Subflooring
A rough floor on top of which the vinyl flooring is applied.

Substrate
The surface on which the vinyl flooring will be laid. If installing over a wood substrate, an underlayment will generally be necessary. A concrete substrate will not require an underlayment but will require some floor preparation.

VCT
Vinyl Composition Tiles. A resilient floor covering made of vinyl or vinyl composition materials. VCT has all the advantages of vinyl.

Vinyl
Made from a mixture of polyvinyl chloride and plasticizer, it is usually flexible and non-porous. Pigments are added for color.

Wearlayer
A layer of material applied to the top surface of vinyl flooring. The thickness of the wearlayer varies with each vinyl product collection, or series, and is generally measured in mils. The thickness of a mil is about the same as a page in a phone book. Premium wearlayers offer superior resistance to stains, scuffs and scratches. How long a vinyl floor will look new and fresh is based on the wearlayer's performance.