Resilient floor tiles composed of vinyl chloride copolymers mixed with plasticizers, fillers (asbestos fiber or crushed limestone), and pigments. Vinyl tiles was first made in 1931 as a replacement for asphalt tiles. They did not become popular, however, until the housing boom after World War II. Vinyl tiles were resistant to stains, moisture, indentations, and abrasion. They were typically made with the copolymer of polyvinyl chloride and polyvinyl acetate. This thermoplastic resin was mixed with pigments then passed through a series of calender rollers to obtain the desired sheet thickness. They were cut into tiles of 9 x 9 or 12 x 12 size. Vinyl tiles were available in three types: vinyl asbestos tile (VAT), vinyl composition tile (VCT-contains limestone), and solid vinyl tile. Some vinyl tiles were backed with an asphalt impregnated felt. Tiles were adhered to the subfloor with an asphaltic, water resistant adhesive, such as bitumen.
Synonyms and Related Terms
revestimiento vinílico (Esp.); Antico Permalife [Biltrite Rubber]; Azphlex; Corlon; Cortina; Glexachrome; Flor-ever; Floron; Kentile; Lonseal; Plastile; Terraflex; Themetile; Vina-Lux; Vincor; Vinylflex
9x9 or 12x12 inch squares; 1/16 - 1/18 inch thick
Hazards and Safety
Asbestos containing vinyl tiles are considered a health hazard when the flooring is removed. Tiles in good condition can be left in place and protected with a sealer.
Kimberly Konrad, Paul Kofoed, "Vinyl Tile", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.
- Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
- Thomas C. Jester (ed.), Twentieth-Century Building Materials, McGraw-Hill Companies, Washington DC, 1995