The design and product range offering in the vinyl market has seen significant growth. Vinyl is no longer associated with the patterned kitchen floor in Granny’s home, but is a commercially viable, environmentally sustainable product specified in large commercial builds, healthcare, retail, and educational facilities.

One of South Africa’s leading vinyl flooring suppliers, Polyflor, spoke to FLOORS Magazine and answered some common questions about vinyl.

1. Q: Why does vinyl have limited design and range options?
Polyflor stocks a very comprehensive range of vinyl flooring options and designs and as the range is constantly updated and refreshed to accommodate market trends, there is sure to be an option that works. Obviously, it is just not economically viable to keep stock of the entire range, but we have implemented a regular popular stocking range called Rolling Regulars to help meet tight deadlines.

Our approach is to work with our specifiers and customers at the onset of a project to scope the best product for the installation, and then to ensure that the product is locally available when needed. This methodology ensures that the project is scoped with the correct product from the onset.

Most of our ranges are available on our online digital flooring visualiser to make it easier for you to experiment with different designs and colours instantly.

2. Q: There is a perception that vinyl is expensive in terms of cost and installation. Is this true?
As vinyl is not an option that we would recommend for a DIY enthusiast, the cost can seem high. However, when you weigh the product and installation cost against other commercial options, vinyl remains a cost-effective solution, especially when you factor in durability and lifespan of the product.

In terms of installation, the golden rule for any flooring type is to start with the correct subfloor preparation. If this area is not correctly prepped, the installation will fail, requiring additional work and cost, no matter the type of material used.

Polyflor also brings incredible value to a project because of the company’s overall ability at mitigating risks associated with installation, which could prevent a fatal mistake. We take immense care in carefully advising on the correct specification based on the area of use and not just the design. We also offer site visits and report back at crucial stages of the project to mitigate risks.

Polyflor’s aim is to offer our clients a fit-for-purpose flooring solution – in close partnership and consultation with our customers – tailored to the specific needs of the space, rather than just looking at bulk material and cost saving.

We manufacture our flooring in optimal sizes to reduce welding costs which is important to consider. It is important to factor in the added value you get when dealing with Polyflor, a high-quality vinyl at an extremely competitive price, coupled with Polyflor product expertise and training opportunities – exclusively offered to all their customers. The depth of expertise is something no other supplier currently offers.

3. Q: How easy is vinyl to maintain and repair?
Here, the first consideration should be what the space will demand from the floor and how it will be required to perform under a particular set of factors. The flooring specification is a critically important step to a successful installation. Speaking to your flooring specialist will ensure that you get this right.

Given its ability to withstand regular cleaning and disinfecting with chemicals makes vinyl ideal for use in commercial, healthcare, educational and food and beverage environments. If the correct floor care and maintenance procedures are followed, the result will be a floor that performs and delivers. Some installations in SA are over 50 years old.

4. Q: How hygienic and safe is the product really?
Polyflor has always been at the forefront of innovative flooring solutions and all our homogeneous, heterogeneous & safety ranges offer added protection in environments where the prevention of the spread of disease and bacteria is of utmost importance.

If an installation has been done properly and the floor has not been damaged, vinyl sheeting is the most hygienic floor covering on the market and therefore specified routinely in healthcare environments.

5. Q: We need a Proudly SA/ locally manufactured product?
Polyflor is acutely aware of the dire local economic conditions where job creation is a key focus for stimulating growth. Unfortunately, while some flooring companies claim that their products are locally manufactured, in reality, this is only true for a very small portion of their range, and the rest is imported. It is just not economically viable to manufacture locally, given the exorbitant set-up cost, lack of locally available vinyl manufacturing equipment and the limited market when compared to the global demand that is met by our UK manufacturer.

Polyflor is a fully SA owned company, employs a local labour force, contributes to our local economy, and gives back in many ways. We also happen to stock a range of wall protection products and extrusions which have locally manufactured components.

If you have any questions about using vinyl, feel free to contact Polyflor who are on hand to answer any of your questions or concerns and will help you with your current or upcoming project.
Tel: +27 (11) 609 3500 (speak to Blythe or Wendy)

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