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8 Myths about Rubber Surfacing Busted

Rubber surfacing is being increasingly applied by commercial space owners and homeowners because of the world of benefits it has to offer. It is skid-proof, waterproof, absorbs shocks and vibrations, is safe and eco-friendly, durable, and cost-effective in the long term.

Also, with the wide variety of stylish options available today, rubber flooring is quickly earning a place in the trendy surfacing options list. An increasing number of hotels, luxury villas, and apartment complexes are using rubber for designer surfacing.

However, several aspects of modern rubber surfacing are not known to people, leading them to believe in certain misconceptions floating around. Before you hear of them, we would like to bust them for you!

Here we go!

Myth 1: Rubber surfacing installation is a DIY project

Surely it’s a DIY age with people posting how-to articles and videos on various topics. There are several such tutorials about installing rubber floors too. However, the fact is, rubber flooring is not recommended for DIY installation.

Rubber surfaces are mostly made up of EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), TPV (Thermoplastic Vulcanizate), and/or recycled rubber granules. For the safety surfacing process, this mix is combined with a polyurethane binder. This is directly poured over the existing cracked and uneven surface. All this cannot be done without the help of a pro!

Rubber surface installation is a rigorous process that demands a team of experts who are trained and certified for the job. Not to forget, the installation requires special equipment, like the flooring roller, T-square, and utility knife among others. 

Myth 2: Rubber surfacing contains toxic chemicals

Part of this belief comes from a few news stories concerning the link between the dangerous elements found in rubber and deadly diseases like cancer. However, toxic elements like arsenic, benzene, nickel, and cadmium are lethal in huge proportions. Mere traces of such elements doesn’t make the flooring toxic.

The Recycled Rubber Safety Council confirms this fact. Here’s what they have to say.

‘Rubber in turf has less arsenic than rice; less cadmium than in lobster; less nickel than in chocolate; and less benzene than in a can of soda.’

Various research papers have proven that there’s no link between cancer and exposure to rubber. Check out these papers from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA). What’s more? To date, more than 110 studies are proving the safety of rubber flooring.

There were also concerns about the toxic mercury emissions from rubber. However, that type of flooring was made using mercury-containing rubber (discontinued in the 1980s).

At Rubcorp, we make sure to test the rubber and use modern synthetic rubber floors that do not emit mercury vapors.

Myth 3: Rubber surfacings don’t add any aesthetic value

On the contrary, rubber surfacing is a rare balance of functionality, safety, high-performance, cost-effectiveness, and aesthetics. Modern rubber surfacing is available in a rich array of colors, patterns, and textures. So, if you want a durable and low-maintenance luxury surface for your living area, choose rubber flooring. It will not just improve the functionality of the area but also adds character, depth, and dimension to it.

Rubcorp offers a variety of shades that can be blended to create a designer flooring that complements the overall decor. We have successfully delivered luxury flooring projects for celebrity homes and other residential spaces.

Myth 4: Rubber surfacing can make the room smell like a tire depot

There’s no denying that rubber surfacing has a distinct rubber-like smell when newly-installed. The strength of the odor depends on certain factors, like the raw materials used, the size of the room, and the ventilation.

Here’s the deal – when the flooring is just installed the smell is the strongest. However, if the area is aired out for a few days, the smell fades away. Not to forget, the floor will be routinely cleaned with a mild soap solution. After a few weeks, the odor will be unnoticeable, unless you bend over to smell the floor.

Myth 5: Rubber surfacing is great for garages with automobiles

Now, let’s get this clear! If you are using your garage for working out or storage purposes, rubber flooring is a durable, effective, and inexpensive option. However, rubber flooring isn’t recommended for garages using automobiles.

Though rubber surfacing can withstand the weight of vehicles or trailers, it can experience a chemical reaction with the vehicle tires, engine oil, or fuel, thus shortening the lifespan of the flooring. Rubber flooring in the US is mostly made from rebonded rubber, that’s held together by the polyurethane-based glue. The chemicals from your car engine can irreversibly damage the flooring over time. 

Thus, rubber flooring is ideal for garages but exercise caution if you plan to park your car in there!

Myth 6: Rubber surfacing is not an eco-friendly surfacing option

Rubber surfacing is mostly a mix of recycled and pre-cycled tire materials. As you would be aware, discarded tires are a huge problem in the landfills emitting methane gas. Research shows that methane is nearly 90 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat, thus contributing to global warming.

Tires tend to trap methane gas, causing the bubbling effect in an attempt to escape to the environment. This is not just detrimental to the environment but also the integrity of the landfill.

By choosing rubber flooring for your area, you are reducing the number of waste tires being diverted to the landfill, thus minimizing your carbon footprint.

Myth 7: Rubber surfacings have a bumpy structure

Well, it depends on the pattern you select and where the flooring is being applied. Many rubber floors have a bumpy feel (like raised patterns) to improve the slip-resistance where required (bathroom or wet deck). However, if you don’t like the uneven surface, you can choose from a variety of attractive rubber flooring options to give your room a luxurious appeal.

Myth 8: Rubber surfacing is expensive

Rubber surfacing may seem to be a costly undertaking when compared to other flooring options like PVC. However, look at the long-term returns it has to offer!

The rubber flooring will stand up to a lot of regular wear and tear and foot traffic. Further, the flooring offers far superior properties like durability, performance, comfort, aesthetic value, safety, and versatility.

Rubber flooring may seem to be expensive initially but pays for itself in the long term.

Summing Up

Rubber surfacing is getting more popular as people get to know about the benefits it has to offer. However, the domain is rife with a few misconceptions about rubber floors. This post was an attempt to debunk these myths, allowing you to make an informed surfacing decision.

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Creative Director, Rubcorp Distribution, LLC

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