The question of life expectancy of resilient floors is very difficult to determine without specific information concerning the amount of traffic and the maintenance program which the floors will receive. Theoretically, if the floors are maintained with the proper coats of floor finish, which we recommend in our maintenance program, the floor itself would never receive foot traffic (only the floor finish). And thus, the floor could last for the life of the building. Typically floors are replaced because the interior color scheme is being updated or there has been damage done to a floor from sources other than foot traffic.
A pure abrasion test would show that a vinyl composition floor tile will be abraded more quickly than most commercial vinyl sheet good floors. However, the total wear layer in 1/8″ floor tile is typically thicker than most commercial vinyl and linoleum sheet floors, thus negating the advantage for vinyl sheet floors from a pure abrasion standpoint. Many commercial sheet goods also provide additional benefits which are very important to health care facilities; for example, better stain resistance, easier maintenance, and less seams to collect dirt and germs.
It is not unusual for commercial resilient floors, both tile and sheet, to have a life expectancy of 30 years provided they are maintained properly. The exception to this expectation is in heavily trafficked areas like a nurses’ station where constant traffic could on occasion wear through the protective coats of floor finish before new coats are applied as part of a routine maintenance program.