The last thing people think of in flooring is plasticizer migration and the problems it can cause them. There’s no doubt that the patterns, colors and styles in vinyl flooring makes it one of the top choices for flooring, especially in high traffic areas at work or in homes. While it is very resistant to scratches and scuffs, vinyl isn’t immune to problems.
One of the unique issues that vinyl flooring may encounter is plasticizer migration from rubber backed mats. This is often seen as a yellowish permanent stain on vinyl flooring when a rubber mat has been in place for a long time. Once the mat is moved, the yellow mark remains where it once sat.
Plasticizer is a chemical combination that is added to vinyl, rubber and plastic material during the manufacturing phase that makes it more flexible. If the piece is quite soft, there is a lot of plasticizer in it. Over time, the plasticizer breaks down and migrates out of the rubber. When people put down rubber mats on a vinyl surface, the plasticizer reacts with the chemicals in the vinyl. The vinyl absorbs the plasticizer, leading to discoloration. When heat and pressure are added to the situation, plasticizer migration can happen more rapidly.
In order for home or business owners to avoid plasticizer migration from discoloring their tile, they need to rotate mats frequently or choose flooring that isn’t made of rubber with plasticizer. Being aware of plasticizer migration is the best way to ensure that the flooring surface stays as fresh and bright as possible.