Rubber Flooring?

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to prolong the life of flooring in my rentals.  Carpet, laminates, sheet vinyl, ceramic and vinyl tiles . . . they get damaged, wear out, and it seems I’m always replacing them.

I’ve settled on berber carpet for living areas.  It doesn’t mat down, and it cleans well.  I don’t buy solids — dirt and stains show too easily.  There are lots of styles with a fleck pattern in mixed shades of taupe and brown that work beautifully.

But I hadn’t found anything I was thrilled about for my kitchens and baths.  That is, until today.  I’d seen rubber tiles in a couple kitchens and baths in a fourplex in the Chatham Arch area of Indianapolis.  A good friend of mine is buying there . . . the area is fantastic, and attracts young professionals.  These tiles gave the kitchen a funky/retro look and were very comfortable.  I thought the floor came in one piece but on further inspection, I noticed it was 20″ tiles.  Very cool … and so durable!  So I set out to research the product.

Here’s what I found:

This is two tiles, locked together.  The trade name is Flexi-Tile.  As you can see, they fit like puzzle pieces, and all you need to install them is a rubber mallet and a utility knife.  The raised circles in this pattern give it a 3-D effect.   You really can’t tell where one tile stops and another begins.

They come in several colors, as you can see in the photo to the right..    So, you ask, what about price?  They’re not cheap . . . to do a 10×15′ room would cost about $350 in materials.  BUT, you don’t need glue, remember, so installation should be inexpensive, and these things hide minor cracks and bumps in older floors . . . you don’t need to worry about laying a sub-floor in most cases, which is great.  And they come with a 25-year guarantee.

I’m definitely going to give these tiles a try on my next rehab project.  I’ve had too many kitchen and bath floors ruined, and these tiles are nearly indestructible.  Other applications are basements, playrooms, garages, laundry areas . . . I’ll let you know how it goes!

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