A Guide to Why Rubber Flooring is Better Than PVC Flooring

We are often asked the difference between PVC and rubber flooring and rubber matting and in our opinion, rubber mats and floors are the top quality to buy. We have put together this guide on the major differences and the benefits of rubber flooring over PVC.  Rubber flooring and matting is becoming popular and the unequivocal choice for both commercial, domestic and residential use because of its far superior properties.

Appearance and material descriptions

Rubber flooring and rubber matting will appear quite similar to the eye to PVC flooring and matting. However, don’t be fooled by descriptions as many companies will claim and list their products as rubber in the description but if you look at the product description in more detail, the product material is in fact plastic. An example of this is here.


An important point is that rubber flooring will be a more expensive outlay than PVC. However you need to factor in the cost over its lifetime to get the true cost and value of rubber flooring and matting compared to PVC.  Without doubt, you will get what you pay for in terms of quality and a far superior endurance and resilience with rubber flooring. Rubber matting and flooring, although costing more initially, will actually cost you less over its lifetime. Rubber floors and mats will last for decades – up to 30 years – making it extremely cost effective. PVC flooring and matting, although cheaper, is not as hard wearing and will cost more than rubber in terms of durability and replacement over its lifetime. Also factor in the maintenance costs for PVC flooring which cost more and will surpass the original installation costs making it more expensive than rubber.

But don’t just take our word for it. A research study was conducted by Suzanna Barnes into the life-cycle costs of rubber flooring against other common flooring materials including vinyl, lino, carpet and wood from several manufacturers.   The study revealed that the cheapest flooring, vinyl, was in fact the most expensive and costly choice over its life cycle. term. The rubber flooring which was the more expensive option turned out to be the cheapest decision in the long term. Even at five years the return in investment for some of the more expensive floors had disqualified the cheaper floors. You can read the study here.

Durability and resilience of rubber flooring and matting

Rubber flooring is chosen by all types of industries and commercial sectors because it is tough and strong and seen as a good investment. Rubber matting and flooring is extremely durable and will last a long time because of its high resilience. The elasticity of the rubber gives anti-fatigue properties that are found naturally in rubber and are further enhanced by a polyurethane binding agent. Rubber resists most impacts and circumstances. It is anti-tear, resistant to oil, chemicals and cigarettes. It does not rot or decay. It can withstand heavy impacts, scrapes and bumps. It doesn’t shrink expand or crack. Its highly resilient properties mean that rubber flooring and matting retains its appearance for a long time. Rubber is also safer to use because it remains anti-slip and isn’t subject to wear and tear which would cause the flooring to be unsafe.

PVC flooring and matting in comparison has little or no resilience and therefore does not have the same durability as rubber flooring.


The beauty of rubber flooring and matting is that it is extremely versatile and is used for a huge range of applications in a variety of industries and sectors. We provide rubber flooring (link to page) for all types of industries and sectors. Our customers are in the catering, manufacturing, equine and agricultural, marine, sports and leisure sectors to name a few. Rubber flooring and matting is ideal for all types of premises and buildings including public entrances, sports tracks, golf and leisure clubs, gyms, dairy farms, schools, arenas and auditoria.

Rubber flooring can also be used combined with under-floor heating systems where compatible and, subject to surface temperatures, can create a heated solution where required.

Noise, comfort and insulation

Another benefit and quality of rubber flooring over PVC flooring is that rubber absorbs sounds and noise. Sound in buildings and on walkways is deadened by using rubber flooring and it is ideal for sports, leisure and gym facilities and in environments with heavy foot traffic such as libraries, offices, retail premises and schools. Rubber is also used for noise and sound insulation in new buildings as part of the Building Regulations. In comparison, PVC flooring gives no effective sound barrier nor deadens noise and sound.

Rubber flooring gives even more noise absorption and building insulation when it’s combined with acoustic and thermal insulation (link to page)  creating a thicker sound barrier layer.

Rubber floors are also much more comfortable to walk and stand on than PVC which is much harder underfoot.

Rubber’s safety

Another priority for our customers is when it comes to safety. Rubber flooring and matting holds a number of significant and important safety properties that PVC flooring does not.

Rubber matting and flooring is waterproof, and even when it’s wet it is naturally slip-resistant. Because rubber is also flame resistant and has low smoke emission in the event of a fire, rubber is used in high risk areas in buildings such as fire escapes. Rubber is non-toxic and will not release noxious fumes into the air.

Rubber has other additional safety properties. Rubber is anti-bacterial and extremely hygienic compared to PVC flooring and is used extensively and solely in medical facilities, hospitals, children’s playgrounds, play areas and schools because of its anti-bacterial properties.  If you’re thinking of cutting corners when it comes to playgrounds, play areas and places where hygiene is the utmost priority, think again. PVC flooring will not give the hygienic benefits that rubber does. Poor and deteriorated air quality is also a major concern for customers. PVC can emit substances from the plastic flooring material itself and also from the adhesives used to install the floor, surface coatings and maintenance materials like wax and strippers used on alternative flooring.

Rubber flooring and matting is also anti-static so it’s recommended for computer and electrical safety use and in areas containing machinery. Many premises with a high quantity of servers, computers and machinery use rubber flooring as standard as PVC flooring is so unsuitable.

Comfort, noise absorption and insulation

Rubber flooring has other additional benefits and qualities over PVC. Rubber is more comfortable to walk and stand on than PVC which is much harder underfoot. Rubber also absorbs sounds and noise. Sound in buildings and on walkways is deadened by using rubber flooring and it is ideal for leisure centres and gyms, sports halls and in environments subject to heavy foot traffic such as libraries, offices, retail premises and schools. It is also a powerful sound barrier between floors.  In the UK, Part E of the Building Regulations applies to both new build and refurbishment work and sets out standards that include the sound insulation of internal walls and floors and the control of reverberation within communal areas. Rubber flooring and underlay is used because it is ideal to minimise noise impact to meet stringent building regulations.

PVC flooring in comparison does not dampen noise and is not an effective sound barrier. Rubber flooring gives further noise reduction and building insulation by combining it with specialised  thermal and acoustic insulation  creating a thicker sound barrier layer.

Huge range of choice

Rubber flooring offers a huge range of choice for customers. It is available in a choice of functional finishes and textures. Different textures can also help to add traction to the floor, making it more slip resistant in wet areas and easier to maintain and clean.

We can also tailor rubber flooring and matting with company logos for branding purposes.

Environmentally friendly

Being eco-friendly and recycling responsibility is equally important and with this in mind rubber flooring is far more environmentally friendly than PVC flooring when it comes to its environmental impact.

Rubber is not toxic or hazardous. PVC can contain toxic bi-products and contains toxic additives that can contribute to illnesses and allergies as well as causing a health hazard. PVC is also a high pollutant because it contains heavy metal content and chemical additives and it can also leak chlorine and carcinogens. Softeners known as phthalates can leak out of PVC floors when they are washed or can be emitted into the air and attach to dust causing airborne distribution.

Rubber is easily recycled by shredding or shredding and then processed. Rubber flooring and matting can also be made of up to 80% recycled rubber and contains no harmful substances to the environment.

So there you have it. We hope this guide has helped you to understand the important and beneficial differences between rubber flooring and rubber matting and PVC flooring and matting. We only provide the highest quality rubber floor and mat products that will last for decades as well as give you the high quality functionality and resilience that you expect.

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