In our global economy we have a huge choice of products whether we’re shopping for a small household item or making a serious investment for our business. The problem we all face is how to tell the difference between good quality products from reputable suppliers and cheap knock offs that will fall apart in a few weeks. Anyone can create a convincing website these days!
This is a problem our customers face on a daily basis so we’ve created this checklist to help you differentiate between an interlocking tile you can rely on and one that could put your employees’ health at risk.
The most important thing you can do is get full size samples of the tiles you’re considering for comparison. You’ll immediately want to throw a few of them away because they smell so awful. Many unscrupulous manufacturers will use plastic that is contaminated with dangerous chemicals because it’s cheap and plentiful. Poor quality material will produce tiles that shrink or deform over time. Furthermore, the smell given off from these tiles can cause serious health problems so you should avoid them at all costs. To be on the safe side you should ask for evidence that the tiles are made from REACH compliant PVC and check what their BREAM rating is.
The sample tiles will also allow you to check the quality of the manufacturing process from how well the joints connect. When you knock them together with a rubber mallet there should be some resistance but you shouldn’t have to do it more than once. The joints should be tight and secure and the tiles will stay locked together even when you lift them off the ground. There should be no excess plastic (flash) around the joints which indicate that the mould needs replacing.
What does the tile look like when you cut it down the middle? Another common way of skimping on PVC is to use cheap fillers such as chalk so when you open up a tile you will see a layer of white running through it. The colour of a good quality tile will be consistent right the way through and this is very important if you are using oils and chemicals. Once the chalk starts to absorb any liquids in the area they will deform and pull apart so you will have to replace your entire floor which is expensive and time consuming.
Once you’ve narrowed down the choice of tiles with these physical tests you can check the manufacturer has the required accreditations to give you peace of mind. Make sure you ask to see the following test certificates that prove you’re dealing with a reputable supplier;
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