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Old 04-18-2006, 04:49 PM   #1
JohnReynolds
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Default VCT and Garage Application - info from Armstrong Tech Line

I called Armstrong Tech Line today to ask about using VCT for a garage floor. I read in the details on the tile that it is not supposed to ever be below 55F and a garage here in Michigan, even heated, will get that cold when you open the doors!

Here is her reply, including a Technical Services Report on using VCT in automobile showrooms from 1992:

QUOTE:

Installation of resilient flooring into a garage is not an Armstrong recommended application. Resilient flooring should only be installed in temperature-controlled environments. It is highly recommended that the permanent HVAC system be in operation before the installation of resilient flooring. The area to receive resilient flooring should be maintained at a minimum of 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) and a maximum of 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) for 48 hours before, during and 48 hours after completion of the installation. Normally garages are not temperature controlled areas. After installation, the temperature should be maintained at a minimum of 55 degrees. The performance of the flooring material and adhesives can be adversely affected below this minimum temperature. Most garage floors have had gas and oil dripped or spilled on them. This residue in the substrate will inhibit the adhesive from working properly. Automobile fluids, such as brake, transmission and oil, if leaked onto the resilient flooring can get into the joints of the tile and break down the adhesive creating a bonding issue and a possible installation failure. The oils and antioxidants used in the manufacturing process of rubber tires will cause a permanent yellow discoloration to any resilient (vinyl) flooring. Also, exposure to the moisture from rain, snow or sleet and varying temperatures will have a damaging affect on both tile and sheet flooring.

Technical Information \ Technical Bulletins\Technical Services Report:
No. 3 April 1992 (Revised 9/2000 and 10/2004)
Armstrong Resilient Flooring in Auto Showrooms


We frequently receive inquiries concerning the use of Armstrong commercial resilient flooring in automobile showrooms. Armstrong commercial sheet and tile floors are an excellent choice for these areas, where a durable, easily maintained, and attractive flooring surface is required.

The first question that usually arises is if the weight of the cars would exceed the static load limit of our flooring. Due to the contact area of the tires, the static load is approximately the same as the tire air pressure---30 to 35 psi (pounds/square inch). This is well below the static load limits of Armstrong commercial floors.

There are, however, some precautions that should be taken to protect the flooring from damage and discoloration in this particular application:

When cars are driven into position in the showroom, avoid turning the wheels unless the car is moving. Also, avoid spinning the tires. Either of these actions could cause damage to the floor.

When auto tires remain in contact with the floor for a period of time, the oils and antioxidants used in their manufacture can stain vinyl flooring. To avoid this situation, a sheet of plastic should be placed under the tires in the showroom.

Oil drippage, even from new cars, sometimes occurs. When this happens, the spill should be cleaned up immediately, and a drop cloth or pan should be placed under these cars. Prolonged contact with some automotive fluids, such as brake fluid, can discolor vinyl flooring.

Because of the large window areas in auto showrooms, the flooring should be protected from extended direct exposure to sunlight. The ultraviolet (UV) portion of sunlight can discolor interior furnishings and flooring over extended periods. Showrooms should be constructed using tinted or low-E glass that effectively blocks out most of the UV radiation and also controls heat gain and loss from the building.

Armstrong's best flooring choice for auto showrooms is Possibilities, with its carpet-like visual. Other good selections for auto showrooms are Medintech, Medinpoint, Connection Corlon and Classic Corlon.

Other products that can be used include Medintech Tandem, Perspectives (Sheet & Tile), Translations, Timberline, Linoleum, Stonetex, Companion Square, Feature Tile (for borders and accents only), Imperial Texture, MultiColor, Natural Creations and Natural Options.

Lois C. Eshleman
Armstrong Floor Products - Commercial TechLine
Customer Relations and Technical Services
Armstrong World Industries, Inc.

Visit our website at www.Armstrong.com and our technical website at www.FloorExpert.com.

END QUOTE
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:57 PM   #2
camarojoe
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Default Re: VCT and Garage Application - info from Armstrong Tech Line

Interesting reading. I think that part of what the representative from Armstong told you is likely a sort of "product liability" disclaimer though... Sure, it would be great if everyone who used VCT put it in a climate controlled, heated in the winter, air conditioned in the summer, low traffic area with limited UV light and no foreign substances present... and its not surprising that this would be the conditions in which the company selling and manufacturing the product would "recommend" you strive for via their tech line, which is set up for people to ask what the can and can;t do with their product without any risk of problems.

As a "Joe Average consumer" though, I can tell you that I have it installed in my garage, and know of several others that also do, and my place was totally unheated all winter, with temps inside my garage falling to the teens at certain times during the winter. (Would have got colder but my place is well insulated) I have had no problems with lifting tiles, poor adhesion, etc. As for staining due to oil, etc... I recently did have a problem due to the oil spot sitting uncleaned for several months, but i did get it off, and have had other spills that i cleaned up immediately with zero ill effects. The big difference between my statements and the person at Armstrong is this... if you have problems with your floor based on what i tell you, there are no repercussions for me... on the other hand, they could be responsible for repairs or replacement if they tell you all is ok, and you have any type of problem. Long story short... you can't blame them for "covering their as$." As for my opinions, I personally love my VCT (by Armstrong) floor. Is the stuff forever indestructable? I'm sure its not. If you're going to throw bricks and sledgehammers around and spin your tires in your garage will it hold up? probably not. If you drain your oil onto the the floor and forget about it for 6 months will it stain? Probably. If you saw at the wheel without the car in motion for long enough, is there a chance you could loosen a tile under a tire? Sure... Will there never be a loose tile that needs replaced or a crack or nick on a tile or 2? Also unlikely. But my thoughts have always been that if you plan to abuse your shop and take no care in what you do in it or with it, then tiles and coatings are probably not for you anyhow... a plain old congrete floor would be fine for that type of punishment, and theres no sin in it. If you want a nice shop floor, and are willing to respect it and take a little care with it, then VCT seems like the nicest look you can get for the lowest amount of money, and is very durable from what i have found so far. Bottom line for anyone is to consider how you're going to use your garage, and build/improve it accordingly. Sorry for the long winded reply...
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:26 PM   #3
JohnReynolds
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Default Re: VCT and Garage Application - info from Armstrong Tech Line

Not at all - very much appreciated. I would really like to use the VCT tile because of the sharp looks. I am not really fond of the thought of multiple coats of wax, though, and would like to put some type of epoxy or clear coat on it. My reason for contacting the Tech Line was to ask about their temperature warning and to ask which glue to use for a garage.

I found the ARmstrong Imperial Texture Line of VCT tile at my local Lowe's for $.58/tile, including special order colors in that same line. Sure would save me some $$ and pain over Epoxy Coating.

Any suggestions for relatively maintenance free top coat/sealer and which glue to use?

John
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:20 PM   #4
camarojoe
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Default Re: VCT and Garage Application - info from Armstrong Tech Line

I used the Imperial Tile from Lowes too... the standard in-stock black, and special ordered a white that was a little brighter than what they had on the shelves... both black and white tiles have the "flecks" of other colors in them... While "solid" black and white IS available from Armstrong, it is MUCH more expensive, and was not recommended because its is supposedly not as durable and scuffs very easily. I used the Armstrong floor adhesive sold at Lowes right beside the tile... I dont remember what it was called, but its in a white tub with light blue/turquoise lettering. Make sure you use the right type of trowel as indicated on the adhesive label... Also make sure its warm out when you do it, and allow the adhesive a good 20 min to set up after spreading it, before sticking down the tile. I started at the overhead doors and worked my way to the back. As for polish, i put 3 or 4 coats of Armstrong Excellon polish on it, also sold at Lowes by the gallon. I used a sponge mop to apply it, and let it dry about 1/2 hour between coats.
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