Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is now one of the most widely used materials in construction. Its resistance to light, chemicals and bruising, combined with its low price and excellent durability, makes it an incredibly appealing material for all surfaces.
Here are a few things you might want to know about PVC.
It´s one of the oldest synthetic materials in the world
PVC was first accidentally synthesised by two scientists, in two separate occasions, the French physicist and chemist Henri Victor Regnault in 1838, and the German chemist Eugen Baumann in 1872. Interestingly enough, neither of them applied for a patent for their invention.
Fast forward to 1913, when German scientist Friedrich Klatte invented a new method for the polymerization of vinyl chloride using sunlight. Unlike his predecessors, he patented his invention. However, at that point, PVC was very difficult to work with, and this resulted in no one being able to find a commercial application for it.
This changed when Waldo Semon took the stage in 1926. Semon experimented with bonding rubber to metal, and he managed to invent plasticized polyvinyl chloride.
Rigid or flexible
The world´s most versatile plastic is marked with the number 3 on plastic recipients. By the way, there are 7 different types of plastic: PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS and other plastic.
PVC can be either rigid, and in this form it is largely used in the building and construction industry to produce door and window profiles and pipes.
Or it can be flexible and in this softer state it will be applied to plumbing, wiring, and electrical cable insulation and flooring.
Vinyl flooring, always a popular choice
Since its discovery and up until World War II, vinyl flooring was a rare commodity. After the war, vinyl floors became more and more popular, replacing previous materials such as linoleum. With the military people returning to their families and buying new homes, the demand for vinyl floors skyrocketed.
During the 1960´s, designs were updated and improved, such as the ´no-wax finish´ or the cushioned vinyl. In the 70´s the trends indicated a strong tendency towards wood-like patterns, and therefore a new product emerged: vinyl plank flooring that resembled wood.
The fact that vinyl floors were consistently cheaper than real wood, and their very resistant surfaces that made them eligible for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms or basements, ensured that they never became out of fashion, up until today.
February is the month dedicated to PVC here at Floor Studio NDSM. Which are your favourite designs? Are you all in for wood-like patterns, or maybe for a natural stone look? You are free to explore to your hearts desire: https://shop.floorstudiondsm.nl/collections/pvc-lvt
PS: One of our own personal favourites is this beautiful herringbone. Its wavy texture can really transform a floor into something magical!