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Know the Difference: Virgin VS Recycled Vinyl

Recycled vinyl contains materials which have a negative impact on the performance and safety of the product. When purchasing 100% pure vinyl your floor will be safe from contaminants and perform as expected.

Before purchasing your vinyl floor consider whether your vinyl is made of pure virgin material, or if it consists of recycled materials. Though the word “recycled” would imply a more environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative; the truth is more complicated.

It’s important to understand what recycled actually means in regards to vinyl. The standards for vinyl recycling are not the same as for other recycled products.

Recycled vinyl is a mix of vinyl and any other materials that might have been combined with it as part of the previous production. That means there is no standard that says only pure PVC can be recycled. Some waste that is often included in recycled vinyl are old tires, power lines, and even copper wires.

Recycled vinyl can have numerous negative effects; both on performance, and on your health and safety. When other materials are mixed with vinyl, many of it’s major advantages (durability, waterproofing, and stability) are compromised.

There is no standard for specifying which waste-stream sources can be used in recycled vinyl, there is no way for you to know what percentage of heavy metals or other potentially hazardous materials are in the floor.

The issue of safety is of equal concern. The waste-stream mix can change from batch to batch, even independently tested recycled vinyl can be risky. Everything from lead to phthalates can be found in recycled vinyl, and over time as the wear-layer wears down these dangerous materials are released in a process known as gassing.

Gassing from recycled vinyl has been known to cause serious health conditions.

As the industry develops, the hope is for more rigorous standards around which waste materials are allowed.

Until then we at Carpets + More For Less strongly recommend investing in pure virgin vinyl, so as to not risk the quality of your floor or your health.

Since in all cases the future inputs for recycled vinyl will be virgin PVC, by getting 100% pure vinyl, you are ensuring your floor will be recyclable, and not have to end up in a landfill.

We recommend the following 100% Pure Virgin Vinyl Products from our Warehouse Direct stock:


If you would like more information regarding the benefits of Virgin Vinyl over Recycled please contact us.