Vinyl: the happy accident we can’t live without

Interiors have gone vinyl crazy! Flexible and resilient, its diverse uses and countless hues have truly conquered the world. Yet no one could have predicted that this particular material would even see the light of day!

Much like radioactivity in 1896 and penicillin in 1928, vinyl was discovered purely by accident. Or perhaps we should say by serendipity, the name given to the art of making a scientific or technical discovery “by chance”.

It was in 1835 that French chemist and physician Henri Victor Regnault noticed a white polymer forming inside his pots of vinyl chloride when they were exposed to the sun. He didn’t yet know it, but he had just discovered polyvinyl chloride.

Several years and experiments later, manufacturers began taking an interest in this exciting product which, once subjected to a gelling process, boasts a whole host of useful technical properties.

An unprecedented success!

It was thanks to its outstanding resistance that vinyl started making a name for itself during the latter part of the 19th century, and even more so in the 20th century. The inclusion of additives gave it a flexibility boost, opening the door to endless new uses. Then in 1937, Gerflor developed the first ever homogenous vinyl floor, Mipolam, kick-starting a trend that hasn’t stopped growing for the past 80 years…

As the years roll by and technology improves, the composition and installations systems used for vinyl flooring continue to develop, adapting to meet increasingly specific needs:
• Shock absorption and energy restitution for sports flooring;
• Dissipative, conductive or acoustic properties for technical floors;
• Installation solutions for covering asbestoscontaminated floors;
• An ever-wider choice of colors, designs and finishes;
• Creation of customized flooring with MY TARALAY by Gerflor: custom designs that offer a vast palette of colors.

Consumers love this material for its extensive array of designs and its variety of embossed finishes, whilst professionals love it for its resilience, ease of maintenance and outstanding modularity, making it a must for any property project. On top of all that, it has one other big selling point: it can be recycled time and time again!

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