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The Problems of Plasticizer Migration in Floor Maintenance
The advent of vinyl tile floors created a new problem in floor maintenance. All resilient floors containing Polyvinyl Chloride contain a flexing agent known as a plasticizer. Without this plasticizer, resilient tile would be as brittle and unflexible as a potato chip. Unfortunately for the first six months to a year that a new vinyl floor is laid, the plasticizer has a tendency to migrate surface. This phenomena of plasticizer migration occurs to some degree in all new floors until the floor has “cured” and the plasticizer goes to its final resting place. This migration can penetrate into a floor polish film, making it soft and tacky. The result is excessive scuffing and even “gluing” down of furniture. A tile which has laid in a warehouse for a considerable length of time is less apt to experience this problem than a tile fresh from the factory.

There is really very little that can be done to remedy this. Prior to finishing the floor a good scrubbing with a butyl cleaner does remove all the plasticizer which has migrated to the surface, but it will continue to re-migrate for several weeks to months until cured.

As long as the customer knows what to expect from a newly laid floor he can react accordingly.


State Janitorial Supply Co.
525 Otis Drive
Dover, DE 19901
Phone#: 302-734-4814
Fax#: 302-734-8362