Isn't all rubber flooring made from natural rubber?
Most people think that today's rubber flooring is made from natural rubber. This is not true. All manufacturers currently use SBR synthetic rubber, which is a petro chemical by product. Dalsouple is one of the few companies to make their rubber in DalNaturel natural formulation too. If other companies claim to use 'natural' rubber, the percentage is likely to be very small -ask them to be specific!
So is synthetic rubber bad news environmentally?
Synthetic rubber is a great product, and it does compare reasonably well in environmental terms with its main competitors -vinyl and even linoleum. But these are all existing products, designed years ago in a different environmentaly climate. With DalNaturel, Dalsouple has completely redesigned its rubber flooring for the maximum environmental benefit. We believe synthetic rubber is still environmentally better as it can be recycled at the end of its life whereas vinyl and lino end up as landfill in Australia.
What do I do if there are gaps between tiles?
Remember- it is not a vinyl product that can be manufactured in strict tolerances. A seamless joint is not possible.
It is a rubber (flexible) product after all - and with temperature the tile will expand and contract.
So- this situation is a standard one .
This is rubber and each tile must be tightly positioned in contact with its neighboured one for gluing .
The gap will be reduced to a minimum one.
The remaining gap will be filled during the degreasing/stripping process with monobrush as a small quantity of the tiles powder will go between the tiles and will fill the residual gap.
The wax will block the whole system.
The quality of product we send you is always the same and lying tiles on a surface without gluing them always lead to such misunderstandings.
The rubber products conform with the tolerance of allow by the industry regulations.
Lighter coloured tiles will make joints more obvious. They are tiles and in no way should they be deemed as a seamless flooring material.
Once installed on a smooth, flat, dry surface it should look better than a simple dry lay finish due to adhesive bonding of the tiles.
What's so great about DalNaturel natural rubber?
DalNaturel contains over 90% natural ingredients with all the rubber content being 100% natural rubber.
Natural rubber is a wholly renewable raw materials. Rubber trees have a productive lifespan of over 25 years,and mature trees are exceptional efficient at carbon sequestration - absorption of harmful years, and mature trees are exceptionally efficient at carbon sequestration -the absorption of harmful CO2 from the atmosphere. For every square metre of natural rubber flooring produced, 7 kilos of carbon dioxide are absorbed. This is nearly seven times more absorption than for linoleum. With vinyl floors, the figure is zero.
Rubber is also recyclable, not just once but several times, with many potential applications. It has inherently low toxicity, particularly compared to PVC. The production process is highly energy efficient. All these factors, combined with a long service life, contribute to an environmental life cycle performance that is worlds away from our existing competitors.
How can I be sure DalNaturel will perform as well as synthetic rubber?
Dalsouple started out in the 1940's manufacturing natural rubber products. They started manufacturing flooring 45 years ago. They are simply switching back. They can now manufacture DalNaturel to the same high levels of quality and performance as synthetic rubber. DalNaturel is available in the same huge range of colours and textures as synthetic - with the exception of some of our very pale colours such as Blanc Dakota. This is because natural rubber is creamy in colour, and the light colours are therefore harder to achieve.
Dalsouple DalNaturel feels "softer" because of its "all-natural" qualities.
It must be maintained though like SBR rubber with wax and polish. Occasionally, stripping back, scrubbing with a macine and spray buffing on a polish may be required.
Due to its maleability, be cautious of specifying in an environment subject to high traffic, stiletto heels, and in areas where debris can be trampled in and act as an abrasive. DalNaturel has limited functionality in this case, so it is best to consider product from Dalsouple's SBR range which is more robust to high pedestrian traffic volumes.
Where are you sourcing your natural rubber from?
in the short term, we are buying rubber on the commodities market and the rubber is high grade Malaysia rubber. However, as demand for the product growns, our medium term goal is to develop fair trade partnerships with specific plantations where we can be confident about welfare standards. With this is in mind, we have already visited plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia.
What else does DalNaturel contain?
We do not release the precise 'recipe' for our products, because it is commercially senstive.
However, DalNaturel contains natural fillers -limstone, silicia and clay. It contains colour pigments which are currently a mixture of organic and inorganic (but we are working towards use of 100% organic pigments).
Is DalNaturel more expensive?
DalNaturel is 5% more expensive than our synthetic products, as natural rubber is more expensive than synthetic.
Is there anything DalNaturel can't do that synthetic rubber can?
Very little, apart from the small limitations on colour availability mentioned above, there are a few special qualities, for example WFR (wall fire resistant), MRF (marine fire resistant) and oil resistant, that will only be available in synthetic. Otherwise we can make exactly what you want!
In high traffic environments with footwear, speed of transit, tortional concerns involving weights and rolling castors though DlNaturel will not perform the same as an SBR and should not be specified in these situations.
The flexible nature of the DalNaturel product has its downsides in this respect.
Can Dalsouple rubber flooring be used with under floor heating?
Yes, the maximum temperature it can withstand is about 27 degrees C.
Does DalNaturel need sealing?
We recommend a sealer or polish over the rubber to protect it and make it easier to clean. We have DalCare kits available in Australia to seal and maintain your floor in the best way possible. See our instructions page.
How can I make a butt joint look almost seamless on a wall or floor?
Like all things, sometimes when dealing with resilient rubber materials, minute variations of less than 1mm may occur and this is overcome with a bit of trial and error and a bit more time.
Our advice is to use a qualified installer to do this as sometimes a home handyperson may not have the skills and/or patience to do it if there are time limitations too!
Firstly, do a dry lay on a perfectly flat horizontal surface to see if there exists a thickness variation between the two sheets or tiles.
In most cases, factory cuts ensure a perfectly butt jointable finish can be achieved to reduce liquid transmission between joints.
However there could be thickness variance and this is where using a suitable adhesive with enough "give and tack" should be used.
We are talking about embedding the rubber sheet or tile into the adhesive substrate and applying an embedding technique along the joints to make a flush finish- similar to embedding ceramic tiles to a wall in the diagram below. The joints may be rolled too with a hand roller. Practice first what will give you a better result!
Here are some sequential shots too showing different towel gauges used with Dalsouple laying depending on embedding allowances required to achieve a flush surface finish.
Below is a photo showing slight unevenness in a dry lay example.
Below is a series of photos that shows that after an acceptable joint has been achieved, the joint may be taped during the curing process to achieve the final appearance.
You must though, realise and accept, that the Dalsouple product is indeed a tile format product and joins will still be in evidence on close inspection. Distant viewing will of course diminish the presence of tile/sheet joints.
Completed look below.
How do you clean Dalsouple rubber flooring?
In a domestic situation Dalsouple only needs mopping with a neutral cleaner. The floor can last many years without needed to be resealed.
For a commercial situation it's best to have the flooring buffed with a buffing machine at least once a week, depending on foot traffic. It may need resealing every 3 to 12 months. At Deacons Law Firm it only needs resealing about every 12 months as the breakout rooms are only used for break times. For constant foot traffic, the sealer will need spray buffing with a brush pad, and then resealing every 3 to 6 months. The contract cleaner should be the expert to know how to keep the floor looking good.
See the installation page to download the cleaning pdf.
Please contact us if you need more details on this.
What are the VOC levels of the cleaning chemicals?
The level for each of the 4 chemicals is 0.
The cleaning chemicals are water based. You can download all the Chemical Data sheets on our cleaning section.
What is the powdery stuff on top of the tiles?
The tiles are coated with a silcone release agent to make the rubber pop out of the mould in the factory. If there is any coloured 'dust', this is from the sanding of the edges of the tiles. We recommend brushing the back of the tiles with a stiff brush and possibly using a vacuum cleaner to make sure the floor and the tiles will adhere to the adhesive. Double check that the back of the tiles have been abraided and that there are no unabraided spots. Adhesive does not stick well to smooth surfaces. It needs to grip. Either roughen or rough sand patches or reject the tile and replace with additional tiles from 7% overage for the order placed.