Discoloration of Resilient Floor Covering

Posted by in Floor Finishes | December 03, 2018

Resilient floor covering is a common and economical option for your kitchen, bathroom or basement floor. It comes in a variety of patterns, colors, and textures and is relatively easy to maintain. However, resilient floor coverings can experience discoloration (Figures RF-1 through RF-3). The discoloration typically occurs from the bottom-up and is commonly pastel-pink, blue-green, blue, yellow, bluish-gray, or black in color.

Figure RF-1 Resilient floor covering installed over concrete floor in a basement.

Figure RF-2 Bottom-up discoloration.

Figure RF-3 Bottom-up discoloration of resilient floor covering at toilet.

Common causes for the discoloration are bacterial or fungal growth promoted by exposure to excessive moisture under the floor covering; the use of an adhesive that is not recommended for use under resilient materials; off-gassing of butylated-hydroxyl-toluene (BHT) found in construction adhesives; the migration of residuals on the surface of the substrate, such as, adhesive, concrete markers, sealers, oil, grease, paint, solvents, etc. through the floor covering; and corrosion of the substrate fasteners.