HPL vs Vinyl
HPL is available in a single sheet the same size as the access floor panel and is applied during an automated assembly process at the factory. It does not need to be waxed to be maintained, and it is an excellent surface for dissipating static. High pressure laminate is available in approximately 10 standard colors which coordinate with most color schemes.
Vinyl Composition Tile or VCT is a more expensive covering which has several factors which make it a less desirable covering for access floor. Since VCT is only available in 12" tile, it must be hand trimmed and applied at the factory. This is a labor intensive process which adds significantly to the cost. Additionally, VCT needs to be waxed to maintain a suitable appearance. Wax should never be applied to a raised access floor for several reasons.
First, wax is an insulator. It provides a static barrier between the access floor and sensitive computer and control equipment. The raised access floor is designed as a complete system to dissipate static. The static electricity which builds up in the room and within the operator is drawn down through the access floor and its understructure to the building's electrical grounding systems. Wax will not allow this vital function to be performed. The static electricity buildup will be discharged into sensitive equipment rather than drawn away from it.
Second, wax will cause the access floor panels to stick together, inhibiting the ready removal of panels for work under the floor. Eventually the panels will be impossible to remove and the wax build up along the sides of the panels will not allow them to fit correctly into the understructure grid. Also, wax and dirt drips will build up on the stringers and cause the panels to "rock" on the understructure, which presents a dangerous tripping hazard.
Third is the problem of liquids and dirt seeping between the access floor panels and causing possible cathodic damage to understructure, grounding components and electrical wiring present under the floor.
Obviously, we strongly recommend the use of HPL and not VCT on any access floor; however, we will be happy to provide you with any surface covering that you desire.