Luxury Vinyl Plank Durability
Most manufacturers claim that their vinyl plank is more durable than other products. It can be difficult to determine which product is the best given the variety of products available. There are some key elements that will ensure your flooring lasts a long time. We are happy to share these secrets with you.
Understanding the Main Layers in Vinyl Plank
Vinyl planks come in a range of widths, from 6- to 12-inches. The luxury vinyl is typically made up of four layers. Each layer contributes to its exceptional durability. The backing layer protects the plank and subfloor, while the core layer adds stability. The design layer is the next. It’s a 3D printed image which gives LVP the ability mimic real hardwood so well. The design layer is protected from scratches, dents and other damage by a transparent wear layer.
Some companies use only one layer of vinyl or urethane above the print layer, while others use two separate wear layers. These layers are crucial to ensure the durability of vinyl plank floors.
When researching surface layers, the three most commonly used terms are Vinyl No wax (or Urethane), Enhanced Urethane and Urethane. What does each one mean? Which one is the best? There are many questions that can arise. But don’t be afraid to ask. We can help you understand the terms and find the right product for you.
Vinyl No Wax is a clear vinyl top coat. Vinyl No Wax is a tough vinyl coating that can be used to protect your floors from scratches. However, it is less durable than other vinyl materials and is more susceptible to dulling.
Urethane is a good step in the right direction but it doesn’t offer much protection.
Some companies “enhance” their urethane using aluminum oxide, microscopic ceramics or silica beads. This can vary widely and is up to each company. The enhanced urethane layer is available on higher quality floors.
Thickness Of The Wear Layer
The thickness of your wear layers is an important part of the overall quality and composition. This is the most crucial element, and it allows you to distinguish between the many products available.
The thicker planks are generally considered to be better. We are not referring to the thickness of the planks. We are referring to the thickness of the wear layer.
It can be confusing to understand the terminology used for measuring thickness. A product marked 40 mil thick does not necessarily mean 40 millimeters thick. One thousandth of an inch is a mil. For simplicity, 1mm is equivalent to approximately 40mil. The thickness of the wear layer ranges from 0.1mm to 1mm (4mil-40mil). The thicker the overall layer, the better.
Pricing is a reflection of the quality of the product. A higher price tag will be associated with a thicker wear layer. This is the biggest factor in the total cost of your flooring.
A 20mil or greater is best if durability is your primary concern. This is the standard for commercial-grade use. However, a thinner wear layer can be acceptable. Homes without pets or children can have a thinner layer of wear that lasts just as long, with less foot traffic and wear. However, the more active your home is the better protection you will need on the floors.
The warranty length is almost directly related to the thickness of your wear layers, which highlights the importance of having a good wear layer.
What is the difference between it and other options?
Vinyl flooring was popularized because it is low-cost and durable. Things have improved dramatically since the 1940’s. Luxury Vinyl Plank is one of the most durable flooring options on the market. It is actually more durable and stable than hardwood, and it will look great for many years without the need to refinish.
Vinyl flooring’s durability comes down to the composition of each product, the importance of the wear layers thickness and how they are made. A thicker layer of wear will result in better quality and longer durability…and a higher price.
You can get a durable, low-maintenance floor that lasts for many years by purchasing flooring with a high-quality wear layer.