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What is the wear layer for vinyl flooring?

What is the wear layer for vinyl flooring?

When shopping for vinyl flooring, all of the terms can be hard to keep track of! One question that gets asked most often is, what is the wear layer of vinyl flooring? This is a very important question to consider when purchasing vinyl flooring.

So What is the Wear Layer?

Put simply, the wear layer is the top surface that provides the durability, stain and scratch resistance of vinyl flooring. The wear layer is usually a clear, urethane based coating that keeps the original appearance of the floor and provides easy maintenance. With new technology, some vinyls now offer added UV or durability layers on top of the wear layer for even more surface protection.

Wear layers range from 4 mil to 40 mil. Mil is an Imperial measurement meaning thousandths of an inch. The wear layer will usually be recorded in mil, but it can also be shown in millimeters (mm), or both. An example: 40mil or 1.016mm. Just keep in mind, this is two ways to express the same wear layer thickness, these are not two separate measurements!

Vinyl flooring cutaway layers diagram

Vinyl Floor Layer Diagram courtesy of processsystems.sandvick.com

Which Wear Layer Measurement is Best?

To decide on the best wear layer, you will need to determine the usage of the flooring. If you have pets, kids, or there is a lot of foot traffic in your home or workplace, you should opt for a thicker wear layer. In short, the thicker the wear layer, the more durable the floor. If you have a space that will need a high resistance to scratches and wear, a higher wear layer, such as a 12 mil or 20 mil, would be best for your application. Commercial vinyl flooring applications will usually require a 20 mil top layer.

Appalachian Luxury Vinyl Linen vinyl flooring

Appalachian Luxury Vinyl Linen vinyl flooring

If you have more questions on which wear layer is right for you, our flooring specialists are available at 1-800-520-0961!

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