How is Vinyl Flooring Made?

How is Vinyl Flooring Made?

You may be wondering – How is vinyl flooring made? Unlike laminate, vinyl is composed of different materials and applied with a different application process.

To understand vinyl’s intricacies, you must first understand how it’s made. Each vinyl floor consists of three core components: felt paper, vinyl foam, and a protective layer. Sometimes, on textured vinyl planks, inhibitors are applied.

Each plank starts with polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC) added to white pigments and calcium carbonate. Then, to make the flooring more flexible, plasticizers are added. Fungicide is tossed in to prevent mold, and UV stabilizers are added to slow the floor’s fading process. Finally, a blowing agent is added. This is activated later in the creation process to inflate the vinyl foam, which makes up the middle layer.

Once those materials are well-blended, they are added to a paper or felt backing. This is made from wood pulp or calcium carbonate. Together, they are fed through an oven to gel the middle layer of vinyl foam.

Next is the design phase. The print is pressed directly onto the middle vinyl foam layer to give it a decorative pattern. With that in place, the protective layer is applied and sent back into the oven. If the plank is to have texture, it is applied after through a process called chemical embossing.

After the flooring is inspected for quality, it’s sent to the production line where the process is finalized.

A traditional luxury vinyl is created using 4 main layers.

  1. Wear Layer – The wear layer is a transparent top coating that helps prevent against scratches, stains and fading.
  2. Decorative Image – The decorative image give the appearance of the planks. It is a thin digital image that is adhered to the vinyl core.
  3. Vinyl Core – The vinyl PVC material is the main component of an LVT or LVP floor. This core is flexible and 100% waterproof.
  4. Backing Layer – This is a vinyl finishing layer that is waterproof and prevents mold and mildew.
Vinyl Floor Layer Diagram courtesy of processsystems.sandvick.com
Vinyl Floor Layer Diagram courtesy of processsystems.sandvick.com

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