Vinyl Flooring Glossary

You have a lot of decisions to make when buying new flooring. Juggling decorating styles, types of vinyl, and more, is enough to make your head spin. The one thing that shouldn’t stand in your way is terminology.

You don’t have to learn a second language to buy flooring. Here is a glossary of terms to help you get some clarity during this exciting time.

Aluminum Oxide

Chemical top layer of vinyl  that increases durability against abrasion, such as scratches and scuffs.


Vinyl flooring is often called anti-slip flooring due to the resin coated and textured surface that maintains a rubber-like feel.


The bottom most layer of your vinyl flooring. The type of backing you have on your flooring determines how you will install it in your home.

Beveled Edge Vinyl

These planks have a groove in the edge that can vary from micro-bevel to a v-groove, deeper edge. This is most common in wood-type vinyl floors.

Click Lock Vinyl

Vinyl planks which use a locking system similar to laminate for easy click and lock installation.

Commercial Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl that is commercially rated and durable for business needs, such as cafes, offices and public buildings. These often come with a commercial warranty.

Decorative Layer

The design layer of your vinyl that gives your flooring the look you desire. This is most often wood, tile, or stone-like appearance.

Fiberglass Reinforced

Fiber reinforced plastic that aids in the strength and durability of vinyl.


A way to install vinyl flooring without needing to adhere it to the subfloor.

Full Spread

Installing the vinyl flooring by spreading adhesive across a large portion (if not all) of the subfloor.

Glue Down Vinyl

Type of vinyl flooring installation that requires tiles or planks to be glued directly to the subfloor using adhesive.

Handscraped Vinyl

Textured finish to create a realistic wood-look.


A style of manufacturing of vinyl flooring. It occurs when solid colored chips are placed on top of a sheet. The two are then heated up and bonded together using pressure. This is most commonly used for shapes and patterns.

Inner Core

The middle portion of vinyl flooring. It has foam and vinyl to insulate the flooring and make it more comfortable to walk on.


A combination of linseed oil, cork, limestone, wood flour and tree resins. This material makes vinyl resilient against regular wear and tear.

Loose Lay Vinyl

A vinyl that requires no glue or locking. These tiles and planks have a textured backing that keeps the tiles in place. Easy to move and un-install.

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

An attractive form of resilient vinyl tiling available in high end designs.

Perimeter Adhered

When the vinyl is only adhered to the outside of the room and at the seams, instead of across the entire plank, sheet or tile.


The area where each plank, sheet or tile connects.

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Type of vinyl flooring that is sold in rolls instead of individual planks.


The type of flooring used underneath your vinyl floors. This is usually wood or cement.

Stone Finished Vinyl

Vinyl that mimics a stone appearance with colors and textures.


Another layer of subflooring. This is the layer on which your floors will be installed. It is also typically wood or cement. If it is wood, you must use underlayment.


A protective layer between vinyl and the substrate or subfloor. This layer protects the flooring from moisture and damage.

Urethane-Based Coating

Popular type of wear layer that adds durability and provides a maintenance-free finish without the need for polishing or buffing.

Vinyl Wood Grain

Vinyl surface finish that mimics the look of wood flooring.

Wear Layer

The top layer of vinyl flooring that protects against stains, scuffing and scratching. The stronger the wear layer, the better your vinyl flooring’s performance.

Have questions? Need a little bit of extra help? We’re here for you. Start a chat with one of our flooring experts in the box on this page and get a fast answer to your vinyl flooring installation questions.

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