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 vinyl now offers added UV or durability layers on top of the wear layer for even more surface protection.
Wear layers range from 4 mils to 40 mils. Mil is an Imperial measurement meaning thousandth 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, there are two ways to express the same wear layer thickness, these are not two separate measurements!
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 mils, would be best for your application.
Don't be fooled by paying high for low durability flooring
The big box stores are not specialized in vinyl flooring, they have their own brands with a very thin wear layer (6 mils) so they do not disclose this characteristic.
So before buying your new floor, check the wear layer of your floor. Usually, local specialized stores have better products for the same price and even cheaper.
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