If you are looking for tough vinyl flooring, perhaps for commercial use, perhaps for a busy area at home, it is not always easy to know what to look out for. Every seller claims that their vinyl flooring is strong and durable; after all, no reputable seller will say their flooring will only last a short while, as they’ll be out of business soon after. So the question is, what is the toughest vinyl flooring you can get, and what do you need to look out for?
What Are The Indicators For Tough Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring is made from layers that are sandwiched together to create one uniform board. The layers in the correct order from top to bottom are the design layer, wear layer, core, and backing layer. The durability of vinyl flooring is measured by three indicators: the thickness of the wear layer, the type of core in its composition, and the overall thickness of the floor. The right combination of these three will result in a truly tough vinyl flooring. Get it wrong, and your floor will last far less than you anticipate.
Tough Wear Layer
The wear layer is the protective shield atop vinyl flooring. Residing as the topmost layer, it stands guard over the design layer, ensuring the pattern or image beneath remains unscathed. Made of a translucent layer of vinyl, its thickness varies typically between 0.1mm to 0.7mm, with the most popular being 0.3mm, 0.5mm, and 0.7mm. For a truly tough vinyl floor, 0.6mm to 0.7mm wear layer options are robust enough for high-footfall areas. These are apt for commercial settings like offices, shops, and even some industrial areas. Though a pricier option, they promise a lifespan of 15 to 25 years, making them a worthwhile investment for areas demanding longevity.
Tough Core Layer
The durability of vinyl flooring stems from its core, which is built using one of three materials:
- WPC: This stands for Wood Composite Core, comprising polyvinyl chloride, calcium carbonate, plasticisers, and a foaming agent. While the WPC core is dent-resistant, it may not match the resilience of PVC and SPC options.
- PVC: Standing for Polyvinyl Chloride, the PVC core is a blend of felt, paper, and vinyl foam covered by a protective layer. Textured vinyl planks often have an inhibitor applied.
- SPC: Standing for Stone Plastic Core, SPC is a blend of limestone and stabilisers, rendering it highly durable and stable. SPC core, also known as rigid core, resists movement, making it suitable for high-traffic areas or environments with extreme conditions such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Options range from 2mm thick PVC core with a 0.1mm wear layer to 8mm thick SPC core with a 0.7mm wear layer. For minimal use, like in a shed, 2mm thickness may suffice, but for the toughest vinyl flooring, you should favour the 6mm to 8mm thickness options with an SPC core.
Types of Spaces That Benefit From Tough Vinyl Flooring
Before making a purchase, it’s worth considering the type of space that will be floored. Areas like commercial kitchens, warehouses, gyms, and schools typically require a robust flooring option. Homes with pets, young children, or elderly residents may also greatly benefit from this type of durable flooring.
The initial investment may seem steep, but one must consider the long-term benefits. Cheaper options may require frequent replacements and could eventually cost more in the long run. In contrast, an SPC core vinyl flooring with a 0.7mm wear layer offers longevity and less frequent replacements, thereby offering better value for money over time.
So What’s The Toughest Vinyl Flooring You Can Get?
For a genuinely robust vinyl flooring, look for options with an SPC core, a thickness between 6mm and 8mm, and a wear layer of 0.7mm. These specifications make it suitable for all commercial settings and busy areas at home.
What should I look for when choosing durable vinyl flooring?
When you’re in the market for robust vinyl flooring, keep an eye out for three main indicators: the thickness of the wear layer, the composition of the core layer, and the overall thickness of the flooring. The right combination of these factors will provide you with a truly durable vinyl floor.
How important is the wear layer in determining the toughness of vinyl flooring?
The wear layer serves as the protective barrier for your vinyl flooring, especially for the design layer underneath. For a high-durability floor, you should opt for a wear layer that is between 0.6mm and 0.7mm thick, as it is most suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic.
Can you explain the different core materials used in tough vinyl flooring?
Certainly! There are three primary types of core materials: WPC, PVC, and SPC. WPC (Wood Composite Core) is good for dent resistance but not as resilient as the others. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is a blend of various materials, including felt and foam, covered by a protective layer. SPC (Stone Plastic Core) is the toughest, made from a blend of limestone and stabilisers, ideal for high-traffic areas and extreme conditions.
What is the ideal thickness for the most durable vinyl flooring?
For the most robust vinyl flooring, opt for a thickness between 6mm and 8mm with an SPC core. This ensures maximum durability and is well-suited for commercial spaces and busy areas in homes.
Is spending more on high-quality vinyl flooring worth it?
While the upfront costs for high-quality, durable vinyl flooring can be significant, the long-term benefits often justify the expense. Floors with an SPC core and a 0.7mm wear layer tend to last longer, requiring less frequent replacement and thereby offering better value over time.