Wear Layer and Your New Floor

12mil wear layer

XL Planks

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What a Wear Layer Will and Won't Do

A thick wear layer will make your flooring less likely to have a scratch down to the design layer. A thicker wear layer means you have more protection from surface scratches having an impact that will be noticeable to your eye. Do you have one or more dogs? If your dog is big, high energy, and uses your floor as a racetrack then a thick wear layer is the way to go, but it still may not save you in the long run. A thick wear layer will not prevent a heavy sharp object from gouging it. If you drag a heavy hard object across any floor you are going to damage it.

Going back to dogs for a minute, vinyl flooring really is the way to go if you have pets. A glue down vinyl floor would be the best bet for long term durability and cleanliness for pets. Realistically if you aren’t up for the adhesive part then go with a floating vinyl floor that’s waterproof and clicks together like Allure ISOCORE. One bonus for ISOCORE is its also warmer and softer underfoot for those seniors and senior dogs out there!

All Wear Layers Are Not Created Equal

The chemical and physical composition of the flooring’s wear layer will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. The use of a top overlay layer like ScratchProtect can also increase the performance capabilities of a wear layer as a whole. If the flooring has a 40mil wear layer that doesn’t hold up, what are you left with? If the 40mil wear layer is a quality one and does hold up, do you really need something that thick?

12mil Wear Layer

Rigid Core Vinyl Planks

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Thicker Wear Is Not Always Better

All of the components that go into producing vinyl flooring have a cost associated with them. Deciding which components matter most to you and picking flooring that matches is always your best bet financially. Does it really make sense to buy flooring with the thickest wear layer when almost half of all homeowners live stay less than 10 years? Performance characteristics aside, there is also an aesthetic impact to really thick wear layers on vinyl flooring. Flooring with really thick wear layers can look more like plastic. That extra thick layer on top of your flooring means the design will look much softer and less realistic. That really thick wear layer flooring you chose may also end up yellowing or developing a haze over time with exposure to the sun. Having a beautiful floor is just as important as durability. Finding the right balance between beauty and durability in flooring is important.

Wear Layer and Your New Floor

What Wear Layer Do I Need

Our recommendations for wear layer are that you should choose 12mil for normal residential applications. In particularly high traffic residential and commercial applications we recommend 20 or 22mil wear layer. In our experience anything over 22mil only makes sense for high volume commercial projects.

What To Focus on When Choosing Rigid Core Vinyl Flooring

Choose a floor that’s durable enough to last for as long as you plan to own your home. Select a vinyl flooring that’s beautiful with high-definition designs that are hyper-realistic. Choose an installation format you are comfortable with. Floating floors that click together are economical, easy to install and can last a lifetime. Select a floating floor with a great locking mechanism like Drop Lock 100. Above all else select a flooring product from a skilled manufacturer that’s been making vinyl flooring for a long time and at scale, like HMTX.

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