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FloorFacts: Flooring Fashion Guide
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Vinyl Flooring Performance

The wearlayer is critical to the performance of a vinyl floor. The thickness of the wearlayer varies with each manufacturer's collection, or series and is generally measured in mils. The thickness of a mil is about the same as a page in your telephone book. So a 10 mil wearlayer would be comparable in thickness to about 10 pages in your telephone book.

The more expensive vinyl floors generally will have a thicker wearlayer and a much better finish. Your expectations for how long your vinyl floor will look like new are usually based on the wearlayer's performance. To help you understand wearlayer construction we need to define what the performance characteristics are we are looking for in a vinyl floor. These performance characteristics can be broken into several key areas:

  • Easy to clean
  • Stays looking like-new
  • Resists staining from normal household products
  • Doesn't show scratches easily
  • Resistance to tearing, gouging, ripping and indentations

The easy to clean relates to how tough it is to remove soiling and other marks from a floor's surface. When a floor begins to look old it is usually caused by hundreds of fine hair-line scratches in the wearlayer. The fine scratches come from dirt, girt, and sand rubbing on the wearlayer's surface.

Another problem low-end floors and older vinyl floors have is staining of the wearlayer, which can happen from asphalt driveway sealers, Kool-Aid, plant food, marking pens, etc. If you can trade up to a better grade of vinyl flooring you will have much better performance.

Today, manufacturers are building all-around, much better performing vinyl floors than ever before. Armstrong has ToughGuard™ Flooring and warrants against tearing, gouging, ripping and discoloration. Mannington offers GUARDIAN™, a tough Innercore™ construction to help protect the floor and is guaranteed not to rip, tear, gouge or permanently indent. Tarkett"s Guardian Protection System™ is also guaranteed not to rip, tear, gouge or permanently indent.

The new, high-end vinyl floors have better technology to help resist showing wear and staining far better than any of the middle to low-end vinyl floors made today. The special urethane finishes used on today's residential, high-end vinyl floors will give you a richer looking floor, better designs, better tear-resistance and much better performance!

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