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What Thickness of Vinyl Flooring is the Best?

What Thickness of Vinyl Flooring is the Best?

black vinyl floor job completed

Vinyl flooring is one of the best kinds of flooring since it’s easy to maintain, water-resistant, versatile, and affordable. One of the advantages of vinyl flooring is that it’s durable and has great quality, which is why some people may think that thicker vinyl flooring lasts longer than thinner options. 

So what thickness of vinyl flooring is the best to install? The answer is that it all depends on your needs and where you install the tiles. There are several factors other than thickness you have to consider before choosing a vinyl flooring such as its wear layer, protective coating, and backing layers. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring comes in different thicknesses. Its size ranges from around 2mm to 8mm, thick and it’s available in a variety of designs. Though a vinyl flooring’s thickness may seem like it’s the most important factor when choosing your vinyl flooring, there’s more that contributes to its quality. 

For example, you have to take into account how manufacturers assemble and engineer vinyl flooring since its other components make the durability of the flooring. Some factors to consider when choosing your vinyl flooring are the following:

1) Wear Layer

A wear layer provides the vinyl flooring’s durability, stain-resistance, and scratch-resistance. This is one of the most important factors to pay attention to when choosing the flooring since it’s what helps your floors hold up over time. The wear layer impacts the floor’s durability the most and it’s measured in mil, which is one-thousandth of an inch. 

Vinyl flooring with higher wear layers provides more resistance to damages like scratches and dents, but these options are usually more expensive than others. This means that if you want more durability and last longer, then choose a vinyl flooring that’s around 12 mil to 20 mil. It’s suggested to have a wear layer of at least 12 mil for residential spaces and 28 mil for commercial spaces. 

2) Subfloor

The subfloor refers to what’s underneath your flooring, and you should also consider the subfloor when choosing the vinyl flooring’s thickness. For example, it’s enough to choose a thinner kind of vinyl flooring for houses and buildings with cement subfloors. This is because your subfloors are already sturdy enough and don’t need the extra support from the flooring. However, if the property has subfloors like hardwood, you would need the extra support from thicker options. 

It’s also important to install new floors on even, clean, and dry subfloors to guarantee its durability and quality. You may also need to place a moisture barrier for vinyl plank flooring, especially if you’re using glue to install them. 

3) Backing Layers

Backing layers are also an important part of vinyl flooring that you have to consider. Different kinds of flooring are made of various cores and bottom layers which all contribute to its durability, quality, and other special functions. Here are some of the kinds of backing and core layers and their differences:

  • Stone Plastic Composite (SPC): SPC is made from calcium carbonate (limestone), polyvinyl chloride, and plasticizers. It’s a slightly more affordable option that’s dense and rigid. SPC is also water-resistant and its density makes it less susceptible to different kinds of damage.
  • Waterproof Core (WPC): WPC is made from polyvinyl chloride, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, a foaming agent, and wood. Compared to SPC, it’s more expensive but it’s able to retain more warmth. WPC is also free of phthalates, water-resistant, less dense, and has a resilient underfoot.
  • Recyclable Materials: Aside from SPC and WPC, some manufacturers may use recyclable materials to create the core of the vinyl flooring. This is a great option for people who are looking for more eco-friendly options, but it doesn’t provide the same durability as SPC or WPC. 

Aside from the subfloor and the backing layers, the underlayment also plays a significant role in providing extra cushioning. An underlayment is a thin material under the floor that helps with sound absorption, structural support, and insulation. If the flooring doesn’t include an underlayment, then you can eventually add an underlayment when installing the vinyl plank flooring.

4) Protective Coating

The last factor you may want to consider when choosing the thickness of your vinyl flooring is its protective coating. A protective coating is the floor’s final layer, and it’s traditionally made from acrylic coatings or wax. This kind of coating can be difficult to maintain since the floors need to be re-coated every 2 to 3 months.

Fortunately, manufacturers have found a way to provide vinyl flooring with a protective coating without the process of having to re-apply it every few months. Protective coatings nowadays are usually made from a clear, urethane base coating to preserve the floor’s appearance. Urethane coating lasts ten times longer than acrylic coating and provides more stain resistance and easier maintenance. 

There are also different kinds of urethane coating available on the market. Some coatings are now produced and engineered with more advanced materials, such as enhanced urethane coatings. This option contains aluminum oxide which provides the floor with more protection against wear and damages. Though urethane coatings are more long-lasting, they still need to be reapplied every 2-3 years for maintenance purposes. 

5) Foot Traffic

The last factor you may want to consider when choosing your vinyl flooring is the foot traffic inside the room or area where the tiles are going to be installed. If the area has high foot traffic, then definitely choose a thicker flooring with a high wear layer. 

Residential houses usually don’t have high foot traffic, but rooms like the kitchens or bathrooms may need thicker flooring with a high wear layer. Since kitchens or bathrooms are rooms where people use the most water, they are prone to moisture and can be subject to more damages. 

Types of Vinyl Flooring

With many options of vinyl flooring to choose from, it may be difficult to pick the right kind to install. Different types of vinyl flooring provide various characteristics that can help you in picking the best kind of flooring for your home or space. Below is a table that outlines the differences between different types of vinyl flooring: 

Kind of Flooring How It’s Sold Installation Cost
Vinyl Plank Vinyl planks are sold per piece and usually resemble the look of natural wood.  Vinyl planks are installed plank by plank. The average cost is around $1.89 to $2.19 per square foot. 
Vinyl Sheet Vinyl sheets usually come in 6 to 12-foot rolls.  Vinyl sheets usually are usually glued down and would need more experienced people for their installation.  The average cost is around $.50 to $1.50 per square foot.
Vinyl Tiles Vinyl tiles have the same characteristics as vinyl sheets, but the sheet is cut into smaller pieces.  Vinyl tiles are a better option for those who want to install the flooring on their own. This kind of flooring is installed piece by piece using a glue-down or a peel-and-stick-method.  The average cost is around $1.50 to $3 per square foot. 
Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) LVT is sold in multi-ply planks or tiles and is more durable than other kinds of vinyl flooring.  Luxury vinyl tiles are usually installed using click-lock edge joints.  The average cost is around $2 to $7 per square foot. 

Vinyl Flooring at Zothex Flooring

It’s important to choose a vinyl flooring that’s best suited to your needs and lifestyle. Here at Zothex Flooring, we offer different kinds of high-quality vinyl flooring to remodel your home. Our team of artisans is here to assist and answer any questions you have about our products and services. 

Zothex Flooring also provides in-home shopping and virtual shopping with video calls and our Product Visualizer Tool. We promise excellent service Get in touch with us today to know how we can find the perfect flooring for you. 

Learn more: 7 Benefits of Installing Vinyl Flooring in a Bathroom