Basically, vinyl flooring is made from layers of various materials sandwiched together by a heat process. This creates a durable and practical flooring product that sells at a lower price compared to, let’s say, wood flooring.
There are two main categories, flexible and rigid.
Flexible Vinyl Flooring
Also known as Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank (LVT/LVP), flexible vinyl is formed through a mixture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with other materials to create color, and flexibility.
Materials. At Urban Surfaces, we use 100% virgin vinyl materials in the manufacturing process, avoiding harmful additives or chemicals in our flooring products. Also, virgin vinyl upholds the durability, waterproofness and stability of our flooring products.
Construction of flexible vinyl material:
Starting from the top.
1. A high-quality layer of polyurethane for scratch resistance.
2. A protective wear layer sheet.
3. A high-definition print film.
Layers are all fused and get a factory embossing texture.
Watch this video to see the vinyl flooring manufacturing process in action.
Rigid Vinyl Flooring
Rigid flooring features a sturdy, hard base made of a PVC composite material.
Materials. Our rigid core flooring has a blend of 60%-70% limestone (which is hard yet brittle) mixed with PVC (and other inputs). A process adds PVC into a powdery, ground down limestone base. This adds flexibility. It forms the flooring correctly. At the same time, the process enables the material to remain rigid in order to hold its shape when installed over unlevel surfaces.
Construction of rigid vinyl material:
A tongue and groove system is routed into the edges of the core material, which needs a lot of strength to withstand daily foot falls and other forces pressing down on it.
1. A print film is applied on top of the SPC core (protected by a wear layer sheet above).
2. Under extreme pressure, a process fuses these 3 layers.
3. It permanently bonds the layers into a single lamination.
This bonding process eliminates the risk of delamination, which happens a lot in other rigid types of vinyl flooring.
Other rigid core vinyl flooring, like wood plastic composite, or WPC, is cold pressed instead of fused by heat. The cold press process relies on a glue layer between the upper and lower layers to hold the entire piece together. But there is a downside. Over time, this glue layer breaks down from high traffic. As a result, you’ll see delamination.
Completing the factory finish. On top of the wear layer, a heavy coat of polyurethane is applied. This plastic material resists scratches and stains, while making the flooring easy to clean and maintain.
Underneath the SPC core, a factory-applied pad is pre-attached. This does away with having to roll out underlayments and install them at the job site.
The pad adds comfort underfoot. When installed on upper housing levels, it even blocks sound between levels.
Click here for fully transparent sound test reports performed by third party testing labs.
SEE ALSO: Blog Post: How Vinyl Flooring Is Made