What is the difference between a “mil” and a “millimeter” (mil vs mm)?
A “millimeter” is used in reference to the flooring’s overall thickness, whereas a “mil’ refers to the thickness of the flooring’s wear layer. Both are units of measurement dealing with distance, the first belonging to the Metric system while the second is from the U.S. Standard system. (See descriptions below)
Within the vinyl flooring industry, the wear layer thickness is measured in “mils”. 1 mil equals 1/1000th of an inch, and 1000 mils is equivalent to 1 inch. For comparison, common plastic food wrap is roughly 5 mils thick, so a 6 mil wear layer product is slightly thicker than 1 sheet of plastic food wrap.
When referencing the overall thickness of the plank, it is measured in ‘millimeters’ or ‘mm’. That is why a product can have an overall thickness of 3mm but a wear layer thickness 20 mils.
When the two are compared directly, 20 mils is equal to 0.508 (nearly 1/2) mm.