What you should know about the pH in water and vinyl flooring

Urban Surfaces flooring products are engineered to be waterproof. To achieve this status, our flooring materials undergo testing.

For example, during production, observers weigh and measure the flooring material and place it in a container of pH neutral water. After removing it, observers measure and weigh the flooring again, looking for any changes. Tests like this show the flooring material remains the same.

What is pH?
This is a scale -- from 1 to 14 -- that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid. Distilled water sits in the middle of the scale, showing a neutral pH of 7. An acid has a pH below 7, and anything with a pH above 7 is an alkali, or base.

Vinegar is very acidic. It has a pH of about 2.

Damage caused by pH water.
Again, Urban Surfaces flooring products are waterproof. However, cleaning vinyl flooring that are too acidic can damage and dull the finish.

A flood from above or a slab leak from below often changes the pH of a cured concrete slab, causing flooring material to break down.

You should test the concrete subfloor to determine the pH level and alkalinity before installation. It’s important. Any pH level below 5 or above 9 can cause the adhesive to fail and breakdown the flooring, weakening its integrity.

Over time, a highly acidic environment destroys flooring material. If water distorted the shape of the flooring planks, extreme pH levels most likely caused the failure.

Why treat the concrete subfloor?
Installing waterproof flooring never makes a room waterproof. Only the flooring material is waterproof. That’s why before you install any flooring you should get rid of moisture from the slab below or from above. You’ll protect your flooring installation and likely avoid costly repairs in the future.

Quick tip: To restore the shine of vinyl flooring, use a vinyl floor wax.