Why are some vinyl floors thicker than others?

Glue Down LVT –
The thicker the floor, the less “telegraphing” occurs. Telegraphing is when the subfloor irregularities are visible through the flooring (which is unsightly). In addition, the thicker the wear layer the thicker the base construction needs to be for structural support. For example, a 2mm thick plank cannot have a 20 mil wear layer because the wear layer is so strong that it would curl and warp the 2mm base. To accommodate a 20 mil wear layer, the base has to be increased in thickness to 3mm.

Urban Surfaces Glue Down LVT product thickness:
Studio LVT – 2mm
Main Street – 2mm
City Heights – 2mm
Level 7 – 3mm

Click/Floating Floor –
The thicker the floor, the denser the materials, the stronger the click system. If the core thickness is too thin, the click system will not have the strength required to stay together. Due to this restriction, Urban Surfaces products are no less than 4mm in core thickness. Other products on the market are as thin as 3mm in core thickness. In our opinion, these products are far too thin to hold up over time and will fail prematurely. This has been observed time and again. The thicker the core, the stronger the click system.

In addition to overall thickness, the type of core material used is very important for a strong click system. Stone Polymer Composite (SPC) is constructed with over 60% Limestone. By comparison, Wood Polymer Composite (WPC) is constructed with roughly 20% – 30% Limestone mixed with foaming agents to create thickness. Limestone is inherently dense and is an excellent base material to create flooring with. For WPC flooring to have an equivalent click system strength as SPC flooring, the WPC would need to be milled significantly thicker, thus increasing cost.

Urban Surfaces Click/Floating Floor product thickness:
Studio SPC: 5mm (4mm core + 1mm foam pad underlayment)
Sound-Tec: 6mm (4.5mm core + 1.5mm foam pad underlayment)
Sound-Tec Plus: 6mm (4.5mm core + 1.5mm foam pad underlayment)
Sound-Tec Tile: 6mm (4.5mm core + 1.5mm foam pad underlayment)
SurfaceGuard: 8mm (6.5mm core + 1.5mm foam pad underlayment)

Loose Lay –
Loose Lay Flooring is created 5mm thick to be able to 1) mask subfloor inconsistencies 2) to float evenly over existing hard surface floor covering 3) to be heavy enough to lay down flat with minimal adhesive. Loose Lay flooring is manufactured similar to a “double thick” Glue Down LVT plank with a fiberglass mesh sheet running through the core for stability.

Urban Surfaces Loose Lay Floor product thickness:
Instagrip – 5mm