What is the wear layer in vinyl flooring construction?

This clear, top surface layer gives durability, absorbing foot traffic and daily wear-and-tear, while protecting the floor’s original beauty. The wear layer lies between the polyurethane coating on top and the printed design underneath it. The thicker the wear layer, the more durable the floor will be. Wear layer thickness ranges from 3 mil – 40 mil.

What is a mil? 

A mil is an Imperial measurement meaning thousandths of an inch. Mainly recorded in a mil, a wear layer can also be shown in millimeters (mm), or both.

Example: 40mil or 1.016mm. These two figures represent the same measurement for the same wear layer thickness.

How thick should the wear layer be?

That depends on usage. Residential: In residential settings, you’ll often see wear layers ranging from 6 mil – 28 mil. When deciding on the thickness, consider things like daily foot traffic and pets in the home.

We recommended 20 mil wear layers or higher for commercial settings, which go through high levels of wear-and-tear. Commercial settings must withstand day-long foot traffic, impacts from equipment with wheels, and more.