How important is wear layer vs. brand?

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by mairlodi, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. mairlodi

    mairlodi Active Member

    I am narrowing down my choice for vinyl flooring and will probably go with a glue down vinyl tile, to be professionally installed.

    I am finding it difficult to compare between different options. I have read that in general, the thickness of the wear layer is very important. The products we are considering are Mannington Adura (wear layer is only 4 mils, and this product is fairly expensive compared to the others), Tarkett Permastone (8 mils wear layer, slightly less expensive than Adura in price), Karndean Knight Tile (6 mil wear layer, less expensive than Tarkett) and Shaw Quarry (20 mil, and similar in cost to the Karndean, but slightly less).

    Is it odd that the thinnest wear layer is the most expensive and the thickest is the least?

    The Tarkett has very good ratings on Consumer Reports, better than the Adura. The other two we are considering were not on the consumer Reports.
  2. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Where are you putting it? In a business a wear layer is very important, in a home, not nearly as much. Most people will never wear out their vinyl floors from daily use. I would usually go with the medium/high end product and expect a good life out of it. Vinyl tile will serve you well in a home.
  3. mairlodi

    mairlodi Active Member

    Yes, this is going in my home, in a walkout basement where we have basically an in-law apartment where my parents live.

    Is 4 mils too little? The tile I like the most visually is a Mannington Adura, but I am having a hard time choosing this as the wear layer is the least and the cost is the most. Luckily, I only slightly like it more than the other options.
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    There should be some type of gauge to use to determine the scratch resistance of a product. The wear layer will not be the same formula, therefor the thickness is irrelevant. I like manningtons product. We have done a bit, they are a high quality company, though it's made in China.
  5. mairlodi

    mairlodi Active Member

    I thought I read somewhere that as of this summer, Mannington Adura is manufactured in the US. I've always read that their customer service in case of issues with the floor is quite lacking, more so than other companies.

    Is there such a gauge, or are you saying that there should be one in theory?
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't know if there is a rating system on a scale of say 1-100, there needs to be one. I called mannington one time, rep was not helpful with their product, could've been a new person, Hi, how long you work there, how much do you know?

    I know we've replaced about 50 plank due to scratches about a week after installation on our dime, I believe the whole job got authorized for replacement, will not be by us, will not name brand, could happen to any.
  7. Darol Wester

    Darol Wester Charter Member Senior Member

    One of the best vinyls out there for the money is Mannington Aurora. It's not that expensive and wears really well compared to several that cost much more. In my opinion.:)
  8. Jeff Short

    Jeff Short Veteran Flooring Retailer

    I'm not sure about the timetable, but our Mannington rep told us a few months back that Mannington was in the process of moving Adura manufacturing to the USA.
  9. Michaelqiu

    Michaelqiu in Flooring Market

    I saw their website, 100% made in USA
  10. Sorry to post to a topic so late but I thought I might be able to shed some light on how I gauge wearlayers.

    Overall - the performance of the wearlayer is really based on the hardness of the wearlayer. The measure of hardness or the moh's scale is a ratings scale from 1-10. 1 being the softest (talc) and 10 the hardest (diamond).

    Most manufacturers today use a polyurethane topcoat as the wearlayer on their products. This is true of both sheet and luxury vinyl plank and tile. There are some manufacturing processes that change the characteristics such as how the urethane bonds to the vinyl as-well-as the finished hardness of the urethane. UV curing for example helps the wearlayer bond to the PVC much better. All that being said urethane comes in at about a 2 on the moh's scale.

    The next group of products are those that use a modified urethane and there are really 2 groups. The ones that use aluminum oxide (alox) and those that use something else.

    The wearlayers that contain something other than alox will typically have a micro-ceramic bead, a glass bead, and I've even heard someone say they used iron-oxide - which is funny because that is literally rust. These wearlayers consist of a urethane that is infused with very fine micro-particles of whatever the additive is. This group of products will generally range from 5-7.5 on a moh's scale.

    The second group, those with alox additive infused in the wearlayer, are the most durable. Aluminum oxide is what sandpaper is made from. This group of products is the most durable and offers the best performance. This group will generally range from 8.5-9 on the moh's scale.

    Generally the higher the product ranges on the scale the better the scratch resistance, durability, and lower maintenance.

    One last note. People get stuck on numbers. Resilient wearlayers are somewhat like pad. People take the overall thickness of pad as an indicator of performance when in actuality it's the density of the pad that really dictates performance. You can have a thin wearlayer with an additive and it will outperform a much thicker wearlayer of just straight urethane.

    Hope this helps clarify some questions for you and good luck with your project.:)

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