Wear layer thickness vs. AC rating

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Gretta, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    Hello friends, this is my first post. I have browsed the fourm and found lots of useful info and moved from a lurker to a participant.

    I am looking at 2 products - Modin and Armstrong Pryzm.

    Modin claims a a 40 mil (1.0 mm) protective wear-layer, ceramic bead coating, while Pryzm advertises an AC4 rating.

    In your opinion, which of these provide the best wear protection?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. It's a bit of an odd comparison.

    The Modin product is merely stating the wearlayer thickness and composition, which is pretty good. Especially if you're planning on using it in a residential setting.

    The PRYZM, is a bit unusual in that it's the first "WPC" or rigid core that I've seen use a laminate rating to state the wearlayer. An AC rating is performed by a 3rd party testing company and involved sanding or abrading the surface using a special piece of equipment and certain grits of sandpaper on a set number of revolutions and comparing it to a baseline. AC4 would equate to a commercially rated product.

    The rule of thumb for a commercially rated wearlayer for an LVT product is a minimum of 20 mils. So, theoretically they would both be commercially rated products. I've seen well made, properly balanced products that will outperform wearlayers that are 2 or 3 times as thick that are not balanced with the product.

    I would recommend getting a sample of each and performing some "torture" tests and see what you think.

    Another comparison factor that i would want to know if I were putting this in my home is how the locking systems compare. There are some really good ones and some really bad ones. I don't have hands on experience with locking either of these products so hopefully others will be along shortly who have some hands on with both to give you share some of their views on the installation of the two products. I will tell you though that the PRYZM is a newer product and there may not be a lot of experience yet with it.
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  3. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    Thanks for taking time out of your day to give such a detailed explanation Commercial Floor Rep. I read your post about the moh's scale and none of the companied have an answer to what their product is rated at so I can do an apples to apples comparison.

    My installer likes the Kolay Studio series free lay product so I'm considering that as well. I kind of "like" the rigid planks that Pryzm offers, but I'm putting this in Mom's house and she has a heavy electric wheelchair (about 700 lb total weight with her) and he fears the Pryzm will snap at the corners under that weight.

    That is why he is recommending the Kolay. The downside of the Modin is this is a elow grade install and we should use an underlayment, which will drive up costs.

    Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.
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  4. Whoa, timeout!!!!

    If you have someone with that heavy of a rolling load you absolutely don't want to use any type of floating or "free lay" floor in that application. It will break the locks or move the product. Those chairs generate a tremendous amount of torque when pivoting and will destroy a free floating floor. This is one of the reasons, besides the problem of infection control, that we do not use floating floors in heavy commercial healthcare installations.

    You should be using a direct glue, commercially rated LVT or a homogeneous or heavy heterogeneous sheet vinyl for that application.

    A product such as Armstrong Natural Creations, Mannington Nature's Paths, Adore Decoria, Metroflor's commercial Lines, Amtico and there are equivalent products from both Shaw and Mohawk. But it really should be a direct glue floor, nothing floating even with those products.

    Sorry, don't mean to shoot a hole in your plans, but that would be a bad bad idea to put either of those products in that application. I do not like the fact that your installer didn't know this, it tells me he doesn't do a lot of this type of job. You may want to get some second opinions from other mechanics.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  5. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    Please don't apologize for shooting a hole in my plan when you just saved my bacon! Thanks for the recommendations CFR. :)
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  6. No worries, it's one of the few advantages I have in working as an RN before I got into flooring many years ago. I kind of know the pitfalls of in home patient care because that's where I worked.

    Let us know once you start narrowing down your choices if you have any questions. Be happy to help answer them. And bless you for helping your mother. Being a caretaker for a family member is a hard and often times thankless job, so thanks and Happy New Year from someone who's been there and done that!
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  7. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    Thank you for devoting your time to helping the folks here out, I really appreciate it.

    I like the Mannington Nature's Path mainly because they list the mohs rating in their documentation, and it is pretty high, which will hopefuly equate to a long lasting floor.

    Do you think that is a good choice?

    Thanks again for saving my butt on this project for mom.

    And happy new year to a fellow cargiver, good on ya for caring for your family.
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  8. Thank you for your kind words. I'm here because I enjoy sharing what others who I respect and admire have taught me over the years. It's my way of paying them back for the guidance they gave to me freely for so many years.

    Full disclosure, I work for a Mannington distributor, so I'm biased. But, I'm biased because of my experience with the product, not just because of the brand name. I will tell you that I have literally millions of square feet of installations and it has performed very well in just about every circumstance I've put it in. It's a good product and it's a floor that I would put in my own house should I have the need.
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  9. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I don't know if others have noticed, but you also never hesitate to suggest or even recommend other brands. And when you post a list of similar products, you never seem to start with the Mannington brand. Highly commendable, in my opinion.
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  10. Thanks Jim, I just strongly believe for me this isn't the place for self promotion. For me it's about helping someone make a good choice.

    An old friend taught me a long time ago that "negative selling" against competition will bite you in the hiney every time. It's very easy to bash a competitor when they aren't there to defend themselves but at the end of the day it makes more sense to be honest. It also makes you come off as a biased bully to the customer. Best not to do it. And, quite candidly there are competitors who make some really good products.

    I get a lot of calls from my customers asking me questions about other peoples products even when I don't have a dog in the fight. To me, there's no higher compliment. It means they value my opinion and when the choice is up to them they will most likely call on me or one of my products. In turn I make it a point to not take advantage of that trust because it's too hard earned and too easily lost. If I know a competitor has a better product for their situation I will even go so far as to give them the contact information for the rep. Do I lose out because of that sometimes? Yep. But, I win way more than I lose for the exact same reason. :)
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  11. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    Quick Q for you CFR - I was looking at Nature's Path, a commercial product that has a 10 year warranty. I ran across the Adura line on Mannington's website, but am unable to find a mohs rating on the Adura.

    Do you know if the Adura is mohs rated, and if so, is it a 9 like the Nature's Path line?

    Thanks, sorry to pester you with more questions - I looked but couldn't find anything.
  12. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    The Mannington Nature's Path is one I'm familiar with for commericial applications and can recommend highly. But to be honest I've installed all of the other ones Commercial Floor Rep mentions------tens and hundreds of thousands of square feet--------and they are all high quality products. So long as you select comparable prducts of COMMERCIAL grade all you really need to worry about is the color, style and size planks/tile that appeals to you and works into your design scheme.
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  13. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don’t think the products use the Mohs scale. They are tested totally different.
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  14. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    Thanks Incognito and Mike.

    I really like knowing the mohs rating, and the Nature's Path is almost diamond hard and should stand up to mom's medical equipment.

    Thanks for taking time to help me, I appreciate it!

    Happy new year :)
  15. First, you're not pestering me at all.

    Most manufacturer's don't list a moh's scale type of rating. Here's a sort of general rule of thumb:

    Straight Urethane - 2
    Quartzite = 5 to 6
    Micro-Ceramic Bead = 7-8
    Aluminum Oxide = 9
    Diamond = 10

    There's also a couple of other factors that contribute to performance.

    How well the wearlayer is bonded to the flooring. Many manufacturers UV cure their urethane wearlayer. This makes the urethane bond much better to the surface of the flooring. Without this process the wearlayer will not stay on the floor and can come off with traffic and time.

    Another is how evenly the wearlayer is applied to the flooring. Some manufacturers don't apply their wearlayers evenly and it leaves tiny voids where the vinyl is exposed. It makes the floor more difficult to clean and can lead to the floor looking bad sooner than it should.

    There are other proprietary manufacturing techniques that can also come into play that enhance both of these factors.

    My point is don't get too hung up on just one number because there are other things that come into play. Some are publicly given in specs and some are not.

    Adura has aluminum oxide in the urethane wearlayer which is where the moh's rating stems from. But, it is a much thinner wearlayer as it's intended for residential use not commercial use. It would probably work for the application but it would be pushing the limits of the product, where the the NP is built to handle that type of application without problem.

    The backing materials are different as well. The NP, while thinner, is built to handle dynamic (rolling) loads and has a higher static load limit than Adura. We even use different adhesives for both.

    Hope that helps and sorry for the slow reply. Of all things I caught a cold on Friday and I've been battling with it all weekend. Dayquil / Nyquil, Vitamin C, lots of rest/naps and my wife's soup. Should be fine to go to work tomorrow, just feel sluggish.;)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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  16. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I would think that the A.O. Enhances the strength of the Urethane but in no way is it scratch resistant equivalent to pure aluminum oxide.
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  17. Mike,

    That's correct and would be the same for any other additive because they are not "pure" forms of the mineral. They are micro-particles that are put into the urethane to form a solution and then are hardened together via the curing process. If you put "pure" aluminum oxide on a wear surface you wouldn't be able to see the visual of the product because it's not clear, it's opaque. Same for the others with the exception of diamond. But a a pure sheet of diamond would be so expensive you wouldn't be able to afford it.
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  18. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    I just got off the phone with Mannington, and they recommended the V-95 epoxy for this job.

    Any pitfalls/complications with using this epoxy that a residential installer wouldn't be aware of?

    Any questions I should ask them to ensure they are capable of preforming a solid install using the V-95 product?

    Thank you!
  19. Um, I hate to contradict technical because I agree with them the majority of the time, but I can tell you that it's not needed in my opinion. Those guys have to play it 100% by the book and they run to the extreme whenever they get the slightest hint of a potential problem, i.e. a wheelchair. I think it stems from their old Amtico days when they required you to use a two-part epoxy under every commercial installation - no exceptions.

    V-95 is incredibly hard to work with. One of the biggest problems you have with it, just like all epoxies, you absolutely can not have any traffic on it for 72 hours or you'll have displacement issues. You'll start seeing where the guys worked on it and forced the glue out when they were kneeling or walking across the floor. You have to mix it with a mixer - can NOT mix it by hand with a stir stick. You have to back roll it once it's troweled out to knock down all the adhesive ridges which is an extreme pain. If you don't it will very likely telegraph the ridges and you'll see them through the flooring. You can't work on top of the flooring unless you use some type of kneeler board and even then it's still possible to get displacement.

    I have dedicated commercial guys who can barely work with V-95 and make it look good, let alone a residential guy.

    Use V-88 you will be absolutely fine. It's a transitional pressure sensitive. You'll have a 3 hour window to lay into it and then it will begin to hard set. The biggest reason they are worried and won't tell you to use this from technical is they are concerned about the twisting motion of the wheel chair. But I can honestly tell you that in all the millions of feet of this product I've sold and had installed with V-88 that I've never once had a board pop with it. Patient rooms in hospitals and nursing homes, healthcare corridors, Dr.'s offices, I even have one facility that put the stuff on their receiving dock - totally outside any warranty or recommendation - but they did it and it's held up.

    If you're over concrete and want a bit of an easier install, you could also use the XpressStep spray adhesive. This adhesive can be used under hospital beds and where rolling traffic is a concern. Because of its extremely thin application it's nearly impossible to displace the adhesive from a rolling load. It's fully warranted for such applications. I wouldn't recommend it over a wood subfloor because it goes down so thin that I'm worried you wouldn't get enough transfer (glue in contact with the backing of the flooring) and it could cause a weak bond. But over concrete it would be fine. I use it a lot in hospitals where the space needs turned over fast because once you're done installing you can literally turn it over to full service immediately, rolling loads and all.

    Hope that helps and sorry to "disagree" with the mill and cause confusion but I'm pretty confident of what I'm telling you or I wouldn't put it in such a public forum. If you read my posts you'll see I will pretty much err towards the side of caution, so hopefully this gives you some assurance of my comfort level.
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  20. Gretta

    Gretta Member

    My turn to apologize for a late reply.

    Thanks for the concise explanation CFR. I was afraid using the epoxy may take a bit more skill than a residential installer has.

    This dood likely does not have experience with the XpressStep spray adhesive either, though I like the fact that it is meets the warranty recommendations.

    A quick search didn't turn up any pricing for the spray stuff, but watching the videos on applying it I think I would want to have someone with experience using it.

    Even though the V-88 does not meet warranty requirements, that is likely the route I will go, unless when I discuss with the installer and he has experience using the spray.

    I trust the folks with experience, and if you have had luck with the number of sq ft you have installed, mom's one wheelchair and hoyer lift going across the floor should be ok.

    Thanks again for taking time to help mom and I out, we really appreciate it, as we have no knowledge of LVT. This forum and its members are a great resource to those of us not in the know.

    Thank you!

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