Durability is an important consideration when specifying flooring for commercial environments. When it comes to luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), you need to assess the quality of the wear layer, which lies directly underneath the surface protection layer.

Designed to protect against scratches and everyday wear and tear, wear layers can range from 0.3mm to 0.7mm in thickness. This article provides guidance on what you need to know about wear layers, and the thickness you will need for a specific project.

Composition of the wear layer

PVC is an important component of wear layers in many luxury vinyl floors. Some manufacturers incorporate additives such as aluminium oxide, nylon or ceramic beads into the wear layer, and claim to provide extra protection against scratches. However, when coatings like these are scratched, they often leave a white mark, making the scratches even more noticeable.

Karndean Designflooring products incorporate clear PVC without any additives in their wear layers. Additionally, these products are finished with K-Guard+ surface protection, which provides a hygienic and durable finish and will not turn white when scratched or leave stress marks when handled, as aluminium oxide coatings do.

Thickness of the wear layer

The thickness of wear layers is measured in millimetres, and indicates the level of protection. When specifying for commercial settings, Karndean Designflooring recommends:

  • 0.3mm wear layer for light commercial duty: Areas like multifamily units or office restrooms.
  • 0.5mm wear layer for commercial duty: Most commercial applications, including retail stores, education settings, corporate settings, and restaurants and hotels.
  • 0.7mm wear layer for heavy commercial duty: Settings where rolling loads, heavy equipment and high levels of foot traffic are the norm.

While there are products in the market featuring wear layers thicker than 0.7mm, it’s important to assess the cost of these products against their warranted performance before deciding if the extra thickness is really worth it.

Bottom line

What you need is a product that provides the level of protection you seek at a cost that is within budget, and in a look that suits the environment.

Karndean Designflooring products address both visual appeal and premium performance objectives, and are backed by industry-leading commercial warranties.

Begin the search for flooring for your upcoming projects at Karndean Designflooring and simply filter by the wear layer you require.