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Home / Education / Buying Guide / Decoding Multi-Layer Flooring

Decoding Multi-Layer Flooring

Categories of vinyl flooring have emerged into a web of varied constructions that are referred to in acronyms, and are also referenced as “resilient.”  Some can be cross-referenced into multiple definitions because manufacturers don’t always use consistent terminology.  At Twenty & Oak, our goal is to help you understand the basic differences in product construction and performance so you can focus on selecting the right solution for your home and for your lifestyle.

Vinyl Sheet, Sheet Vinyl, or Vinyl Rolls

This is the easy category to understand.  We are talking about a vinyl based product, produced in sheets, usually 12’ or 13’ 2” in width.  Roll sizes can range from 55 – 120 square yards, depending on the overall weight of the product.  The distributor or retailer can make cuts from the roll to accommodate individual orders for smaller spaces. 

Almost all of the collections in this category are constructed of a fiberglass base layer and a foam layer that is injected with air and results in a soft, quiet solution underfoot.  The print film that provides the design and color is topped with a wear layer that varies in thickness (mils/gauge) and is relative to the price, warranty and subsequent durability.  A urethane finish layer that protects against scratches, scuffs and stains tops off the construction.   For added sound absorption, water resistance and stability, consider Beauflor’s BlackTex HD collection or Tarkett’s TruTex collection that include a textile backing and additional warranty features.

Luxury Vinyl Planks and Tiles (LVT and LVP)

Any product that is vinyl based and produced in a plank or tile format falls into this category, and is commonly referred to as multi layered flooring (MLF).   Here’s where it gets a little tricky.  There are subcategories involved here, all of which include a vinyl or rigid polymeric core, with a decorative surface on the top and an optional soft under pad attached to the bottom.  Finishes can range from a basic PVC to urethane with ceramic bead.

Twenty and Oak brings you the most technologically advanced products in this category.  As you can see in this illustration, added performance features are acheived with proprietary technology.  Metroflor's Engage Genesis™ with Isocore Technology® includes FX® surface protectant and a pre-attached underlayment treated with Ultra-Fresh* to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

LVT/LVP – basic luxury vinyl is constructed of a vinyl core, print film and a wear layer.  It is plasticized, flexible vinyl that is usually available in a glue down or a click version.  Beauflor’s Parkway LVP offers 8 colors in both versions and the Essence collection includes plank and tile formats.

WPC – Wood Plastic Component with a foamed air expanded polymer core, light weight, low density, warm and soft underfoot with greater comfort.  Metroflor’s Engage Genesis 2000 WPC includes Isocore, a sound abating underlayment. 

SPC – Solid Polymer Core, denser and has additional benefits due to its hardness.  Somewhat dimensionally stable, but can be louder if a pad is not attached, or installed.  Beauflor’s Boardwalk includes an attached pad for sound absorption, and is compatible for underfloor heating.  Beauflor’s Pure also falls in this category with a Rigid Composite Board (RCB) construction, and it is quiet and strong with a 360º locking system.  Tarkett’s ProGen includes an attached IXPE pad and an extra warranty to cover thermal stability for three seasons rooms. 

The rigidity of WPC and SPC products require less acclimation time. Since these products are not adhered directly to the subfloor, telegraphing of imperfections are prevented.  Both of these subcategories contain primary ingredients of PVC and limestone.  WPC cores are usually coupled with a traditional vinyl component, which results in the flexibility of the planks.  SPC products are generally less expensive.

As you explore the world of layered construction products, keep in mind they are all great solutions for busy lifestyles, without compromising style.  Today’s registered embossing technology brings realistic wood, stone and ceramic visuals to these products in colors and designs that are on-trend and versatile.  Shop all the possibilities in these categories at Twenty & Oak for the perfect balance of performance and style for your home.

*Ultra-Fresh is a registered trademark of Thomson Research Associates, Inc.
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Twenty & Oak Experts are a team of flooring professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in the industry. They have hands-on experience with all flooring types and bring inside industry know-how to homeowners in the Southeast.

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