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The surfaces of our floors are occasionally put through rigorous abuse. From young children playing with their toys, which can result in them being dropped or dragged around, to hyperactive dogs with sharp nails running all over the place, to furniture being moved during a social event such as a party or get-together, accidents can happen for a variety of reasons.
Dents and scratches may appear as a result of the activities described, which is why it is essential to select a flooring material that is both long-lasting and has a high level of resistance to scratches.
Luxury vinyl plank floors, also known as LVP floors, are becoming an increasingly popular option for flooring in today’s homes. LVP floors should be strong enough to withstand the abuse that they are subjected to daily due to the diverse range of activities that can occur on a floor. This raises the question: are vinyl plank floors scratch-resistant and long-lasting?
The wear layer that is included in vinyl plank flooring protects the floor from damage caused by daily use and helps to ensure that the surface does not scratch easily. The thickness of the wear layer can range anywhere from 6 to 20 mil and even higher. To provide increased protection against scratches, the wear layer of certain vinyl planks is coated with a special material.
Even though the majority of luxury vinyl planks are scratch-resistant and long-lasting, the wear layers and topcoats that are applied to the vinyl planks by different brands and products can vary greatly.
There is no product on the market that is identical to any other, and some have a higher resistance to wear and tear and scratches than others. Higher-priced luxury vinyl planks typically have thicker wear layers and a better topcoat composition, both of which translate to improved durability as well as resistance to scratches and dents. In most cases, this means that the planks will last longer.
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Can the surface of vinyl plank flooring easily become scratched?
The surface of vinyl plank floors is resistant to scuffing, chipping, and denting. A vinyl floor is not easily scratched by things like a dog’s nails, children’s play, or the repeated dragging of furniture. However, the level of protection against scratches varies depending on the object that the vinyl plank is in contact with as well as the thickness and composition of the wear layer that the vinyl plank has.
The layers of vinyl plank flooring are stacked one on top of the other. In most cases, these will consist of a scratch-resistant wear layer, an image or design layer, a rigid core made of either PVC or foam and an underpad.
The wear layer guards the vinyl plank flooring against the typical wear and tear that occurs over time. It acts as a shield for the vinyl planks, preventing them from being scuffed or scratched as easily.
However, vinyl planks are not scratch-proof, and they are still susceptible to getting scratched, chipped off, or dented if the object that comes into contact with it is heavy enough or sharp enough to get through the wear layer.
Wear layer thicknesses of 6, 8, 12, and 20 mils are typically available as options across the majority of vinyl plank brands. Additionally, some brands wear layers that are thicker than 20 mils. The wear layer of the vinyl planks should be as thick as possible for the best resistance and durability against scratches and dents. Additionally, the cost of the vinyl planks will increase in proportion to the thickness of the wear layer.
Vinyl planks with a thickness of 6 mils and 8 mils are considered budget options because they are generally less expensive. However, these vinyl planks have the lowest resistance to scratches and are more likely to chip off or dent.
The minimum thickness of the wear layer that is recommended for use in residential areas is typically 12 mil. A thickness of 20 mils for the wear layer would be preferable if you have children, dogs, or other pets with sharp nails.
Vinyl planks with wear layers that are thicker than 20 mils are typically used for high-traffic areas and commercial spaces because of their durability in these types of environments.
It is common practice for the leading manufacturers of luxury vinyl planks to equip their products with a top coating or finish that is either overlaid or infused with the wear layer. This provides the product with increased resistance to dents and scratches.
The thickness of the top coating is just as crucial to the overall performance as the thickness of the wear layer. In light of this, you should also take into consideration the type of coating that is applied to the vinyl plank floor in addition to the thickness of the wear layer.
For example, the scratch resistance of a vinyl plank with a wear layer that is 12 mils thick and has a ceramic bead coating applied to it is greater than the scratch resistance of a vinyl plank with a wear layer that is 20 mils thick and has no coating.
Aluminum oxide, ceramic beads, vinyl, and urethane are all examples of the different kinds of coatings that can be found on vinyl plank products. Although each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, the wear layer will benefit from an increase in both its level of hardness and the protection it provides in either case.
The level of resistance that vinyl planks have to scratches is determined by several factors, including the thickness of the wear layer and the type of finish provided by the top coating.
One of the benefits of utilizing luxury vinyl plank flooring is that it comes equipped with a tough wear layer that provides a certain degree of scratch resistance.
The video that follows is an informative review of the use of vinyl plank flooring in a residential house that has been occupied by children, as well as dogs.
Is It Safe to Have Pets in Homes With Vinyl Flooring?
The installation of vinyl plank flooring is recommended for households with animals like dogs and cats. This is not only due to the high level of durability and resistance to scratching that it provides, but also because vinyl planks are waterproof as well.
This indicates that not only is vinyl flooring well protected against scratches caused by pet nails, but it is also well protected against damage caused by moisture and stains caused by pet urine.
Vinyl flooring is one of the best flooring options because it is both scratch-resistant and waterproof at the same time. Vinyl flooring is one of the best flooring options.
In most cases, it is best to go with wear layers that are 20 mils thick and have a good type of top coating applied when working on a home that also has pets.
What Are Some Things That Can Hurt Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring is highly durable and resistant to scratching to a certain degree, but only to a certain extent. Abusing vinyl plank flooring and not treating it properly can still cause damage to the surface of the planks.
The vinyl plank flooring may become damaged if an extremely abrasive scrubber, sponge, steel wool, or other rough cleaning material is used to clean it. When you use them regularly to clean the floor, the coating and wear layer will become worn out more quickly, which will eventually cause the vinyl planks to develop unsightly scratches and indentations.
Vinyl planks are also susceptible to damage when exposed to harsh chemicals and cleaning products. For instance, ammonia is powerful enough to break down the special coating and wear layer of vinyl floors, which exposes the vinyl planks to the possibility of damage.
It is possible to create deep scratches on the surface of vinyl floors by dragging heavy objects, such as furniture or equipment, across the top of the flooring. Luxury vinyl planks that are thicker and more rigid may be able to withstand the weight and friction of the objects that are being dragged; however, vinyl planks that are thinner and more flexible may rip, chip off, or develop deep scratches to their surfaces.
You still need to take care of your vinyl plank floors if you want them to last as long as possible, even though they are rated to be extremely scratch-resistant and long-lasting.
What Methods Can Be Used to Prevent Scratches on Vinyl Flooring?
Protecting vinyl flooring is done in the same manner as protecting hardwood floors. The following is a shortlist of some of the things you could do to prevent scratches on your vinyl floors:
- Maintaining the vinyl floors by sweeping and mopping them regularly. Eliminate any particles, such as dust, sand, debris, or dirt, that could be stepped on and dragged to the surface.
- Installing a doormat or entrance mat just outside your home’s front door can help you avoid tracking dirt and other particles into your living space when you come in.
- When dragging or moving furniture across a vinyl floor, it is important to protect the floor by placing floor protectors under the legs of the furniture and the appliances.
Which type of vinyl plank flooring is the most resistant to scratches, and why?
Luxury vinyl plank floors have the highest level of resistance to scratching compared to the other types of vinyl plank flooring. This is because they are typically applied with a combination of a top coating and a wear layer, both of which contribute to this effect.
The following are some of the top brands that are known for producing luxury vinyl planks and tiles of a high quality that also have a high resistance to scratching:
Each brand features its distinctive coating and protection layer for increased resistance to scratching, and each brand may also offer multiple product lines with varying degrees of scratch resistance across the board.
When deciding which luxury vinyl floor to put in, scratch resistance is not the only factor to take into consideration. Aesthetics, the overall feel, cost, ease of installation, warranties, and customer service are some of the other factors that need to be taken into consideration in addition to these. Therefore, when selecting a luxury vinyl plank flooring to purchase, you should base your decision on the design concept as well as the actual requirements of the space, taking into account any relevant factors.
Is it Possible to Repair Flooring Made of Vinyl Planks?
Vinyl plank flooring can be easily repaired or replaced if it becomes scratched, dented, chipped off, or damaged in any other way. This is one of the advantages of having vinyl plank flooring installed in your home.
If you have a glue-down type of vinyl plank or a floating type, some solutions can patch them up, remove scratches, or easily replace whole pieces of planks if they become damaged. You can perform the repairs on your own, as they are designed to be user-friendly for do-it-yourselfers.
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