Vinyl is beautiful and strong, and is a popular choice for high traffic areas at home or at the workplace. There are few issues that arise when it comes to the durability of vinyl flooring, but occasionally the wear layer of the flooring material is subject to problems. To understand what might cause the wear layer of a vinyl floor to delaminate, it is helpful to understand how vinyl floors are constructed.
Anatomy of a Vinyl Floor
Vinyl flooring is really several different layers of flooring that are constructed to maximize beauty and durability. There are four layers in vinyl flooring:
- Resilient backing: supports all other layers and resists moisture
- Vinyl color: durable plastic layer to provide strength and resiliency
- Photographic image: printed to recreate the look of stone, tile, wood, marble and more
- Urethane wear layer: Protects other layers from wear and tear, and resists scratching and staining
The wear layer is what stands between the abuse of foot traffic and the beautiful vinyl flooring. In most cases, the wear layer will last for many years without problem, but there are instances where the wear layer can delaminate.
Delaminated Wear Layer
On the occasional instances where the wear layer delaminates, it is generally caused by a manufacturing error. Basically, when putting all the layers together at the factory, sometimes there can be a glue bond failure that is usually due to a moisture or core imbalance. This kind of defect doesn’t happen very often, but it is possible. An expert in the flooring industry can easily determine when the wear layer has delaminated.
In this case, the manufacturing defect is generally caught before shipping to customers, but once in a while, the defective flooring material makes it past the manufacturer’s quality control inspections. That’s when the defective vinyl flooring might get installed, and the business owner or home owner discovers the delaminated wear layer after basic use.