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How is Vinyl Flooring Made?

The majority of vinyl flooring products are manufactured using one of two techniques.  Rotogravure or Inlaid.

Rotogravure Vinyl Manufacturing Process

Sometimes referred to as rotovinyl, Rotogravure is essentially a printing process where a pattern is printed onto the vinyl.  The vinyl is then covered with a protective wear layer which gives vinyl it’s much talked about durability.  Rotogravure allows for a wide range of patterns and designs.

Inlaid Vinyl Manufacturing Process

The inlaid vinyl manufacturing process is a much more involved process that sees a variety of granules of different colors that combine to produce a pattern.  These granules are more deeply etched into the vinyl resulting in a more durable flooring pattern.

The Wear Layer

The amount of gloss a vinyl product has is determined by the wear layer that exists on the exposed side of the vinyl flooring.   The wear layer also determines the durability of the product.  Generally speaking, the thicker the wear layer is, the more durable and expensive the product will be.  There are of course exceptions to this rule because the protective wear layer isn’t always made using the same materials.  For example, some vinyl wear layers contain aluminum oxide, which increases scratch resistance.  As with hardwood flooring finishes, the vinyl wear layer can contain a number of different materials. 

There are three basic types of wear layers:  vinyl no-wax, urethane, and enhanced urethane.  The latter wear layers show an improvement in durability.


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