If you have pets or kids, you know how quickly things can go from pristine to unclean. That’s especially true for your floors, which will bear the brunt of whatever the cat may drag in.

Even simply moving furniture or tracking in salt or gravel on your shoes can easily scratch your floors if they don’t have durable and protective layers.

While natural hardwood will always have that classic appeal, it’s not always ideal for a busy modern lifestyle, which can cause a lot of wear and tear. That’s why more homeowners opt for luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP).

LVT and LVP provide durability in the form of scratch resistance that other materials may not offer, while still having the timeless appeal of natural hardwood, brick, or tile. So, which luxury vinyl flooring is scratch resistant, and what does that mean? We’ll answer that question here.

Which Luxury Vinyl Flooring Is Scratch Resistant?

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) are largely scratch resistant. These two luxury vinyl flooring options are made of the same materials. However, one comes in planks and the other in tiles. LVP tends to mirror the look of natural hardwood, while LVT can mimic hardwood, stone, tile, and brick.

LVT and LVP owe their durability to the multiple layers that make up their composition. These layers are, in order from top to bottom:

  • Top coating
  • Wear layer
  • Print layer
  • Cushion layer
  • Fiberglass layer
  • Base layer

While these floors are known for their resilience, it’s important to note that not all products are made the same.

In fact, every manufacturer has their own proprietary build and formulation for each of the layers. These differences can affect the level of scratch resistance in a product.

How Thick Should the Wear Layer Be?

The wear layer directly protects the print layer—the part that looks like wood, brick, or tile—from scratches, scuffs, and more. The thickness of this layer is important in ensuring the longevity of the print layer.

It’s measured in the thousands-of-an-inch, called mils. For high-traffic areas like a foyer, 20 mils and up are recommended for maximum scratch resistance. However, for most homes, a wear layer of 12-20 mil is more than sufficient for durability.

Top Coating and Luxury Vinyl Flooring Scratch Resistance

The wear layer gets a lot of attention, but the top coating is just as, if not more, important in terms of resilience. The top coating is the first line of defense in protecting the look of the print layer and preventing wear and tear.

Three different kinds of top coating can be applied to LVT and LVP, each with its own unique benefits:

Aluminum Oxide

When applied as a top coat, the hardness and abrasion resistance of aluminum oxide forms an effective barrier against scratches and scuffs. Aluminum oxide top layers are commonly found in high-quality LVT and LVP products, like the Hilltop collection from Landmark Interiors. They’re well-suited for busy households with heavy foot traffic.

In addition to its robust and durable properties, aluminum oxide avoids many of the health issues that can come with a silica top coat, which is common among some flooring manufacturers. Silica has been identified by OSHA as a potential threat to health due to its capacity to induce respiratory problems and allergic reactions in individuals, so it’s not a product used in Landmark Interiors LVT or LVP.

Ceramic Bead and Nano Silver

Ceramic bead top layers incorporate tiny ceramic beads that reinforce the floor’s ability to withstand scratches. The beads create a protective barrier by distributing the forces of daily use more evenly. This helps to prevent deep scratches and preserve the flooring’s appearance over time.

Nano silver technology integrates silver nanoparticles into the top coat. Silver nanoparticles have antimicrobial properties and reduce the chances of harmful bacteria buildup, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

The Ascension collection from Landmark Interiors, along with other collections, utilizes ceramic bead and nano-silver additives to create a scratch-resistant and UV-resistant coating.

Get Scratch-Resistant Luxury Vinyl Flooring Today

If you want great-looking flooring that maintains its appearance over time, scratch-resistant luxury vinyl flooring, like LVT and LVP, is a great choice.

Our nearest Landmark Interiors retailer can help you determine the wear layer thickness and top coat material best suited to your household needs and lifestyle. Find your local retailer today!

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