You should choose a thinner vinyl for low traffic areas such as bedrooms, and a thicker vinyl for high traffic areas such as hallways and living rooms. The thickest vinyl flooring should only be used in a commercial setting with high foot traffic levels.
Keep reading as this guide shows you how to choose the ideal thickness for vinyl flooring. You’ll find that there are several things to consider to ensure you get the best possible results.
Check out our article on the pros and cons of Vinyl Flooring if you haven’t already.
What To Consider When Choosing Vinyl Flooring Thickness
When shopping around for vinyl flooring, there’s one crucial thing to understand about its thickness: there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
So, the ideal thickness for your vinyl floor will depend on several factors like its location, subfloor, and the thickness you want for the wear and core layers.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those important considerations.
Where Are You Installing The Vinyl Flooring?
One of the first things to consider is where you’ll be installing the vinyl flooring. In simple terms, you’ll want thicker flooring in areas with lots of foot traffic. However, if only you and a few others might walk through the space, you won’t need such a thick layer of vinyl.
You see, a thicker layer of vinyl is much more stable overall. Plus, since it sustains more weight without problems, it makes walking on it much more comfortable.
That thicker layer of vinyl will do excellently near doors and hallways as more people walk through those areas.
Plus, you’ll undoubtedly want thicker flooring for business areas that have people walking in and out all day long.
What Is Your Subfloor Made Of?
Besides foot traffic, you should also consider what will be underneath the vinyl flooring. The floor underneath the floor is known as the ‘subfloor’. This is because it provides stability and support to your vinyl flooring.
When your subfloor consists of sturdy material like concrete, you can get away with using a thinner layer of vinyl flooring. The subfloor will compensate and make your vinyl flooring much more stable and comfortable.
On the other hand, thinner subflooring like hardwood doesn’t support the vinyl layer as much. That’s when you’ll want to invest in a thicker layer of vinyl flooring to make up for the lack of support.
How Thick Do You Want The Wear Layer To Be?
The vinyl layer also consists of two layers in itself. The first is the wear layer, which provides aesthetics and protection for the vinyl flooring.
The wear layer typically consists of polyurethane and whatever design you choose. It’s a transparent layer that protects the flooring from external damage, moisture, and more.
You can usually find the wear layer in thicknesses of 0.2, 0.3, 0.55, and 0.7 millimeters, respectively.
The thicker the wear layer, the more overall protection it offers your flooring against wear and foot traffic – and the longer your vinyl floor will likely last.
How Thick Do You Want The Core Layer To Be?
Lastly, you should also consider how thick you’d like the core layer to be. People often call this the ‘carrier material’ because it’s the vinyl flooring layer that goes onto the floor underneath.
When considering the thickness of the core layer, you have to consider the height of the flooring underneath. You will also need to take into account the thickness of the vinyl underlay.
For example, if you already have tiles underneath, you could opt for a thinner core layer. That way, the vinyl flooring won’t be too high once you install it completely.
What Are You Placing On Top Of The Flooring?
Besides foot traffic, you’ll also want to consider the other kinds of items you’ll be placing on top of your vinyl flooring. After all, you’ll likely have beds, desks, lamps, shelves, and other items in your room as well.
Let’s look at a home office, for instance. Even though you’ll likely be the only person walking on the floor in that room, you’ll also have several pieces of furniture around. Not only is each item heavy, but all of its weight rests on legs and bases that press directly into your vinyl floor.
So, despite the minimal foot traffic, it’s also essential to get thicker flooring to support the heavy pieces of furniture you plan on moving into that space after installing the vinyl floor.
What Is Good Thickness For Vinyl Flooring?
As we’ve seen above, there are several things to consider when choosing a suitable thickness for your vinyl flooring. Plus, a thickness that’s perfect for you won’t be so good for someone with different needs.
So, here are recommendations for flooring thickness based on different needs:
For A Bedroom or Home Office
Let’s suppose you want to put vinyl flooring in your bedroom or home office. These are locations with minimal foot traffic throughout the day, so the extra thickness is not required.
You don’t have to shell out more cash for thicker vinyl flooring in these locations. Instead, choosing a wear layer that’s only about 0.2 or 0.3 millimeters is ideal.
In these environments, the flooring only has to be thick enough to sustain:
- Heavy furniture like beds, desks, shelves, and others.
- Provide sufficient comfort for the few people who walkthrough.
- Extra moisture if you place it in bathrooms or around sink areas.
For A Corridor Or Living Room
However, let’s say you’re choosing vinyl for corridors, living rooms, and other high foot traffic areas in your home. Flooring in these areas will experience more wear, so you’ll want a slightly thicker layer instead.
Vinyl flooring with a wear layer 0.55 millimeters thick will do an excellent job in these areas. At that thickness, you’ll get a balance between affordability, support, and protection for your vinyl floors.
The flooring you choose for these areas must be thick enough to sustain:
- More significant numbers of people walking over it, and more often throughout the day.
- Heavy furniture like couches, TV shelves, and others.
- Dirt and debris people bring indoors as they enter the area from outside.
For Business Premises
Of course, if you’re putting vinyl flooring in a business location, you’ll have to invest in a much thicker wear layer. Ideally, the wear layer should be at least 0.7 millimeters thick for these environments to provide the best support and durability.
You’ll need thicker flooring for these areas to sustain:
- Heavier desks, shelves, and display units, among others.
- High foot traffic that happens continuously throughout the day.
- The additional dirt and debris that people bring inside from sidewalks and the outdoors in general.
Shopping around for vinyl flooring can be pretty overwhelming, especially with all the options available. One thing’s for sure, never assume that the more expensive option is better. In some cases, you’ll be paying a premium for the brand name and not just for the flooring.
For the best results, base your outcomes on your needs. For example, a thicker vinyl flooring will be more durable, so it’ll last longer despite high foot traffic and heavy furniture.
However, you can reduce costs by opting for thinner wear and core layers if you don’t need as much protection.
Lastly, be sure to factor in overall quality, warranty protection, and compliance with health and safety standards into your purchasing decision.