Luxury Vinyl Plank is a wondrous material. Somehow, it is completely waterproof, easy to install and hosts very convincing hardwood and tile-like appearances. Those of you more technically minded out there might wonder how such a wondrous material is constructed. Here’s a little 101.
You can divide the creation process of Vinyl Plank into essentially four stages:
I – Each layer is created
Vinyl Plank consists of at least 3 layers. The first step in the construction process is the creation of each of these layers. The wear layer, which is made up of a combination of hard plastics, is made into a thin sheet and this sheet is cut. Same with the ‘film layer’ which is typically a kind of photograph printed on to a paper-like material. Vinyl powder, which makes up the backing layer is heated and rolled into a sheet as well.
II – The layers are combined
At this point, each of the main layers has been created and cut into plywood-sized sheets. They are then stacked with the backing layer on the bottom, the ‘film layer’ onto the backing and then the transparent wear layer on top of that. So you have a sandwich, which has a filler back layer, an image of hardwood or tile and then a hard wearing layer on top. Using heat and pressure the layers are then pressed together to form one large sheet of Vinyl Plank.
III – Vinyl Plank is coated and dried
Next, the Vinyl sheets are coated with polyurethane, making them more durable and adding lustre. The polyurethane is then cured, after which the entire sheet is cleaned and cooled in a water bath. Next the vinyl is dried and prepared to be cut.
IV – Vinyl Plank is cut and inspected
When the sheet of Vinyl Plank is cut into planks, it takes its final dimensions. Now it’s the details. Next the edges of the plank are beveled into the tongue & groove shape that is used to lock boards together. In order to make sure the tongue & grooves are perfect, each plank is then sanded and inspected. Any irregularity in the product will be caught here. All the planks that pass are then sent to be packaged.
If you’d like to see a video of this process, check out this fantastic short doc about a Vinyl Plank factory. It follows the construction of Vinyl Plank from it’s raw materials to the completed product.
If you have any more questions about how Vinyl Plank is constructed, send us an email or give us a call. Better yet, if you live in Calgary and you’re in the flooring market, stop by our showroom at 525 58th Aveue SE. The Floorscapes team has as much experience as we do passion: combined, we have over 150 years in the world of Calgary flooring. We offer our knowledge, our expertise and our aesthetic sensibility in order to help you create a space that you will love.