Product Search
Color search
Graboplast Hírek Wear layer or top surface?
Wear layer or top surface?

Many have recently asked us, what is the difference between wear layer and top layer or top surface in case of a heterogeneous PVC flooring.

From the aspect of product durability, it is the wear layer that is clearly important. Wear layer is the upper PVC layer of the product which is worn during the use, and which protects also the lower layers of the product.

Therefore, the formulation of this layer and the row materials are very important, e.g. the wear layer is free from fillers, and it is made from wear-resistant PVC type. Besides the composition, its thickness is also really important, as we may use the flooring as long as the wear layer exists.

That’s why wear layer thickness is the key criteria of standardized classification of floor coverings regarding the durability and the intensity of use. According to this classification we may define PVC floorings for domestic (classifications 21, 22, 22+ and 23), public (31, 32, 33, 34) or light industry (41, 42, 43) use.


kopasi folt
The term ‘top surface’ is created by marketing specialists
, which include the wear layer and the underlying, less wear-resistant solid layers.

These solid layers under the wear layer are characterised by their high filler content.

Due to this, they are much cheaper than the wear layer (therefore they are preferred by many), but their wear-resistance is significantly lower.

As the colour of this cheaper layer is different from wear layer’s colour, it behaves, in fact, as an indicator.

When the wear layer is worn, the appearance of a wear spot with a different colour shows that it should replace the product (as it is shown on the photo under the feet of children).

And it isn’t only a question of aesthetical appearance, rather sports performance and safety.

To summarise the above:

  • From the aspect of product durability, the wear layer is primarily important.
  • The wear layer may not be constituted by various layers.
  • The parts of the top surface located under the real wear layer may serve, at most, to meet other compulsory product requirements.

Let’s see an example to better understand it (cross-section view)

wear layer vs top layerA sports flooring with 0,4 mm real wear layer, and with a 0.4 + 1.7 = 2.1 mm thick top surface. In our case, the product is made special by emphasizing the 2.1 mm top layer as if it had an added value (and 2.1 mm looks much better on paper than 0.4 mm).

The 0.4 mm wear layer will become thinner during the use. If the wear exceeds 0.4 mm, the underlying grey layer becomes visible, and the sports ground will not be able to properly function anymore.

Partly due to the visually disturbing different colour, and partly due to the rapid wear of the grey layer having lower wear-resistance and differences in thickness at various points of the ground.

So despite the well-sounding "2.1 mm thick top layer" and what is more “2.1 mm thick wear layer”, the product can be used until the 0.4 mm thick real wear layer exists!

Finally, the following aspects should be noted as regards the issue of top surface vs. wear layer:

1) They are not synonyms, and should not be mixed up at all.
2) Their meanings are different, therefore the numeric values assigned to them are not comparable.
3) In general, it is advisable to examine if referring to the top surface is conscious or caused by a mistake. In the latter case, clarification of the differences must be helped.

TopSitemapImpressionsData handlingGTC