Unveiling the Secrets Behind Engineered Flooring’s Abrasion Resistance

  • Introduction

The durability of a flooring surface to withstand the effects of foot traffic, mechanical traffic, and equipment is known as abrasion resistance. Over time, all floors are subject to wear, which includes scuffing, scratching, and gradual erosion of the surface. Certain types of flooring exhibit superior resistance to abrasion, making them more suitable for high-traffic areas. Consequently, the abrasion property plays a vital role in determining the quality of flooring products.

  • Why is the flooring abrasion resistant?

The unfinished flooring planks have poor abrasion resistance and are not suitable for direct use. The abrasion resistance of the floor is mainly provided by the polymer coating on the surface. Among the multiple layers of paint coating on the floor, the topmost layer, known as the wear-resistant lacquer, plays the most significant role in abrasion resistance. By adding aluminum oxide nanoparticles to the topcoat lacquer solution, its hardness is greatly increased, effectively enhancing its wear resistance.

  • How to evaluate the abrasion performance?

The abrasion property of engineered flooring is tested in standard method. A Taber abraser is used for the flooring abrasion resistance test. The floor samples are fixed on the rotating disk of the abrasion tester. Standard sandpaper strips are adhered to two rubber wheels and pressed onto the samples with a certain pressure. As the disk drives the samples to rotate, the sandpaper wheels rotate in the opposite direction and create a circular pattern on the samples through abrasion. By observing the wear of the floor coating or comparing the quality difference before and after the sample experiment, the wear resistance of the floor can be determined.

  • To what extent can engineered flooring withstand abrasion?

The wear-resistant lacquer layer on the surface of engineered flooring provides sufficient strength to withstand daily use without wearing out or getting damaged. The requirements for wear resistance vary depending on the intended use of the flooring. Therefore, it is important to understand the abrasion resistance performance of different types of engineered flooring in order to make a suitable purchase.

Engineered wood flooring is suitable for most residential and office settings. According to the JAS (Japan Agricultural Standards) standard, the abrasion loss per 100 revolutions should not exceed 0.15g, and the flooring should not be worn out after 500 revolutions. However, these standards only apply to UV-coated mat flooring.

For the handscraped or wire-brushed finish, the abrasion resistance is relatively poor due to the thin coating applied to preserve the surface texture. Such engineered flooring can be worn out in less than 200 revolutions in the abrasion test.

In relation to flooring with a wax oil finish, the wax oil, a mixture of natural plant oils and waxes, forms a hard wax film on the surface of the wood and penetrates into the pores of the wood. The wax-covered surface of the flooring is not highly wear-resistant. However, the application of wax oil is convenient and allows for easy replenishment of the rapid-consumed surface layer of wax oil.

  • The more abrasion resistant, the better?

The robust finish layer enable flooring longer lifetime. However, It is not always the case that the better the abrasion resistance performance, the better the engineered flooring is.

The abrasion performance varies among different finishing types. The use intensity should be taken into consideration seriously in product selection. It is clear, for example, that we will be able to tolerate much lower values for a floor destined for a bedroom than we can imagine necessary for a store or an airport. It is obviously a matter of balancing aesthetic features with performance always finding the right compromise.

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