In everyday scenarios, flooring may occasionally sustain dents as a result of heavy objects falling on them, leading to compromised coating film integrity and surface smoothness. Hence, it is advisable to opt for flooring with high impact resistance in high-traffic areas. Impact resistance of flooring refers to its capability to withstand cracking or peeling of the coating upon swift deformation due to the impact of heavy objects. Thus, it is imperative to comprehend how to assess the impact resistance of flooring and identify the types of flooring that qualify as good flooring with robust impact resistance.

Test Standard

It should be noted that impact resistance is not a general requirement for all types of flooring, but is primarily necessary for products used in high traffic spaces and sporting venue. Upon conducting a search of relevant standards, it was found that there are a few standards for measuring the impact resistance of engineered flooring. However, more detailed methods are available for measuring impact resistance and performance requirements for other resilient flooring options such as laminate, WPC, vinyl, and rubber tiles.

The most commonly used standard for testing impact resistance is the European standard: EN 13696-2008 Wood flooring – Test methods to determine elasticity and resistance to wear and impact resistance. This standard employs a flawless steel ball (weighing 224±3g, with a diameter of 38.1mm) that is dropped from a predetermined height onto the surface of a horizontal flooring sample. The resulting impact is then observed as a mark on the surface. The impact resistance is determined by measuring the maximum drop height in millimeters, for which no damage occurs in a series of three successive strikes at the same height.

Impact Resistance Performance

By testing different types of flooring, it was found that the engineered flooring all have an impact resistance height of 80 to 140mm, which means objects dropped from table height or adult height will not damage the flooring.

Several factors as follows were found to affect the impact resistance of the flooring.

  • Coating Quality      

Flooring lacquer is a type of polymer resin that is applied in multiple layers to protect the surface of flooring. Applying several layers of lacquer can improve the impact resistance of the flooring, thanks to the elasticity and extensibility of the painting film. However, it’s important to avoid applying a paint film that is too thick, as this can negatively affect the flooring’s appearance without providing a linear increase in impact strength.

  • Wood Species    

In addition to coating quality, the wood species of the top layer also affects the integrity of the film after impact. Generally speaking, harder wood veneers are less likely to experience cracks and delamination.

Take the white oak (Janka hardness 5990N) as the reference, the Janka hardness of Teak is 4740N. The Janka hardness of Sapelli is 5410N. The Janka hardness of walnut varies a lot according to the origins and species that Black Walnut from Eastern US is 4490N, and it rises to 5410N for the walnut from Eastern Europe.

  • Top Layer Thickness       

The uppermost layer serves as a protective barrier against impacts, meaning that a thicker top layer equates to greater impact resistance. It is for this reason that engineered flooring with an ultra-thick top layer tends to feel more comfortable underfoot.

  • Installation Method    

Furthermore, the impact resistance of flooring can also be affected by its installation method. Typically, flooring installed over joists exhibits superior impact resistance compared to those installed directly on a subfloor. Additionally, an elastic mat affixed to the flooring’s underside can serve as a cushion, safeguarding not only the surface of the flooring but also providing a more comfortable foot feel and reducing the sound of footsteps.

Conclusion and Suggestion

Impact resistance is a crucial factor to consider when choosing flooring materials, as it can affect the durability and lifespan of the flooring. However, due to the various factors that can affect impact resistance, it is difficult to classify the impact results of different flooring materials using a single standard document.

Engineered flooring is commonly used in residential and office areas. The impact resistance should be such that the surface coating will not crack or peel off when a certain weight object falls freely from a table or an adult height. This is typically determined through laboratory testing, using a steel ball of fixed weight and size that is dropped freely to determine the maximum drop height that does not cause damage to the coating.

In our factory, we understand the importance of impact resistance in flooring and offer specialized solutions to enhance the impact resistance of our flooring products from multiple aspects. If you are interested in learning more about our product performance or testing standards, please feel free to share your ideas with us. We are committed to providing high-quality flooring solutions that meet the needs of our customers.

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