Page 1 - 2017-07-CFR Volume 106 - The Difference Between Dimensional and Planar Stability - July 2017
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Volume 106—July 2017

       Let’s start with the explanation of each of these descriptions for
       modular flooring material be it in the form of a carpet tile or hard
       surface luxury vinyl tile or plank with our focus being on Luxury
       vinyl plank and tile.

       Dimensional stability is the ability of the material to hold its shape.
       Dimensional stability means the product will not grow or shrink –
       expand or contract.  It will stay the same size as when it was
       made whether a 24” x 24” inch carpet tile or a 12” x 12” vinyl tile     Planar Change
       or a 6” x 48” vinyl plank or a board of wood or WPC or laminate.
       Staying the size as specified by the manufacturer is what it should

       Planar stability is the ability of the material to lay flat and level,
       that is, not curl up on the ends or the sides.  When the material is
       installed on the floor it should stay there without lifting up at all.  In
       the case of vinyl planks which are long the material will have a
       great deal of “drape” the product will conform to the surface it is
       installed on which itself should be flat and level.  All modular floor-
       ing material especially Luxury vinyl plank or tile which is basically   Dimensional Stability
       a vinyl flooring material – the luxury part has to do with the look –
       should stay flat on the floor.  Unfortunately that doesn’t always
       happen and it’s creating havoc in the industry, failures of the floor-
       ing and claims and complaints that reach massively large losses.

       I wrote about planar stability in the CFR in 2013 but both of these
       issues have reached epidemic proportions especially Luxury vinyl
       plank.  The installers, adhesive and acclimation are being blamed
       for what is often the inherent inability of these products to lay flat
       or remain dimensionally stable.  Having said this there are certain-
       ly issues relative to the installation, environment, acclimation and
       levelness that can affect the material. Lest you think vinyl flooring    Radiant Heat Test
      1                                            Commercial Flooring Report                                  July 2017
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