Case Study: NeverStrip Field-Applied UV Coatings On Luxury Vinyl Tile (“LVT”)

 

NeverStrip Floor Coatings (“NeverStrip”) presents this Case Study discussing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Risks of applying NeverStrip field-applied, high-performance, ultra-violet light (“UV”) cured urethane coatings onto LVT immediately after flooring installation and/or well into the floors life cycle of use.

LVT has been a fast growing resilient flooring category for the past decade. This growth does not appear to be slowing. LVT accounted for 25.2% of total 2014 global resilient flooring sales, according to Grand View Market Research-Resilient Flooring Market Analysis and Segment Forecast to 2020.

Factory-Applied UV cured urethane coatings have become a standard feature with many LVT brands. These permanent coatings provide improved appearance; protection for the PVC wear layer from scuffs, scratches, staining and abrasion and often decrease (not eliminate) required maintenance.

NeverStrip Field-Applied UV cured urethane coatings, which fully-cure with 2-seconds of exposure to proper UV light, can provide enhanced LVT flooring attributes, features and customization not achievable with factory-applied coatings. Flooring Manufacturers, Flooring Dealers, Architects, Designers and End-Users all may benefit from the use of NeverStrip Field-Applied UV coatings for their LVT projects. These attributes, features and customization are often times available, whether the LVT has or does not have a factory-applied coating.

This Case Study does not in any fashion suggest factory-applied coatings on LVT should not continue or such coatings do not have significant value. They should continue to be used and these coating’s have great value.

This Case Study discusses the opportunities and weaknesses of field-applied UV coatings not as a substitute for factory-applied but as something different, something new, something of value. This approach is a way to enhance LVT, make it even more attractive, often times in ways not achievable with a factory-applied coating.

This Case Study supports the proposition that NeverStrip field-applied, UV urethane coatings applied onto LVT can be/will be a transformative development for the LVT flooring category in a similar way that factory-applied UV coatings were transformative.

We look forward to the reader sharing his or her thoughts and views on our perspective.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Risks

 

Strengths
1. Appearance-NeverStrip UV cured urethane coatings are clear, non-yellowing with a thinness of less than one mil. The coatings are universally praised for their attractive appearance.

2. Performance-NeverStrip coatings have scratch, abrasion, scuff, and stain resistance equal to or better compared to many LVT manufacturers’ factory-applied coatings [Based on extensive NeverStrip benchmarking against factory-applied urethane coatings from multiple global LVT flooring manufacturers-Testing results available from NeverStrip Floor Coatings].

3. Historical Concerns-NeverStrip has successfully addressed historical, field-applied UV coating issues associated with tensile-pull, yellowing and film flexibility.

4. Wet Coefficient of Friction– (“COF”)-NeverStrip UV coatings produce COF readings of 0.60 or better using a BOT 3000 E Slip Meter.

5. Recoat-ability and Ease of Maintenance-NeverStrip UV coatings are easily refreshable with a screen and recoat. These coatings do not require waxing, burnishing, interim scrub and recoats and stripping. Maintenance is essentially: keep the floor clean and protect the floor from improper furniture glides.

6. Sustainability-NeverStrip coatings are dramatically sustainable on multiple fronts: 1) the products have VOCs less than 50 g/L, 2) maintenance procedures use less electricity, less water and produce fewer VOCs and solid waste than many commonly employed maintenance systems and 3) the coatings refresh-ability in the field every 3, 5, 7 years provides the value of an exceptionally long use of the flooring before replacement and potentially much longer life than a factory-applied coating by itself. These extended years of use can greatly reduce cumulative solid waste associated with floor disposal.
Weaknesses
1. Field-applied UV coatings have a more expensive per sq. foot cost than a factory-applied UV cured urethane.

2. Field-applied UV coatings require Certified Technicians properly using the required UV curing equipment.
Opportunities
1. Dramatic reduction in ongoing, scuffs, stains and scratches are achievable, when compared to LVT without a factory-applied urethane.

2. Dramatic improvement in Clean-ability is often realized, especially with textured or embossed LVT without a factory-applied urethane.
3. Dramatic LVT refresh-ability is possible with or without a factory-applied urethane, which can extend the useful life of the floor to a more like new condition [this refresh-ability is a combination of re-conditioning the floor (removing many scuffs and surface scratches) and applying the desired NeverStrip field-applied UV cured coating.]

4. The ability to customize the sheen (matte, satin or gloss) for a new floor or totally change the gloss level on an existing floor is easily achieved.
5. The ability to convert an LVT floor with seams into a seamless floor by applying a field-applied UV coating, which bridges the seams. This attribute is a particularly important consideration within health care facilities, LVT’s #1 market. This capability may allow LVT to compete more effectively against other flooring alternatives, such as sheet vinyl.

6. The ability to substantially address/correct LVT sheen variation from the factory, when it infrequently happens.

7. Lower Life-Cycle Ownership Cost-NeverStrip UV coatings can provide for a lower total life cycle cost compared to 1) floors maintained with conventional floor care maintenance procedures and 2) an LVT floor with a factory-applied coating, which either cannot be refreshed or cannot easily be refreshed and renewed. NeverStrip field-applied UV coating are easily refreshed and provide the option for significantly longer wear, than a single application of a factory-applied coating. The significant extension of the useful life of the floor can greatly reduce total lifecycle ownership costs.
Risks
1. Safety risks, associated with the use of UV equipment with high temperatures and intense light, are present. NeverStrip field-applied UV coatings are skin sensitizers, which must be managed with proper gloves, clothing and procedures.

2. NeverStrip UV cured urethane coatings are permanent, no different than the factory-applied coatings. If mistakes are made, the coating cannot be removed but can be refreshed with its associated higher re-do costs.

Conclusion

NeverStrip believes this Case Study supports the premise that NeverStrip field-applied, UV urethane coatings on LVT can be/will be transformative for the LVT Category in a manner similar to how factory-applied UV coatings positively impacted LVT starting a decade or so ago.

Factory-applied urethane coatings have saturated the LVT market. Certainly, better, stronger, more durable technologies/products applied in the factory will be developed and brought to market.

Many of the attributes, features and values provided by NeverStrip field-applied UV coatings cannot ever be attained or achieved with a factory-applied coating. It is physically impossible (ex. seams to seamless flooring).

NeverStrip believes its state of the art UV coating technology and products, the advancements in UV curing equipment and the constant, ongoing desire by the market for more flooring attributes, more customization, more choices offer an attractive future for this new LVT field-applied UV Coating paradigm.

NeverStrip welcomes feedback and comments. Please contact Dave Beedie at 630-330-1010 or david.beedie@NeverStrip.com or anyone you know at NeverStrip.