Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Vinyl Flooring, What Are The Difference?

Sheet vinyl flooring is the most popular choice for the commercial segment with good reasons. You can see it in healthcare, retail, education, station, corporate, even some hospitality and multi-family housing. There are mainly 2 kinds of vinyl flooring base in structure: homogeneous vinyl flooring and heterogeneous vinyl flooring. Lots of people may confuse about these two types of vinyl floorings.

In this article, as one of the leading sheet vinyl factory in the world, we will mainly talk about the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous vinyl flooring.

 It’s an in-depth article that takes 20 minutes to read.

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Homogeneous & Heterogeneous Vinyl Flooring, What Are The Difference?

1) Structure Difference

Structure Difference: The homogeneous flooring is a single layer structure, while the heterogeneous flooring is a multi layer structure.

Homogeneous Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Homogeneous vinyl sheet flooring is the one single layer flooring with same content from top to bottom made by same mixed raw materials.

When it is only one layer flooring, it will have the better functions of high wear resistant, more durable, scratch resistant, antibacterial and fungicidal. Homogeneous sheet vinyl is perfect for heavy traffic areas.

Homogeneous vinyl sheet structure
Heterogeneous Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Heterogeneous vinyl sheet flooring is the multi layer flooring with different contents from top to bottom. A good heterogeneous vinyl sheet contains 5 layers.

UV Layer

Wear Layer

Printing Layer

Glass-fiber Layer

Backing Layer

Below we will explain the function of each layer one by one:

UV Layer: The UV layer on the surface of vinyl flooring is a way of surface reinforcement treatment with epoxy resin, which can play the role of anti pollution and effective absorption of ultraviolet rays, enhance wear resistance, delay product aging, easy cleaning and antibacterial

Wear Layer: Wear Layer is increase the wear resistance, so the sheet vinyl flooring can be more durable, scratch resistant, easy cleaning and with longer life expectancy.

Printing Layer: Printing layer is the printing on the flooring. Normally we will use rotogravure printing. The quality is very good, and basically you can print whatever patterns you need on the heterogeneous flooring. You can also call homogeneous flooring custom printing available.

Glass-fiber Layer: Glass-fiber layer is also call Stable Layer, it stabilize the size of the vinyl flooring and prolong the flooring life. The sheet vinyl flooring does not shrink and it will become more stable.

Backing Layer: Backing layer is thick and resilient, so please will feel more comfortable when they walk on the floor. It can also keep the floor warm in cold weather. Of course when it is thick, it can also with the function of sound absorption. For special acoustic flooring, we can just simply increase the thickness of the backing layer, and the sound absorption function will perform very well.

4 Heterogeneous vinyl sheet struture

2) Production Difference

Homogeneous sheet flooring is produced by Vulcanization molding forming process; directional homogeneous flooring is by one time forming process, while non directional homogeneous flooring is by multi forming process.

Heterogeneous sheet flooring is produced by lamination. All the layers laminated together.

Homogeneous Vinyl Sheet Flooring Production Video

From Forbo Youtube

3) Patterns and Colors Differences

As we mentioned above, heterogeneous sheet vinyl  has rotogravure printing layer so it has more patterns and colors and homogeneous sheet vinyl.

Basically you can print any patterns you want for heterogeneous flooring, as long as it’s not too complicated to print. And the printing quality is good. But one thing we need to pay attention to is we will need to make printing plates for rotogravure printing, the more colors you design it is, the more printing plates you need. And the printing plate cost is very high, normally more than USD1500 per color.

For homogeneous flooring, there are only directional and non directional patterns. When the factory making the flooring with PVC powder, Non directional patterns take more time and process to do it, the quality is better and the cost is higher.

8 sheet vinyl flooring homogeneneous pvc flooring roll
Homogeneous sheet vinyl flooring
4 sheet vinyl flooring heterogeneous pvc flooring roll
Heterogeneous sheet vinyl flooring

4) Sound Absorption Difference

Heterogeneous sheet vinyl flooring have backing layer, normally it will contains foam; so it performs better in sound absorption than homogeneous sheet vinyl flooring.

13 heterogeneous pvc sheet vinyl flooring singing room
Recording Studio (Heterogeneous flooring)

5) Fire Resistance Difference

Homogeneous vinyl flooring has the entire wear layer from surface to bottom. So the fire resistant function is better than heterogeneous vinyl flooring.

11 sheet vinyl flooring homogeneneous pvc flooring roll

6) Anti-Indentation Resistance Difference

Homogeneous vinyl floor has more stone powder, so it’s anti-indentation performs better than homogeneous vinyl floor, especially there is foam in the back layer of heterogeneous vinyl floor.

Sheet Vinyl flooring gym flooring 4

7) Scratch Repairing Difference

When talking about vinyl flooring reparing: Homogeneous sheet flooring is a single layer structure. Whenever there is scratch, you can just polish it, or at most wax it, then it will look new. It is the same for heterogeneous if it is slight scratch, but it will be difficult to repair if it is deep scratch, there might be no way to repair but have to replace it with another piece. Of course you don’t need to replace the whole roll flooring; it is ok as long as it can cover the scratched area.

4 vinyl flooring waxing

8) Antibacterial and Fungicidal Function Difference

When there is a single layer structure for homogeneous flooring, so it performs better in antibacterial and fungicidal function cause nowhere to hide for bacteria. Heterogeneous is good, but not that perfect as homogeneous flooring.

9) Application Difference

Homogeneous flooring is well recognized for its ultra durable and antibacterial function, so it is better to use in heavy traffic areas such as station, airport; and hygienic areas such as hospital and healthcare center. When a customer needs hospital grade sheet vinyl flooring, it means homogeneous flooring.

Heterogeneous flooring is well recognized for it’s sound absorption, resilient and beautiful colors, so it can be use in office, dancing room, singing room and kindergarten.

7 sheet vinyl flooring homogeneneous pvc flooring roll
Homogeneous Flooring
Vinyl sheet flooring for kindergarten
Heterogeneous Flooring

10) Cost Difference

There are many factors to influence the cost.

If it is same thickness, normally the homogeneous flooring is more expensive cause the overall material is with higher cost.

But if the wear layer is very thick for heterogeneous flooring, the price might be higher than the homogeneous flooring.

2 sheet vinyl flooring heterogeneous pvc flooring roll

Extra Notes:

There is ESD sheet vinyl flooring in the market, this is a very popular anti-static flooring category. But only homogeneous flooring can make it with ESD function. When a customer needs ESD vinyl flooring, it is homogeneous ESD vinyl flooring. It can be either ESD sheet vinyl or ESD vinyl tile.

3 ESD vinyl flooring
ESD vinyl flooring


There is no better or worse between homogeneous vinyl flooring and heterogeneous vinyl flooring, but diffrent product is more suitable for different applications. 

This article is written by Longda Flooring (www.longdaflooring.com), the largest vinyl sheet flooring manufacturer from China. 

Please contact Longda flooring for a free quote on your vinyl flooring needs. We have quick response, efficient communication, quality products, on time delivery, and competitive price.

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