Heterogeneous vinyl is the most common sheet flooring, often used in residential and light to medium commercial spaces. In contrast, homogeneous sheet vinyl is a specialty product made for heavier-duty commercial settings with higher traffic, heavy equipment, and rolling loads.
Heterogeneous vinyl flooring is constructed of multiple layers, whereas homogeneous sheet vinyl is made of the same material with uniform color or pattern throughout. Vinyl flooring thickness varies depending on the type.
Homogeneous sheet vinyl usually comes in 2 mm thickness. Even though that may seem thin compared to heterogeneous 3 mm vinyl flooring sheets or 12 mm vinyl flooring planks, 2 mm homogeneous sheet vinyl is actually more durable since the same material continues throughout the entire thickness. 

Installation and Maintenance

Both types of vinyl flooring sheets offer easy installation. Homogeneous flooring is typically glued down, while heterogeneous flooring can be glued down or floated over the subfloor. Rigid vinyl underlayment is mainly used with homogeneous flooring to smooth out the subfloor. Flooring underlay may be used with heterogeneous flooring for additional purposes, including sound absorption, moisture control, comfort underfoot, or thermal insulation.
Maintenance for both types of vinyl sheet flooring is also easy. Regular sweeping or vacuuming with occasional damp mopping will keep heterogeneous flooring looking its best. Homogeneous vinyl sheet is the most durable; however, able to perform to higher standards and sustain rigorous cleaning in more exacting commercial environments.

Heterogeneous sheet vinyl vs homogeneous sheet vinyl flooring, which is best?

Heterogeneous is the optimal choice for home and residential use and is more affordable with a much wider array of colors and styles to choose from. However, for commercial spaces, the choice between heterogeneous and homogeneous vinyl sheet flooring will come down to which performance features the environment requires. 

Differences in Flooring Structure

The construction of the two types of vinyl flooring sheets is entirely different. Heterogeneous sheet vinyl is made of several layers. The backing is the bottom layer that lies against the subfloor or underlayment. On top of the backing, a fiberglass dimensional layer gives the flooring strength. Next, a printed layer provides flooring with its attractive design. Then a tough wear layer protects the printed layer from damage. And finally, the finish layer makes the flooring easy to clean and often includes UV protectants to prevent fading or yellowing.
In contrast, homogeneous sheet vinyl is the same throughout — just one solid, high-performing layer of vinyl. Some homogeneous products are also coated with a finish for easy cleaning and UV protectant.
Both types of vinyl flooring are water and stain resistant and easy to clean, but homogeneous sheet vinyl provides superior resistance to chemicals and stains, which is important in healthcare and industrial environments. Blood, iodine, and other substances wipe up easily with no staining on homogeneous sheet vinyl floors, which is essential in healthcare applications. 
H·FLOR FUMED WALNUT from Natural Selection Plus Collection

Differences in Scratch Resistance

Because the color and design run throughout the depth of the flooring, homogeneous sheet vinyl is more scratch resistant. And if scratches happen, slight imperfections can be smoothed out and polished to look new again.
High-quality heterogeneous vinyl sheet flooring is tough enough to tolerate general household wear and tear, but replacement is usually the only solution if a heterogeneous floor gets scratched.

Differences in Heat Resistance

Constructed with a higher content of stone powder, homogeneous vinyl flooring offers greater heat and fire resistance. Also more resistant to dents, homogeneous sheet vinyl stands up to rolling loads and heavy equipment better than heterogeneous sheet vinyl.
Homogeneous sheet vinyl is also preferred in areas that need to be sterile, such as operating rooms and laboratories. The resiliency helps mitigate foot and back fatigue as well.

Differences in Vinyl Flooring Colors and Designs

Design is one area where heterogeneous vinyl sheet flooring shines. Due to its design layer, essentially a photo layer, heterogeneous flooring can take on any look imaginable. Solid colors, stripes, polka dots — absolutely any pattern. Most popular looks emulate more expensive flooring like hardwood, stone, or ceramic tile.
Because homogeneous vinyl is the same from top to bottom, the design also goes throughout rather than being printed on top. Homogeneous designs are often solid or specked, using different combinations of colored PVC chips during production, and the size and color of the chips create the design.
Design can also be created with homogeneous vinyl on a large scale by using multiple colors of sheets and cutting the vinyl into large shapes. Skilled designers even incorporate school mascots or commercial branding to enhance commercial spaces. Creative use of homogeneous vinyl can facilitate wayfinding, separate specific areas in open-space design, and give commercial spaces friendlier, less institutional vibes.

Differences in Applications

Heterogeneous sheet vinyl has been used successfully in residential and light to medium commercial interiors for decades. Its wide variety of looks that can emulate almost any material makes it an excellent product for residential, multifamily, workplace, hospitality, and retail segments.
Homogeneous flooring offers a more durable option for heavier traffic and heavier-duty use in applications like education and healthcare — including hospitals with operating rooms and university laboratories, light industrial environments, and some hospitality and retail spaces. 

Contact Us

If you are looking for vinyl flooring for residential or commercial settings, LX Hausys offers HFLOR brand-name luxury vinyl planks and tiles, heterogeneous sheet, and homogeneous sheet vinyl to suit any space. You may also want to look through LX Hausys HFLOR Inspiration Gallery for creative ideas. If you have any questions or need assistance with your flooring selection, LX Hausys experts are happy to help. Complete a short contact form, and an HFLOR representative will respond quickly.