Outside of real hardwood and natural stone flooring, you will find a vast selection of engineered flooring options. One of today’s most popular flooring materials is waterproof vinyl flooring; not the stuff sold on rolls, but incredibly long-lasting, durable, comfortable, and waterproof luxury vinyl tiles and planks that come in virtually every style imaginable.
UNDERSTANDING VINYL FLOORING TERMS
When shopping for waterproof vinyl flooring, you may encounter several terms and acronyms.
LVT – Luxury Vinyl Tile
LVP – Luxury Vinyl Plank
WPC – Wood Plastic Composite
SPC – Stone Plastic Composite
You might also hear waterproof vinyl flooring called enhanced vinyl plank, rigid vinyl plank, or engineered luxury vinyl flooring
WPC VS. SPC
What makes these floors waterproof is their rigid cores. In WPC, the core is made of natural recycled wood pulp fibers and a plastic composite material. In SPC, the core is made of natural limestone powder, polyvinyl chloride, and stabilizers.
Both types of rigid core floors are made up of 4 layers:
Wear layer – This is a thin, transparent layer that protects the flooring against scratches and stains.
Vinyl layer – The vinyl layer is where the design is printed. WPC and SPC come in a variety of styles to mimic natural stone, hardwood, and even exotic tropical hardwoods.
Core layer – The rigid core layer is what makes this floor waterproof, and is either composed of wood and plastic (WPC) or stone and plastic (SPC).
Base layer – The bottom layer is either cork or EVA foam.
Waterproof – Because both WPC and SPC vinyl flooring are completely waterproof, you can use them in places where you normally couldn’t use hardwood, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements (outside of South Florida).
Durable – Both WPC and SPC flooring are incredibly durable and long-lasting. They are scratch and stain resistant and work well in high traffic areas. For even more durability, choose a flooring with a thicker wear layer.
Easy to Install – DIY installation is an option for handy homeowners as the flooring is easy to cut and simply snaps together over virtually any type of subfloor. No glue is needed.
While WPC and SPC share many similarities, there are a few differences to point out that can help you better select the right flooring option for your home.
Thickness – WPC floors tend to have a thicker core and overall plank thickness (5.5mm to 8mm), versus SPC (3.2mm to 7mm). The additional thickness also gives WPC a slight advantage in terms of comfort when walking on it, sound insulation, and temperature regulation.
Durability – Because SPC core is made of stone, it is denser and slightly more durable when it comes to everyday traffic, major impacts, and heavy furniture.
Stability – If we didn’t live in South Florida, temperature stability would be another consideration. Because of SPC’s stone core, it is less susceptible to expansion and contraction that occurs with flooring in climates that experience extreme temperatures.
Price – In general, SPC vinyl flooring is less expensive than WPC. However, as with any flooring, do not make your selection on pricing alone. Do some research, consider where and how it will be used in your home, and pick the best product for your needs and budget.
Laminate Vinyl Floor carries a wide variety of both WPC and SPC waterproof vinyl flooring in styles that range from hardwood to natural stone looks.