Choosing between SPC and WPC vinyl flooring might be a challenge for many people. You’re not the only one. Despite the fact that both floors appear to be the same on the surface, this is a common problem for many homes. To make a better informed decision, they need to go deeper into the underlying structure of each level to uncover some crucial differences.
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Interested in learning more about these discrepancies? SPC vs. WPC vinyl flooring is contrasted in this article, as are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of flooring. Continue reading to learn more.
What Is Rigid Core Flooring?
The new vinyl flooring for today’s demanding consumers is Rigid Core Flooring. It’s a luxurious material that can withstand a lot of harm, including water, and comes in both plank and tile form.
Moving beyond vinyl flooring will help you grasp stiff core. It is a thin, flexible substance that is attached to the subfloor. Some advantages of the rigid core are that it is firmer, thicker, and more durable. Even if it’s one of the most touted advantages is its capacity to handle water, it’s not the only one. In addition, it can handle subfloor irregularities, provide great sound insulation, and provide superior comfort under the feet.
This is when the jargon begins: The various benefits of vinyl plank flooring (or vinyl tile) are dependent on the type of construction you choose: WPC or SPC.
How WPC and SPC Come into Play
Layering is a common feature of luxury vinyl plank flooring, as it is with engineered hardwood. The standard number of layers is four, however this can vary from one manufacturer to the next. Starting with the surface, let’s examine the many layers:
The wear layer is located on top of the first layer. It’s scratch-resistant, transparent, and sturdy.
The second layer is the vinyl layer, which is made up of several compacted layers of vinyl. Between the wear layer and this vinyl layer, this layer permits the authentic embossing technique used to the printed decorative film.
The hard core layer is found in layer #3. The solid polymer core might be built of wood plastic composite (WPC) or stone plastic composite (SPC) (SPC).
The bottom layer is layer #4. Foam or cork is commonly used for the underside of planks and tiles.
In addition to sound absorption and underfloor heating, many WPC and SPC solutions also have an attached pad (underlayment).
What Is WPC?
Vinyl plank or tile flooring created from recycled wood pulp and plastic or polymer composites that have been expanded with air is known as WPC flooring. Wood polymer composite flooring is another name for it. Lightweight, low-density, and warm and soft underfoot, it is ideal for those who prefer a more comfortable shoe.
What Is SPC?
This type of vinyl flooring features a firm core comprised of powdered limestone, polyvinyl chloride, and stabilizers, and is known as stone plastic composite (SPC) or solid polymer core (SPC) flooring. Stone polymer composite flooring is sometimes referred to as such. It’s dense, dimensionally steady, silent, and powerful. In this category, there are two products from Beauflor, Pure and Beauflor Pure, both of which contain an attached pad.
SPC Vinyl Plank or Tile Construction
Similar to most laminated vinyl and laminated wood flooring, those with an SPC core are constructed up of five layers. In some cases, there are four levels, while in others there are six. There are, however, a lot of 5 layered choices available for residential use. This is how they’re put together, after all.
Cork is the most used material for the underlayment. Underlayment is pre-installed on each plank or tile, eliminating the need to purchase additional underlayment.
Cork (or rubber) acts as a moisture- and cold-blocking barrier beneath the plank while also providing a modest cushion for walking on.
The backing layer is positioned on top of the underlayment. The rest of the plank or tile is mounted on this thin paper-like substance. The mold would come apart if not for these sheets, which serve no use.
In the event that you purchase LVP without an underlayment, the backing layer will be on the bottom side. Different underlayment styles necessitate different types of backing layers.
The SPC comes into play here. In terms of thickness, it’s the heart of the LVP or LVT plank. The core layer is constructed of either an SPC or a WPC, as this page has explained (wood plastic composite). In the following section, we’ll compare SPC with WPC.
Vinyl and Image Layer
There are either 5 or 6 layers in your LVP at this point in the process. The picture is printed directly on the vinyl in some cases, while the vinyl layer is covered by a separate image layer in others.
Regardless of which route you take, the thin vinyl coating will keep the picture you’re looking for. This can be anything from a random pattern or color to a wood grain or stone-look vinyl pattern. High-resolution photos are used by better-quality brands. For some, the extra effort of using relief embossing to give the planks a more authentic appearance and feel is worth it.
Finally, a clear wear coating is applied to the top of the plank. This is the layer that acts as a barrier to keep the picture layer from getting scratched or gouged.
With SPC vinyl, you’ll typically find a wear layer of 8 to 12 mils, which will help or hurt the overall durability.
SPC Flooring Pros and Cons
A lot of good things can be said about SPC. There are, however, a few drawbacks to this option. Let’s have a look at the lists and see if you agree or disagree with the items on them.
Among the positive aspects of the coin are:
- Totally impermeable. This type of vinyl is completely waterproof and may be put in wet places, with most brands and styles.
- High-strength steel SPC vinyl, despite its thinness (approximately 5 to 6 mm), is exceptionally tough, robust, and will not bend or fracture.
- An easy-to-use product. Your floors can be cleaned using a vacuum, broom and dustpan, or even a wet mop once they’ve been fitted. It’s fine if you have robot cleaners.
- The process of setting up the system is quite simple. As a floating floor, vinyl planks and tiles may be installed without the need for nails or glue, making the process simple and easy for DIYers.
- It comes in a variety of different forms. Each brand has a different selection of styles, colors, and patterns. In general, however, you’ll be able to discover something to suit your tastes.
It’s not always a good time. Examine what you see.
- The ground is icy. As far as heat retention is concerned, SPC is not one of the better materials to work with. As a result, the flooring can feel a touch chillier than you’re used to in the winter.
- Affordability may be an issue for some. There are less expensive options for flooring, however SPC vinyl is more expensive than most. It’s not for everyone’s budget, costing on average $4 to $6 per square foot.
- To be used in the workplace. For the most part, commercial applications are the primary focus of SPC vinyl’s development and production. Because it is stiffer and more durable, it isn’t as ideal as a home flooring as other options.
- Not flimsy at all. You can image how difficult it would be to work with a plastic core made out of stone. Some people’s bare feet may find it difficult to walk on the flooring because of its lack of give.
What Do SPC And WPC Stand For?
Before we get into the differences between these two floor kinds, we need to know what the initials stand for and, most importantly, how each floor is formed..
SPC Vinyl Flooring
Stone Plastic Composite or Stone Polymer Composite is the abbreviation for SPC. Limestone (calcium carbonate), plasticizers, and polyvinyl chloride make up the flooring’s hard core (PVC).
UV coating protects them from sun discoloration; wear layer protects them from stains and scratches; vinyl layer commonly printed with different colors and designs; SPC core composed of limestone, PVC, stabilizers; foundation layer. UV coating protects them from sun discoloration. It’s hard to imagine a more firm, durable, and silent floor than this one.
WPC Vinyl Flooring
Waste wood or wood-like materials are combined with plasticizers, foaming agents, and other additives to form the composite material known as WPC (Wood Plastic Composite).
UV protection, wear and tear layer; printed vinyl; WPC core and the backing padding are all components of WPC flooring’s five-layer construction. In addition to providing protection from UV radiation and dents, these layers enhance comfort and style.
Differences Between SPC And WPC Vinyl Flooring
There is a lot of overlap between SPC and WPC vinyl flooring. Both are watertight, easy to install, and constructed to last. If you’re looking for the best flooring for your home, there are a few factors to keep in mind. For instance:
WPC appears to have the upper hand when it comes to floor comfort and how they feel underfoot. Aside from the added strength and stability that the limestone composite core provides, the floors’ coolness may be an issue for some users.
A major factor in the comfort of SPC flooring is the fact that the planks are often thinner, ranging in thickness from 3 mm to 7 mm. With a thickness of 5 to 8 millimeters, WPC planks are comfortable to walk on.
WPC flooring, on the other hand, don’t become as cold as SPCs because they have a wooden core. Comfortable under your feet since they retain heat better.
Resilience And Durability
A daily pounding on both SPC and WPC vinyl floors will keep them in good condition for many years. Wood-plastic composite (WPC) planks are typically quieter when walked on because of their thick wood-like core, but they are not as dense as SPC boards because of their stone core. As a result, SPC floors will last a lot longer than WPC ones.
With its strong traffic resistance, the SPC is an excellent choice for commercial applications. It’s a great option for areas with a lot of heavy furniture, too. This type of flooring is far more resistant to dents and scratches than WPC. Make sure that the brand you choose has a good wear and tear layer before you buy.
Many SPC and WPC vinyl producers have been working hard to keep up with the growing demand for pet-friendly flooring options in homes around the country.
In order to avoid flooring issues caused by your pet(s), make sure to purchase items that are easy to use for everyone in the household.
Vinyl has been found to be generally more pet-friendly than carpet or hardwood. It’s a better option for pets because its core isn’t as hard as that of SPC floors, and it maintains heat better than other types of flooring options. A WPC floor will be more comfortable for pets to walk and nap on.
SPC vinyl floors are more expensive than WPC vinyl floors. Cost per square foot for WPC and SPC planks is approximately $2.50 to $6 and $3.50 to $8, respectively.
The cost of WPC flooring might be greater or cheaper depending on the brand and quality of the materials used in its production. This may be owing to the fact that a wider variety of WPC flooring options are available.
However, before making a decision, consider the additional advantages and disadvantages of the two flooring options. You want to make sure that the flooring you select is not only cost-effective, but also meets your needs.
SPC Vs. WPC Vinyl Flooring: Which Flooring Is Better?
There is really not a clear answer when it comes to determining which flooring option is better. However, if you are on a budget, WPC vinyl does seem like something you would want to check out. Also, because it doesn’t feel cool underfoot like SPC does, it can be a great option if you have pets or a toddler.
It’s difficult to say with certainty which type of flooring is the best. For those looking to save money, WPC vinyl may be an option to consider. Because it’s not as comfortable underfoot as SPC, it’s a good choice if you have pets or a young child.
When To Select SPC Or WPC Vinyl Flooring
Determining the best type of flooring is a difficult task without a definitive solution in hand. For those looking to save money, WPC vinyl seems like an option to consider. Because it’s not as comfortable underfoot as SPC, it’s a good alternative for households with pets or young children.
- Renovating a previously unused space, such as a basement, to create a habitable living space: WPC flooring is a better choice here since it provides higher insulation. If you’re looking for an added layer of warmth, search for WPC planks that have padding attached.
- To build a home gym, go with SPC because it is more durable and solid. No need to worry about dropping huge weights that way.
- WPC is a better choice for a multi-story house since it minimizes noise. Consider adding padding to your chair to help reduce noise.
- Building a workshop: Because you will be standing for extended periods of time, WPC flooring would be a more practical option, as it’s more comfortable. Nevertheless, if you’re worried about damaging the floor with heavy or sharp objects, SPC may be a better option for you.
Tips For Buying SPC And WPC Flooring
Building a workshop: Because you will be standing for extended periods of time, WPC flooring would be a more practical option, as it’s more comfortable. Nevertheless, if you’re worried about damaging the floor with heavy or sharp objects, SPC may be a better option for you.
When building a workshop, WPC flooring would be the best option because you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. If, on the other hand, you’re concerned about heavy or sharp objects falling to the floor and scratching it, SPC might be a better option for you.
- Vinyl boards with a rigid core
- Vinyl flooring that has been given an upgrade.
- Vinyl planks that are waterproof
- Engineered vinyl is a type of flooring.
If you’re not sure what the core layer is built of, be sure to check the package. You don’t want to get stone plastic composite flooring if you were planning to buy wood plastic composite flooring or the other way around.
When to Choose WPC or SPC Flooring for your Home
Choosing the right construction for your new flooring might make a major difference depending on where it will be installed. There are a number of scenarios in which one type of flooring is preferable to another:
If you have a basement that is unheated, why not build a second floor that may be used for living space? Invest in WPC, which is superior at insulating. If you want extra warmth, go with a WPC like Palmetto Road Tidewater Collection, which comes with an attached pad.
Do you want to set up a home gym in your house? Don’t worry about losing weight when you use SPC. Sunroom completion? SPC performs better in three-season rooms that aren’t heated or cooled. Palmetto Road’s Impact and Inspire waterproof SPCs are excellent choices.
Why not set up a workshop? Standing for lengthy periods of time? WPC is a better option. If you’re worried about dents in your tools from dropped objects, SPC can alleviate your concerns.
Taking on a multi-story renovation? You can reduce the amount of noise that travels between floors by using WPC flooring. Add a pad for additional sound attenuation, and you have a wide range of choices.
Waterproof Flooring: Things to Keep in Mind
The vast majority of waterproof flooring choices are to be found alongside luxury vinyl plank and tile. If you want to get the most usage out of your WPC or SPC flooring, you’ll need to properly care for and maintain it.
Because these floors are water-resistant, the term “waterproof flooring” can be used to refer to floors that can withstand a variety of liquid spills. There’s no excuse for letting water (or any other liquid) accumulate on your flooring, regardless of their material. This might damage your floor permanently and may even void your warranty if you have one. Always clear up water as soon as possible and fix any structural issues that cause leaks or puddling as soon as possible.
Consult an expert in waterproof flooring to help you discover the right flooring for your needs.
SPC and WPC rigid core vinyl floor alternatives don’t have to be difficult to comprehend. If you’d like to see the gorgeous color and design possibilities to meet your style and budget, your local Twenty & Oak merchant would be pleased to guide you through showroom samples.
Best SPC Flooring Brand Reviews
1. Mohawk SPC Rigid Core Vinyl
If you’re looking for high-quality flooring at a reasonable price, go no further than Mohawk! This is demonstrated by their waterproof rigid core LVP series.
Mohawk is the perfect combination of practicality, sturdiness, and eye-catching design. They presently have a variety of LVT and LVP lines, ranging from wood-look to stone-like. Commercial grade SPC cores, like most SPC choices, look and work wonderfully in high-traffic homes.
You can get up to a 25-year scratch-resistant warranty with the SolidTech Plus range, which has the strongest scratch resistance in its class.
Mohawk’s planks aren’t as expensive as some of the other brands on this list, but they’re still an option worth considering.
2. InHaus LVP/LVT with SPC Core
Many low- and even mid-quality rigid core vinyl manufacturers employ PVC to reinforce their boards. Vinyl made by InHaus, a German company, is completely PVC-free.
In terms of aesthetics, their waterproof tiles are just what the market is looking for. If you’re willing to be a little more flexible with your color choices, you’ll be able to find a rug to fit practically any decor.
In terms of safety and durability, their Moto series has a wide range of resistances, from scratch to dent to stain to even fire. The Moto LVP is impervious to pet claws and heavy furniture, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.
As you may expect, InHaus offers some of the most expensive prices in the industry. They do, however, provide an unequaled lifetime warranty on the majority of their models.
3. COREtec Luxury Vinyl with SPC
COREtec is a premier mid-tier supplier of high-quality LVP for people on a budget. They are waterproof and scratch resistant but are thinner and less resistant than those of other manufacturers.
However, if you’re only using it for a small amount of time, you won’t notice. Aside from that, they provide a wider range of colors and styles than anyone else and do so at a lower price point across the entire country. There is no need to worry about finding the color and design you want in stock at your local home improvement store or online.
COREtec, on the other hand, makes up for its lack of further resistance to dents and gouges with its low price and simple installation. There is no need for an additional underlayment when using SPC planks because they are all cork backed.
4. Shaw Flooring Premium SPC Vinyl
Shaw flooring, in a nutshell, is priceless. As a top premium flooring company, they also have a wide range of flooring alternatives in terms of design, coloration, and pattern to match. Shaw flooring will cost you a little extra, but it is well worth it.
Their SPC vinyl alternatives have an industry-leading warranty (second only to InHaus).
You can be sure that these planks will never scratch, dent, ding, or fall apart because they are made by hand and have a realism that is unmatched in the vinyl industry.
Shop Shaw’s Floorte Pro or DuraTru lines if you’re looking for the best of the best. With these choices, you’ll be able to take every step in style, while still being able to rely on them for long-term use.
5. Phenix Luxury Vinyl Waterproof SPC
Phenix has you covered if selection is your goal. They have eight different lines of stiff core vinyl to choose from, which sets them apart from the competition. There’s a good chance Phenix has what you’re looking for.
They also have a plank and tile that is built to withstand the rigors of daily use in your home. A click-lock system and the absence of underlayments make their floating floor alternatives with SPC ideal for busy homes.
Heavy furniture and areas with a lot of foot traffic are considered to be vulnerable. Dents from heavy appliances and furniture, as well as the kind of traffic found in commercial buildings, can dull the flooring over time, even with normal use.
As a result of this, their floors are suitable for wet areas because they are 100% cork backed and 100% waterproof, even at the ground level. In addition, they are one of the few LVP manufacturers to offer full radiant heat application on all of their products.
Can SPC vinyl install with radiant floor heating?
Although it is possible, not all vinyl can be installed over radiant floor heating. Check with the product itself, or contact the maker, to be sure. Most radiant floor heating-compatible brands and styles will be prominently identified on the company’s website or LVP box.
I have an uneven floor, is SPC or WPC better suited for install?
LVP and LVT can be put over virtually any surface as a floating floor option. SPC, on the other hand, is usually the preferable choice for floors with uneven surfaces. To cover the uneven floor underneath, it is more resilient and rigid. Nevertheless, if the floor is truly terrible, the uneven places might cause the tiles to pop up when you walk on them, creating an unsafe situation as well as an unpleasant appearance on the floor.
Can I install SPC vinyl over other types of flooring?
SPC vinyl can be installed on nearly any other floor surface. Concrete, tile, stone, marble, and wood are all included in this category. Any type of laminate or vinyl sheet can be covered in this way. There are no concerns if the subfloor is not also a floating floor. Before installing the new flooring, make sure all existing LVP or LVT, carpet, and laminate planks are removed.
How can I tell if the LVP or LVT I have is SPC or WPC core?
If you can’t read the label or are purchasing a used item, bending the plank will reveal the truth. In the event that WPC cracks, it will easily peel away from the cracked area because of the material’s high degree of elasticity. When it does break, there will be a crisp snap rather than a creeping rip because SPC is extremely difficult to bend.
Will SPC vinyl increase my home’s resale value?
That’s not the case, regrettably. The resale value of a house will not be increased by installing vinyl, laminate, imitation wood, or any other type of flooring. Hardwood flooring is the only alternative that is guaranteed to last for the time being. A home’s value is unlikely to be increased even by installing engineered hardwood floors.
Which is better LVP or WPC?
You can’t even compare it to the most durable wood flooring out there! There are exceptions to this rule, though. Even while WPC luxury vinyl flooring isn’t the most durable, it is usually more durable than LVP made only from vinyl.
Which is better SPC or vinyl?
Durability. SPC vinyl outperforms WPC vinyl in terms of durability, although both are excellent options. Even the heaviest traffic or furniture won’t make a dent in the surface thanks to the stone-plastic hybrid core.
Is SPC flooring any good?
WPC/SPC is more durable than LVP, and in some cases even more durable. It can withstand the traffic of a busy household and is scratch, dent, and scuff resistant.
Is COREtec SPC or WPC?
Why and How COREtec Flooring Is Created. SPC and WPC luxury vinyl plank flooring are available from COREtec. Solid-Polymer Core (SPC) and Wood-Plastic Core (WPC) are abbreviations for the same thing.
Is COREtec a WPC?
It’s no secret that waterproof luxury vinyl plank flooring made by COREtec Plus is an industry leader (also referred to as W.P.C.). There is no better waterproof floor than contemporary luxury vinyl flooring that is both stylish and long-lasting.
What is the most durable waterproof flooring?
When it comes to waterproofing, ceramic and porcelain tiles excel. For easy cleaning and maintenance, these are practically impenetrable and do not allow liquids to seep through. Ultra-durable. Known as one of the most durable flooring solutions available, tile is a popular choice.
Understanding the fundamental distinctions between SPC and WPC vinyl flooring can help you decide which one is best for your project.
As a result, planks with a stone-plastic composite core, such as those used in commercial spaces or gyms, are more suited for high-volume situations. Residential areas will be best served by those with a wood-plastic composite core that is built for comfort.