One of the latest trends in home design is rigid core flooring. Many homeowners are choosing this stylish and relatively affordable option to give their home a fresh new look. But there are two main types of rigid core flooring from which to choose: SPC flooring and WPC flooring. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks that homeowners should consider before choosing between the two. Learn more about WPC and SPC vinyl floors to figure out which one is the best fit for your home.
SPC vs WPC Overview
Before going into the details, it’s important to understand the basics about stone plastic composite (SPC) rigid vinyl flooring and wood plastic composite (WPC) vinyl flooring. These two types of engineered vinyl flooring are quite similar, except for what composes their core layer.
For SPC floors, the core is comprised of natural limestone powder, polyvinyl chloride, and stabilizers.
In WPC vinyl floors, the core is made of recycled wood pulp and plastic composites. Both core layers are completely waterproof.
Besides the core, these two types of flooring are essentially the same makeup of layers. Here’s how a rigid core flooring plank is constructed from top to bottom:
- Wear layer: This is the layer that provides resistance to scratches and stains. It is thin and completely transparent.
- Vinyl layer: The vinyl is durable and strong. It is printed with the flooring pattern and color.
- Core layer: This is the waterproof core made from either stone plastic composite or wood plastic composite.
- Base layer: EVA foam or cork forms the base of the plank.
Main Differences between SPC and WPC Vinyl Floors
Besides the materials used to create the core of this flooring style, these are the key differences between WPC vinyl flooring and SPC vinyl flooring:
- Thickness: WPC floors have a thicker core than SPC floors. Plank thickness for WPC floors is generally about 5.5 to 8 millimeters, while SPC floors are usually between 3.2 and 7 millimeters thick.
- Foot Feel: When it comes to how the flooring feels underfoot, WPC vinyl has the advantage. Because it has a thicker core compared to SPC flooring, it feels more stable and cushioned when walking on it. That thickness also helps to provide insulation to keep the floors warmer.
- Sound Insulation: The thicker core of WPC floors also makes them superior when it comes to sound insulation. The thickness helps to absorb the sound, so it’s quieter when walking on these floors.
- Durability: You might think that WPC flooring would offer improved durability since it is thicker than SPC flooring, but the opposite is actually true. SPC floors may not be as thick, but they are considerably denser than WPC floors. This makes them better at resisting damage from impacts or heavy weights.
- Stability: WPC floors and SPC floors can both be installed in any room with moisture exposure and temperature fluctuations. But when it comes to extreme temperature changes, SPC flooring tends to offer superior performance. The denser core of SPC floors makes them even more resistant to expanding and contracting than WPC floors.
- Price: SPC floors are more affordable than WPC floors. However, don’t pick your floors based on price alone. Be sure to consider all the potential benefits and drawbacks between these two flooring options before choosing one.
Similarities Between WPC and SPC Flooring
While there are some important differences between SPC vinyl floors and WPC vinyl floors, it’s important to note that they also have quite a few similarities:
- Waterproof: Both of these types of rigid core flooring feature a completely waterproof core. This helps to prevent warping when exposed to moisture. You can use both types of flooring in areas of the home where hardwood and other moisture-sensitive flooring types are not typically recommended, such as laundry rooms, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.
- Durability: While SPC floors are denser and resistant to major impacts, both flooring types are resistant to scratches and stains. They hold up well to wear and tear even in high-traffic areas of the home. If you’re concerned about durability, look for planks with a thicker wear layer on top.
- Easy Installation: Most homeowners are able to complete a DIY installation with either SPC or WPC flooring. They are made to be installed on top of just about any type of subfloor or existing floor. You won’t have to deal with messy glues either, since the planks easily attach to one another to lock into place.
- Style Options: With both SPC and WPC vinyl flooring, you’ll have a huge range of style options at your fingertips. These flooring types come in just about any color and pattern, since the design is simply printed onto the vinyl layer. Many styles are made to look like other types of flooring. For example, you can get WPC or SPC flooring that looks like tile, stone, or hardwood flooring.
How to Shop for Rigid Core Flooring
To get the best results with this upgrade, look for planks that have a high thickness measurement and a thicker wear layer. This will help your floors look nicer and last longer.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re seeing all your options when you shop for SPC or WPC floors. Some companies and retailers have other labels or name attached to these products, such as:
- Enhanced vinyl plank
- Rigid vinyl plank
- Engineered luxury vinyl flooring
- Waterproof vinyl flooring.
Be sure to look at the details about what the core layer is made from to discern whether any of these flooring options feature a core made from SPC or WPC.
To make the right choice for your home, be sure to do your homework when it comes to different flooring types. While SPC vinyl flooring may be a better choice for one home, WPC flooring may be the better investment for another. It all depends on what you and your household require when it comes to a home upgrade. Regardless of whether you choose WPC or SPC flooring, however, you’ll get a durable, waterproof, and stylish flooring upgrade that’s easy to install using DIY methods.