Are you having trouble choosing between SPC and WPC vinyl flooring? You are not alone. Many homeowners often experience the same difficulty, particularly because, on the surface, both floors look typically the same. But once they dig a little deeper into the core structure of each flooring, they get to learn some key disparities between the floors that help them choose more wisely.
Eager to find out what these differences are? This article compares SPC vs WPC vinyl flooring and highlights some of the aspects that make each floor type a better option than the other. Read on.
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What Do SPC and WPC Stand for?
Before we discuss how these two floor types differ from each other, it is important that we understand what the initials stand for and, importantly, how each floor is constructed.
SPC Vinyl Flooring
SPC stands for Stone Plastic Composite or Stone Polymer Composite. The flooring has a rigid core made of limestone (calcium carbonate), plasticizers, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
SPC vinyl floors consist of five layers – UV coating that prevents them from discoloration from the sun, wear layer that makes them stain– and scratch-resistant, vinyl layer usually printed with different colors and patterns, SPC core made of limestone, PVC, and stabilizers, and a base layer. These floors are dense, sturdy, quiet, and dimensionally stable.
WPC Vinyl Flooring
WPC is short for Wood Plastic Composite and its core comprises of recycled wood or wood-like materials, PVC, plasticizers, calcium carbonate, and a foaming agent.
Like SPC, the WPC flooring is made of five layers, namely; UV protection, wear and tear layer, printed vinyl layer, WPC core, and the backing padded layer. These layers enhance comfort and style while offering protection against dents and ultraviolet rays.
Differences Between SPC and WPC Vinyl Flooring
As stated, SPC and WPC vinyl floors are very similar. Both are waterproof, easy to install, and are built to stand the test of time. But there are some things that make one flooring option more superior to the other as discussed below and shown in this video. For example:
When it comes to comfort and how the floors feel underfoot, WPC seems to hold all the cards. Sure, the limestone composite core in SPCs makes these floors strong and stable, but it also does make them feel cool underfoot, and because of this, some people may find them a little uncomfortable.
Also, SPC flooring is usually thinner, with most planks ranging between 3 mm and 7 mm thick, and this plays a huge role in determining their level of comfort. WPC planks are usually between 5 mm and 8 mm thick, which makes them feel more cushioned when walked on.
In addition, because WPC floors have a wooden core, they don’t get as cold as SPCs. They retain heat much better, making them feel more comfortable underneath your feet.
Resilience and Durability
Both SPC and WPC vinyl floors can withstand daily abuse and last for many years. The thick wood-like core in WPCs will usually keep the planks quieter when stepped on, but will not be as dense as the stone core in SPCs. As such, SPC floors will be far much durable than their WPC counterparts.
If you are looking for flooring that would be perfect for a commercial setting, the SPC would be a great option, as it can hold up extremely well in high traffic. It would also be an amazing choice for rooms with heavy objects. This flooring can handle dings and scratches much better than WPC flooring. Just make sure you are buying a brand that has good wear and tear layer.
With more and more homeowners turning toward flooring products that are comfortable for their furry friends, SPC and WPC vinyl manufacturers have tried their best to keep up with the trend.
Any animal that lives with you inside the house is bound to cause problems with your flooring, that’s why it is important to get products that will make life easier for everyone.
Vinyl has been found to be generally more pet-friendly than carpet or hardwood. WPC flooring, especially, is considered a better choice for pets because its core is not as hard as that of SPC floors and it retains heat pretty well. A WPC floor will be more comfortable for pets to walk and nap on.
SPC and WPC vinyl flooring gives you an opportunity to enjoy your favorite pattern of wood grain without having to incur the high price of buying natural wood.
However, we feel that WPC floors will likely provide a wider range of patterns and styles to choose from because they have been around much longer than SPCs. So, if you are looking for a completely unique design, you would be better off checking in the wood plastic composite vinyl isle.
Depending on the brand and quality of the materials used to make the flooring, the pricing can go a little higher or lower, but WPC always seems to cost somewhat lower. This can be due to the fact that wood plastic composite floors usually have a more extensive range of products.
It is important, however, to think about other pros and cons of the two flooring options before picking one. You want to be sure you are choosing a flooring not just because it fits your budget but also because it can serve your desired purpose.
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.
But it is also important to remember that SPC vinyl floors have an extremely sturdy core, meaning, they can withstand daily abuse much better than WPCs, which also means they are more durable.
Putting all these factors into consideration, it would be best to base your buying decision on how you plan to use the flooring. If you are looking for something that can handle high traffic well, consider a stone plastic composite core. But if you are more concerned about comfort, check out the thicker, more cushioned wood plastic composite core.
When to Select SPC or WPC Vinyl Flooring
Depending on where you intend to install your new vinyl flooring, choosing the right construction can make a huge difference. Below are some of the situations where it would make more sense to pick SPC over WPC and vice versa.
- Making a living area over an unheated floor such as the basement: In this case, it would be best to go for WPC flooring so you can have better insulation. For extra warmth, look for WPC planks with attached padding.
- Building a gym at home: Pick SPC, as it’s sturdier and more stable. That way, you won’t have to worry about dropping heavy weights.
- Refurbishing a multi–level house: WPC will fare much better, as it will keep sound to a minimum. Consider options with extra padding for added sound absorption.
- 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. However, if you are worried about dropping sharp or heavy pieces of equipment and denting the floor, consider SPC; you will have better peace of mind.
Tips for Buying SPC and WPC Flooring
To get the best value for money, go for planks that are generally thicker and whose wear and tear layer is thicker. It will make the flooring feel more comfortable underfoot and help it last longer.
It is also important that you do some research before heading to a flooring store so you can have an idea of the various SPC or WPC vinyl flooring options available on the market. Also, note that some retailers will have different names for these floors such as:
Make sure to read the information on the package so you can understand what the core layer is made of. You don’t want to buy stone plastic composite flooring while you really intended to purchase wood plastic composite flooring or the opposite.
Understanding SPC and WPC vinyl flooring and the key differences that make each floor a more preferred option over the other can help you figure out which one would be the most appropriate for your project.
Planks with stone plastic composite core, for instance, will be more suitable for high-traffic areas like commercial spaces or workout areas, as they are stiffer and more resilient. Those with a wood plastic composite core, on the other hand, are designed for comfort and will be a better option for residential spaces.