SPC And WPC Best Flooring Solution
We get many questions from property managers and real estate professionals on what the difference is in luxury vinyl flooring when it comes to SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) and WPC (Wood Plastic Composite).
This article aims to explain what some of the differences are.
One of the new trends in flooring is the introduction of rigid core luxury vinyl flooring. Rigid core is vinyl flooring that is comprised of a more solid or “rigid” core that is added for additional durability. It is a glue less format with a click locking installation system.
There are two types of rigid core luxury vinyl. The first is Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) and the second is Wood Plastic Composite (WPC). While both share similar traits, it is important to note that there are differences between the two that should be taken into consideration.
SPC features a core that is typically comprised of around 60% calcium carbonate (limestone), polyvinyl chloride, and plasticizers.
WPC, on the other hand, consists of polyvinyl chloride, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, a foaming agent, and wood-like or wood materials such as wood flour. Manufacturers of WPC, which was originally named for the wood materials it was comprised of, are increasingly replacing the various wood materials with wood-like plasticizers.
The makeup of WPC and SPC is relatively similar, though SPC consists of far more calcium carbonate (limestone) than WPC, which is where the “S” in SPC stems from; it has more of a stone composition.
HOW THEY LOOK
Today’s digital printing technologies have enabled SPC and WPC planks to resemble wood, stone, ceramic, marble, and other unique finishes that are easy to produce both visually and texturally. You can also have the option for wider or longer planks.
HOW THEY HOLD UP
SPC and WPC flooring are comprised of multiple layers of backing that are fused together and contain a rigid core making them a harder product all around.
Because SPC’s core layer is comprised of limestone, it has a higher density in comparison to WPC, though it is thinner overall. This makes it more durable compared to WPC. Its high density offers better resistance from scratches or dents from heavy items or furniture being placed on top of it and makes it less susceptible to expansion in cases of extreme temperature change.
One important thing to note is that although SPC and WPC are often marketed as being waterproof, they are actually water resistant. Though neither product is entirely waterproof if submerged underwater, topical spills or moisture should not be an issue if properly cleaned in a reasonable amount of time.
HOW TO USE THEM
WPC and SPC were originally created for commercial markets because of their durability. Homeowners, however, have started using rigid core as well because of its ease of installation, design options and durability.
Aside from their easy-to-install click locking system, WPC and SPC do not require extensive subfloor prep prior to installation. You obviously want to install over a flat surface, but floor imperfections like cracks or divots are more easily hidden with SPC or WPC flooring due to their rigid core composition.
WPC tends to be more comfortable underfoot than SPC due to the foaming agent it is comprised of. Because of this, WPC is especially well suited for environments where employees or patrons are constantly on their feet.
In addition to offering more cushion when walking, the foaming agent in WPC provides more sound absorption than SPC flooring does, although many manufacturers offer an acoustic backing that can be added to SPC. WPC or SPC with acoustic backing are ideal for settings where noise reduction is key such as multi-unit dwelling complexes and office spaces.
SPC is typically slightly more affordable. Both are comparable overall since neither requires the use of an adhesive and both are easily installed with their click locking system. In the end, this helps to reduce installation time and costs.
In terms of which product is better overall, there isn’t one clear winner. WPC and SPC have many similarities, as well as a few keys differences. WPC may be more comfortable and quieter underfoot, but SPC has a higher density. Choosing the right product really depends on what your flooring needs are for a particular project or space.