One of the latest luxury vinyl products is rigid core luxury vinyl flooring, which is a type of luxury vinyl flooring comprised of a more solid or “rigid” core for added durability. Rigid core luxury vinyl is a glueless format with a click locking installation system.
Two types of rigid core luxury vinyl are Stone Plastic Composite (SPC flooring) and Wood Plastic Composite (WPC flooring). When it comes to SPC vs. WPC flooring, it is important to note that while both share a variety of traits, there are differences between the two that should be considered when deciding which will work best for your space or interior design project.
SPC rigid core flooring, which stands for Stone Plastic (or Polymer) Composite, features a core that is typically comprised of around 60% calcium carbonate (limestone), polyvinyl chloride and plasticizers.
WPC, on the other hand, stands for Wood Plastic (or Polymer) Composite. Its core typically 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.
In order to better understand the similarities and differences between SPC flooring and WPC flooring, it is helpful to look at the following quantifiable qualities: Look & Style, Durability & Stability, Applications, and Cost.
Look & Style
There is not much difference between SPC flooring and WPC flooring in terms of what designs each one offers. With today’s digital printing technologies, SPC and WPC tiles and planks that resemble wood, stone, ceramic, marble, and unique finishes are easy to produce both visually and texturally.
Aside from design options, recent advancements have been made regarding different formatting options. Both SPC and WPC flooring can be made in a variety of formats including wider or longer planks and wider tiles. Multi-lengths and widths of either packaged in the same carton are also becoming a popular option.
Durability & Stability
Similar to dryback luxury vinyl flooring (which is the traditional type of luxury vinyl that requires an adhesive to install), SPC flooring and WPC flooring are comprised of multiple layers of backing that are fused together. However, unlike dryback flooring, both flooring options feature a rigid core and are a harder product all around.
Because SPC’s core layer is comprised of limestone, it has a higher density in comparison to WPC, though 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.
Rigid core products including WPC flooring and SPC flooring were originally created for commercial markets because of their durability. However, homeowners have started using rigid core as well because of its ease of installation, design options and durability. It is important to note that some SPC and WPC products vary from commercial to light commercial use, so it is best to always consult your manufacturer to know which warranty applies.
Another highlight for both SPC vinyl plank and WPC flooring, aside from their easy-to-install click locking system, is that they do not require extensive subfloor prep prior to installation. Though installing over a flat surface is always a good practice to be in, floor imperfections like cracks or divots are more easily hidden with SPC flooring or WPC flooring due to their rigid core composition.
Comfort & Noise reduction
WPC is generally more comfortable underfoot and less dense than SPC due to the foaming agent it is typically 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 flooring with backing are ideal for settings where noise reduction is key such as classrooms or office spaces.
SPC and WPC flooring are similar in price, though SPC flooring is typically slightly more affordable.
WPC flooring and SPC flooring have many similarities, as well as a few keys differences. WPC may be more comfortable and quieter underfoot, but SPC flooring has a higher density. Choosing the right product really depends on what your flooring needs are for a particular project or space.