Differences between SPC and WPC vinyl flooring

Differences between SPC and WPC vinyl flooring

26 September, 2022

Are you thinking about changing your floor but are undecided between SPC and WPC flooring? Learn the differences with us

Choosing the best flooring for a house is not easy. 

This is a topic that we have already touched on in our blog, but still having questions about it is normal. Besides, it is important to get well informed so we can properly decide which option best fits our needs.

In this case, we are going to talk about SPC and WPC flooring and point out their common characteristics and differences. 

SPC vs. WPC flooring: what you need to know

SPC and WPC flooring have many things in common. The most important are:

Easy to install

All vinyl floors are easy to install. As they are floating, we can lay them on top of a previous floor without using any fasteners or fixings, and without having to carry out any building work. The only requirements are that the floor must be correctly leveled, clean and dry, and solid. 

Resistance

Thanks to their composition, structure and technology, vinyl floors are resistant to knocks, scratches, scrapes and micro-impacts.

Maintenance

As they do not require specific or complex maintenance, it is only necessary to vacuum and wipe with a mop or a well wrung mop for cleaning. In addition, many SPC and WPC floors are 100% waterproof and can be installed in damp rooms, such as kitchens and bathrooms. 

Aesthetics

One of the great advantages of vinyl flooring is its aesthetics. Their finishes can imitate all types of materials. The most common is wood, but we can also find SPC and WPC floors made of granite, vinyl, cement, stoneware… 

WPC vs SPC vinyl flooring

So, how do WPC and SPC flooring differ?

Basically, in their structure and in the materials used for their manufacture.

Typically, vinyl flooring has four layers

  • A central core composed of a high density fiberboard. 
  • A surface layer or overlay (protective layer where the corundum particles that offer resistance to abrasion and wear are found). 
  • A decorative layer (generally of melamine paper on which the design is printed).
  • A backing layer that increases the stability of the floor’s shape and its resistance to humidity.

What differentiates SPC flooring from other vinyls is its central core, which, instead of being composed solely of wood fibers, has a combination of natural limestone and stabilizers. Hence its name: Solid Polimer Composite. 

The main consequence of using these materials is that they are denser, more stable and more wear-resistant than conventional vinyl flooring. 

WPC is a hybrid that combines the best properties of wood and plastic. 

It is made from a mixture of natural wood with polymers (recycled plastics) to obtain excellent structural properties and durability. 

In fact, the main advantage of this type of flooring is that its expansion is more controlled

Pros and cons of SPC and WPC floors

Advantages of SPC floors: 

  • They are 100% moisture resistant.
  • They are water-repellent. 
  • They are non-slip.
  • Expansion and contraction is minimal thanks to the mineral components of its central core.
  • They offer excellent thermal insulation.
  • They incorporate antibacterial and antistatic treatments.
  • Their aesthetic and design possibilities are practically infinite.
  • They bring warmth to the home. 
  • Their tread is very comfortable, silent and soft.
  • They are usually suitable for underfloor heating. 

Advantages of WPC flooring 

  • They are very resistant to temperature variations.
  • They are non-slip.
  • They are anti-allergic and hygienic. 
  • Their maintenance is simple (they do not need varnishes, oils or waxes), and their periodic cleaning is done with water. 
  • In spite of being made with wood, it is not a floor attacked by termites or insects. Nor does it splinter or crack. 
  • They are thick and provide a feeling of warmth.
  • They dampen sound.
  • They are versatile (there are a multitude of formats and colors).
  • They are sustainable and eco-friendly because they are usually manufactured with recycled products. 

Regarding the disadvantages of WPC floors, we can only point out that they are somewhat more sensitive than SPC to sun exposure and temperature changes. In fact, they undergo expansion and contraction, albeit moderate. 

SPC vs WPC flooring

SPC vs WPC floors: dilatation, resistance and soundproofing 

  • Expansion: the expansion and contraction of SPC floors vs that of WPC floors is much lower because their base is more solid.
  • Resistance: both offer high resistance. It is true that WPC seems more durable because it is thicker, but the density of SPC is higher. With respect to blows and scratches, both are perfectly protected. 
  • Soundproofing: because it is made of wood, WPC flooring offers better soundproofing and insulation than other laminate flooring, such as SPC. 

To summarize, you may be interested to know: 

Vinyl floors are subject to contractions and expansions due to environmental variations in temperature and humidity. 

SPC and WPC floors solve this problem totally or partially, although in different ways: the former add natural stone in their central core and the latter a mixture of wood and plasticizers. 

In the case of deformations, the mineral core of SPC floors makes them extremely durable and impact-resistant compared to traditional vinyl and laminates. 

In this sense, they are the best solution for not having to worry about bumps, scratches or deformities. 
If you need more information about these varieties of flooring or others, you can contact us through our L’Antic Colonial contact channels.

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