LVP is becoming increasingly popular because it provides a huge “bang” of durability for your buck. Compared to site finished or prefinished flooring, it is significantly less expensive and boasts protection from scratches, dents, and moisture. This durable flooring option is great for bustling family homes, rental properties, and even businesses. The installation process is quick, minimally disruptive, and the result is a huge visual impact with relatively low budget requirements. It’s no wonder that so many Northern Colorado homeowners choose LVP for their homes!
WPC vs. SPC
With so many LVP options on the market, it is important to know that not every option is created equal. All brands of LVP are made up of multiple layers, generally including a backing, core, and wear layer. One of the most distinctive differences between LVP products is the material that makes up the core. LVP will either have a Wood Polymer Core (WPC) or a Stone Polymer Core (SPC). So, what is the difference between WPC and SPC flooring?
Though both options are fully waterproof and can go in any room of your home, SPC flooring (sometimes also called “rigid core flooring”) is the most durable LVP option on the market. The dense core of SPC flooring is incredibly difficult to dent, so it is a great option for homes or businesses with any amount of traffic. Since LVP cannot be refinished, long-term durability is very important to most homeowners who choose SPC flooring. At Perennial Hardwood and Flooring, we believe that SPC flooring is the gold standard of durability, affordability, and style. We proudly carry a wide variety of beautiful SPC options!
Generally speaking, WPC flooring has been around longer and is considered the more “traditional” option. Since it features a wood-polymer core, it is more comfortable than SPC flooring but tends to be slightly less durable. Because of the softer core, WPC flooring is vulnerable to denting under the pressure of furniture, appliances, or other heavy objects. This can also cause issues with installation if the subfloor is not entirely flat, which can require a heavy amount of prep work. Your professional LVP installer will know the subfloor specifications that need to be met prior to installation.
The most important aspect of LVP flooring, regardless of the core material, is the wear layer. The wear layer is not the same as the overall thickness of the floor. In fact, though it may seem like thicker LVP boards are higher quality or more durable, the opposite is usually true. Typically, SPC flooring is significantly thinner than WPC flooring, but SPC is more durable.
The wear layer is the topmost layer of the floor that protects it from wear and tear. The thicker the wear layer, the more protected it is and the longer it should last. Wear layers for most LVP products on the market usually range anywhere from 6-20mil depending on the manufacturer. (Note that “mil” is NOT the same as mm, it is a smaller unit of measurement). Some brands that specialize in flooring for heavy traffic and commercial settings offer wear layers in the 30-40mil range. Budget flooring from big box retailers like Home Depot or Lowe’s are typically on the lower end of this range. The wear layer is the most expensive part of a LVP floor. The thicker it is, the more expensive the product will usually be. It’s worth it, we promise! The thickness of the wear layer is so important because the printed material under it is extremely thin and fragile, so once the wear layer is deteriorated from use, you may see significant damage to your floor.
We typically steer our clients away from anything with less than a 12mil wear layer, because we believe that new flooring is an important investment and we want to make sure that our clients get good quality for their money. Most of the LVP we carry boasts a 20mil wear layer that ensures durability regardless of children, pets, heavy traffic, or tenants on the floor. If you want to learn more about the 12mil and 20mil LVP flooring we offer, visit our LVP page here.
Durability + Style
Most homeowners gravitate toward LVP flooring because of its high durability and relatively low price point. For many homeowners, a waterproof flooring option is the perfect solution. Unlike hardwood or carpet, LVP is well-suited for moisture-prone rooms like bathrooms and laundry rooms. It also works great in basements and even home gyms. Compared to other flooring options, LVP is relatively low maintenance and easy to maintain. It doesn’t require refinishing and can be easily cleaned with almost any cleaning instrument, which is part of what makes it such a great flooring option for businesses and rental properties.
Another wonderful aspect of LVP flooring is the countless style and design options available. Because the designs are printed onto the boards, the options are literally limitless. Whether you are looking for rustic, modern, neutral, or unique, there is absolutely an LVP option for you. There are even options that mimic exotic hardwood species and stone! LVP is a great stylistic option because it can achieve some results that aren’t possible with real wood and can bring any design dream to life.
When you are considering which flooring option is right for you, LVP has many benefits – it is affordable, durable, and beautiful! If you are ready to move forward or just want to learn if LVP is right for you, Contact Us to schedule your complimentary estimate today!