The decision to invest in new flooring is a significant one, and with the variety of options available today, the choice can feel overwhelming. Among the trending and reliable options are Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring (LVP), both offering aesthetic appeal coupled with durability. However, within the LVT and LVP world, the choice between a Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) or Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) core can often leave customers confused.
Despite common references, WPC and SPC are not technically flooring in themselves, but rather cores that provide the backbone for LVT and LVP flooring. Understanding the distinct differences, advantages, and disadvantages between WPC and SPC can help you make the best flooring choice for your project.
What is the SPC Core?
SPC, or Stone Plastic Composite, is a type of core used in the composition of LVT and LVP. SPC core is renowned for its remarkable durability. It is a blend of stone dust, predominantly limestone, and stabilisers, encapsulated by PVC. This formation creates a core that is not only incredibly dense but also impervious to temperature fluctuations and humidity, making SPC rigid core flooring a perfect choice for spaces subject to these conditions.
What is the WPC Core?
Conversely, WPC, or Wood Plastic Composite, is another type of core used in LVT and LVP. Contrary to the SPC, WPC is composed of recycled wood pulp and plastic composites. Though it might lack the absolute density of an SPC core, WPC flooring has a distinct advantage in being resilient and more comfortable underfoot, thanks to the wood-like composition. As a result, WPC-based LVT or LVP flooring can offer a softer, warmer feel in comparison to its SPC counterpart.
What are the Advantages of the SPC Core?
The Stone Plastic Composite core has several advantages that make it a strong contender in the flooring market. Here are a few of them:
- Durability: As mentioned earlier, the SPC core’s composition results in an incredibly dense and hard underlay. This means it can withstand high amounts of traffic and pressure without any significant damage.
- Water resistance: The SPC core’s composition also makes it water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and areas where spills may occur.
- Temperature and humidity stability: Due to its stone component, SPC flooring retains stability in varying temperatures and humidity levels, making it suitable for conservatories and other rooms with significant temperature fluctuations.
What are the Disadvantages of SPC Core?
Despite its numerous advantages, the SPC core also has some downsides:
- Hardness: While the density of SPC is a strength in terms of durability, it can also be a disadvantage. The flooring might feel hard underfoot, making it less comfortable than its WPC counterpart, especially when standing for extended periods.
- Noise: Due to its hardness and density, SPC flooring might produce more noise when walked upon compared to other flooring options.
What are the Advantages of WPC Core?
Now, let’s take a look at the advantages of the Wood Plastic Composite core:
- Comfort: Due to its wood pulp composition, WPC flooring provides a softer, warmer feel underfoot compared to SPC.
- Insulation: The wood-like nature of the WPC core adds a layer of insulation to the flooring, making it a great choice for rooms where a cozy feel is desirable, like lounges or bedrooms.
- Sound absorption: Unlike its SPC counterpart, WPC flooring is quieter to walk upon due to its capacity to absorb sound better.
What are the Disadvantages of WPC Core?
While the WPC core offers several impressive advantages, it’s essential to be aware of its potential disadvantages as well:
- Less rigid: The WPC core doesn’t offer the same level of rigidity as SPC, which could be a concern in areas with heavy foot traffic.
- Susceptibility to temperature changes: WPC may not be the best choice for areas with significant temperature fluctuations since it can potentially expand or contract.
To provide a more in-depth understanding, the next section will offer a side-by-side comparison of SPC and WPC cores.
SPC vs. WPC Core Comparison
|Feature||SPC Core||WPC Core|
|Durability||High (due to high density)||Moderate (less rigid than SPC)|
|Stability in Temperature/Humidity Fluctuations||Excellent||Moderate (potential expansion/contraction)|
|Comfort Underfoot||Moderate (can feel hard)||High (softer, warmer feel)|
|Noise When Walked Upon||Can be louder||Quieter due to sound absorption|
|Suitable Room Types||Bathrooms, kitchens, conservatories||Lounges, bedrooms, less temperature-varying spaces|
When To Choose SPC Core
Given its durability, water resistance, and stability under varying conditions, SPC core is an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and conservatories. It’s also ideal for commercial spaces with high foot traffic.
When To Avoid SPC Core
If comfort underfoot is a high priority, such as in children’s rooms or living areas, SPC flooring might not be the best choice. Its hardness could also result in increased noise, so if you’re looking for a quieter flooring option, you might want to reconsider SPC.
When To Choose WPC Core
WPC core is a fantastic option for areas where comfort and warmth are a priority, such as lounges or bedrooms. Its better sound absorption can make it a preferred choice for upper-level rooms and offices.
When To Avoid WPC Core
If you’re dealing with areas that have significant temperature fluctuations, heavy traffic, or potential for water exposure, WPC might not be the most suitable choice.
Both SPC and WPC offer unique advantages and have certain limitations. Your choice between SPC and WPC cores for your LVT or LVP flooring should ultimately depend on the specific needs and conditions of the space you’re renovating. By understanding these differences, you can make a more informed decision and find a solution that perfectly fits your requirements.
At Wood and Beyond, we offer a wide range of LVT and LVP flooring options, with both WPC and SPC cores, in various styles and colours. Explore our range today and discover the perfect flooring for your space.
What is the SPC Core in LVT and LVP flooring?
SPC, or Stone Plastic Composite, is a type of core used in the composition of Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring. It is a blend of stone dust, predominantly limestone, and stabilisers, encapsulated by PVC. This formation creates a core that is incredibly dense and resistant to temperature fluctuations and humidity.
What are the main advantages of the SPC Core?
The SPC core is known for its remarkable durability, ability to withstand high traffic and pressure, water resistance, and stability in varying temperatures and humidity levels.
What is the WPC Core in LVT and LVP flooring?
WPC, or Wood Plastic Composite, is another type of core used in LVT and LVP flooring. It is composed of recycled wood pulp and plastic composites. WPC flooring is resilient and more comfortable underfoot due to the wood-like composition.
What are the main advantages of the WPC Core?
The WPC core provides a softer, warmer feel underfoot compared to SPC. It also adds a layer of insulation to the flooring and is quieter to walk upon due to its capacity to absorb sound better.
When should I choose WPC or SPC core for my LVT or LVP flooring?
Your choice between WPC and SPC cores should depend on the specific needs and conditions of the space you’re renovating. SPC core is excellent for spaces with high foot traffic, potential for water exposure, or significant temperature fluctuations like kitchens, bathrooms, and conservatories. WPC core is ideal for areas where comfort and warmth are a priority, like lounges or bedrooms.