You have many different options when it comes to choosing a flooring material. You can use dozens of stone, tile and wood, as well as cheaper alternatives that can mimic these materials without breaking the bank. Two of the most popular alternative materials are luxury vinyl plank flooring and stone polymer composite flooring: LVP and SPC. what is the difference between them? Which is the best choice for your home? This is a brief overview of these two flooring products.
What is LVP and SPC?
Luxury vinyl planks are made from a compressed vinyl substrate covered with a high-resolution image to mimic the appearance of another material. The planks are typically used to mimic hardwood because the shape resembles solid wood planks. The high-resolution image makes the vinyl look like almost any other material, such as stone, tile, etc. LVP has several layers, but the main layer is its vinyl core, which makes the planks durable but flexible.
Stone polymer laminate flooring is similar because it contains a high resolution image that is covered with vinyl and coated with a clear wear layer to protect the floor from scratches, stains, fading, etc. However, the core materials in SPC are plastic and compressed limestone powder. This makes the planks hard and stiff, rather than soft and flexible.
These two materials are similar in many ways. They are both waterproof, scratch resistant, and often quite durable. They are easy to install yourself without the use of glue and solvents, and are easy to maintain with regular sweeping to remove dust and quick mopping to remove spills. And they are both much cheaper than the materials used as alternatives.
So, besides flexibility, what are the differences between LVP and SPC flooring features? SPC’s rigid construction gives it some advantages. While both can be installed over almost any solid subfloor, LVP requires its subfloor to be perfectly level and free of any dents, obstructions, etc. The flexible material will take on the shape of any imperfections, while the SPC will maintain its own shape regardless of the floor beneath it.
By the same token, SPC is also more durable and resistant to dents and other damage. It will last longer and be more resistant to wear. SPC’s rigidity also allows it to provide more support underfoot, while LVP’s flexibility makes it feel softer and more comfortable to walk on. The SPC is also slightly thicker than the LVP and tends to have a somewhat more realistic look and feel.
The SPC has many advantages over the LVP, but it also has a disadvantage. Its rigid composite structure makes it more expensive than vinyl. While both are still cost effective compared to wood, stone or tile, LVP may be a better choice if you are on a tight budget.