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Luxury Vinyl Flooring is a term that refers to several different categories of waterproof flooring. The term is used interchangeably to describe vinyl plank and tile, SPC (stone polymer composite) and also WPC (wood plastic composite). All of the Luxury Vinyl flooring products are 100% waterproof with some unique differences that are described below.
Vinyl flooring is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and is available in sheets or modular pieces as planks or tiles. Sheet vinyl comes in a roll that is cut to fit the floor plan. The most common width on the market is 12′ and is cut to length for the area being installed. For areas wider and longer than 12′ the product would be installed in more than one piece and then seamed together with special seam binders. This type of product is normally best to be installed by an experienced professional.
Vinyl flooring is also available in individual pieces which come in the form of a plank or tile. There are several thicknesses available that range from 2 mm – 5 mm and are sold in a flexible form. Depending on the overall thickness of the selected product, it can either be installed as a loose lay, perimeter glue or full glue down installation. The pliable nature of this type of flooring is not very well suited for a click together installation.
The term, Luxury Vinyl, also refers to click together types of waterproof flooring which should be more accurately referred to as SPC (stone polymer composite) and WPC (wood plastic composite). It is also common to refer to SPC and WPC as Rigid Vinyl. Both can be found in thicknesses ranging from 3 mm – 8 mm and are usually sold with a 1 mm – 1.5 mm pad attached.
SPC consist of a waterproof core which is made out of limestone combined with resins and binders to form a rigid plank or tile to allow for a click together installation. The limestone core is very dense and provides a more dimensionally stable core that is 100% waterproof. This enhanced core stability allows for larger installation areas without transitions and is suitable for environments that range from 40 degrees above to 40 degrees below. SPC typically clicks together similar to laminate flooring.
WPC is similar to SPC in regards to the click style of installation, however the rigid core is made from wood and plastic mixed with binders and resins to create a core that is 100% waterproof. A layer of vinyl is mounted on top of the core to provide more underfoot comfort. The WPC planks or tiles are also usually sold with and attached pad and allow for a click together installation similar to laminate.
The top wear layer used when producing Luxury Vinyl is similar for all the different versions listed above. The wear layer is what provides the overall durability of the product. These wear layers can range in thicknesses from 4 mil – 28 mil which is also measured as 0.1 mm – 0.7 mm.