You’ve been thinking about flooring a lot lately. Perhaps you’re remodeling, have a new construction project going, or just sprucing up your space. Whatever it is, obviously, you have a grand floor plan brewing, so we’d like to help by talking about SPC flooring. When we’re done, you’ll have the tools to decide if this flooring option will fit your master plan. Flooring is your priority, and not the world's woes.
Evolution of Wood Flooring
Gone are the days of the hideous avocado green shag carpet of the late 60s and 70s (think The Brady Bunch). The flooring landscape has changed significantly over the last few decades, with consumers looking to pull up the carpeting in exchange for beautiful bare floors. That brings us to the ever-popular hardwood flooring.
We saw hardwood floors in horror movies, with squeaky floorboards that always let the monsters and bad guys know the location of their prey.
A large area rug covers the hardwood floor in the White House’s Oval Office, but it is simply exquisite!
Hardwood flooring is beautiful and comes in many different types of woods, including cherry, oak, and pine. They are strong and easy to clean, and you never have to worry about the carpet matching the drapes.
But hardwood is the diva of the wood flooring world - high maintenance. It’s expensive to buy, install, and maintain.
Even the engineered hardwood flooring is pricey, although it is easier to maintain.
Consumers wanted a more economical option and turned to laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is like Great Value brand hardwood flooring. Its easy-to-install planks are composed of different layers and materials and are designed to look like natural hardwood. Laminate flooring is affordable but may need replacing after ten years.
Porcelain wood tile is another economical flooring option for a hardwood flooring look. They’re durable and can look like many types of wood, but don’t get caught in the shower when the smoke detector goes off - you might slip and fall with wet feet.
Next on the scene is LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile. LVT is similar in concept to laminate flooring regarding durability, maintenance, and ease of installation. It differs from laminate flooring in that it is waterproof and stain-resistant. However, LVT is non-biodegradable, so keep this in mind if you’re concerned about the environment.
That brings us to SPC flooring, the latest trend in durable wood like flooring.
What is SPC flooring?
Stone Plastic Composite, or SPC flooring, is the newest hardwood flooring alternative on the market. It’s designed to mimic natural wood's style, colors, and textures but with more functional benefits than actual hardwood flooring.
It’s like driving a Chrysler 300 because it’s more affordable than a Phantom Series Rolls Royce.
SPC is vinyl with a more rigid core made from ground limestone and plastic. Because of this, SPC is more resistant to humidity, scratches, dents, pets, and heavy foot traffic.
What are the various layers that make up this flooring?
Although each manufacturer produces its own unique product, SPC planks are typically made with these layers:
- Wear layer - The wear layer is the outermost layer and provides the most protection from dings, scratches, and, well…wear. This layer also defends against UV rays preventing fading.
- Vinyl decorative film layer - This is the layer with the printed pattern - the pretty beat face layer.
- Rigid SPC Core - This is the superman of the flooring, providing resistance to liquids, temperature changes, and humidity.
- Bottom foam layer - This is the foundation layer of the plank that provides cushioning and support.
Pros and Cons of SPC flooring
- Affordable - tile can cost five times more than SPC per sq ft, so save on professional installation costs and DIY. (you try to do everything yourself anyway)
- Simple to install - buy some beer, grab your buddies, and click-install SPC with tools you probably already have.
- Looks fantastic - just like Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup line, there is a style, design, and shade for every taste and budget.
- Waterproof - SPC is 100% waterproof, making it suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, saunas, or any areas where moisture is present.
- Safe for the environment - no trees are harmed by making this product, so you won’t get any visits from Greenpeace.
- Product warranty - SPC warranties vary by manufacturer, and coverage times for structural, core, and finish guarantees can range from 25 years to a lifetime. Make sure to discuss this with your retailer.
- SPC is for indoor use only (hmm…wonder if it could work in Johnny’s treehouse)
- Most rooms don't get constant sunlight but it can fade over time if it does so avoid installing it in these rooms.
- Thicker planks are more comfortable but will increase the overall price of your project.
- When selling your home, you won’t get extra cash trying to pass your SPC floor off as hardwood. Your SPC looks nice, but hun, it ain’t wood.
What thickness do I need?
Now let’s be honest; we all like a little thickness, right? (get it out of the gutter) Thick steaks, thick milkshakes, thick burgers, a thick layer of maple syrup on a stack of thick pancakes, yeah? Well, SPC planks shouldn’t be any different. Thicker planks offer more stability, especially if laid on flat surfaces. Choosing the thickest SPC you can afford in the 3mm to 7mm range is best.
Shopping for new flooring? Check out our 8 different styles of SPC flooring!