The main difference between the two engineered flooring constructions(WPC vs SPC) is the LVP with WPC core is manufactured with a thin 1.5 mm LVP PVC core top cap that is fused to the top of the composite core. The process involves marrying the wear layer and HD print to a thin PVC core (1 mm) which is then married to its composite core. This mandates an extra step in the manufaturing process. And makes WPC more expensive due to this extra manufacturing process.
Rigid Core LVP has the same embossed in register (EIR) high defintion print along with a wear layer as WPC LVP and LVP. But instead of marrying the wear layer and print to a thin PVC core first like WPC LVP it forgoes this process and instead marries it directly to the composite core.
Rigid Core(SPC) LVP is denser than WPC flooring due to more limestone or calcium carbonate in the core. Appropriate for commercial installation also. WPC feels better underneath your feet compared to Rigid Core due to a thin PVC cap on top and a foaming agent in the core. Both Rigid Core and WPC LVP feels better than ceramic or porcelain tile.
Both floorcovering constructions are appropriate for residential use. How important is a little added cushion to you? Does the 1.5 mm LVP PVC core top cap added to WPC flooring make a huge difference in comfort and performance compared to the Rigid Core LVP? And remember many of the two versions come with attached pads.
WPC core is made with a foaming agent which creates tiny air bubbles that provide greater sound and thermal insulation than Rigid Core LVP. I believe the floor is slightly quieter than the Rigid Core LVP. The top PVC cap on WPC flooring may also offer a line of defense to chips from fallen objects that the Rigid Core products don't offer.
The Rigid Core LVP has a higher stone or limestone(Calcium Carbonate) filling in the core and may withstand greater indentation force along with resisting expansion due to extreme sunlight temperatures.
Both WPC and SPC offer dimensional stability eliminating or reducing the need to have t-moldings break up an installation which allows for larger areas to be installed without t-moldings.
Any vinyl product will fade over time if subject to intense direct sunlight. Manufactures recommend to install drapes, curtains, or tinted windows to avoid this outcome.
|Comparison||Rigid Core LVP||WPC LVP||LVP|
|Embossed in Register HD Print||No||Yes||Yes|
|Core Composition||Limestone + PVC powder + Stabilizer||Limestone + Polyethlene + Wood Composite||100% Virgin PVC(polyvinyl chloride) with a fiberglass layer|
|Foaming agent in core||No||Yes||No|
|Limestone in core||More||Less||None|
|LVP with PVC Core Top Cap||No||Yes - 1 to 1.5 mm||LVP PVC Core 2mm - 6.5mm|
|Backing attached||May||May||Not usually - May loose lay|
|Structural Rigidity||Great||Great||Adhere's to the Subfloor|
|Covers Subfloor Imperfections||Great||Great||Fair - thicker the better|
|Comfort Underfoot||Better than Ceramic/Porcelain||Better than Rigid||Better than All on Equal Thickness|
|Direct High Sunlight Expansion||Great||Good||Fair to Good if Glued Down|
Embossed in Registered(EIR) means if you see a knot on the plank you can actually feel it, or a grainy spot will have texture. EIR will mimic real life wood. SPC/Rigid Core LVP is plain embossed. So it will display some texture though not as realistic as the others. A PVC core or top cap enables a deeper penetration of the design pattern enabling EIR products.
|Wear-Layer in mm||Wear-layer in mil||Typical Residential Warranty|
|0.1 mm||6 mil||5 years|
|0.3 mm||12 mil||10 - 15 years|
|0.5 mm||20 mil||15 - 20 years|
|0.7 mm||27 mil||Lifetime|
A mil is not a millimeter.
This is often misunderstood.
The wear-layer is very important.
Once the wear-layer wears through, the pattern will damage, and the floor will need to be replaced.