One of the newer developments in the vinyl flooring scene, is something known as stone plastic composite, or SPC flooring.
SPC is a step up from the typical wood plastic composite (WPC) and offers the same benefits but in a more magnified way. In other words, SPC floor is best understood as “vinyl plus” and it is rapidly becoming the new standard in vinyl floors.
Since it contains stone and fiber, SPC flooring is extremely durable, 100% waterproof and moisture-resistant. It also is designed with Unilin, a special click-and-lock system for easy installation without glue or adhesives. Finally, SPC flooring offers better footing and comfort because there is an underlaying cork pad with an optional sound absorption pad.
A typical vinyl tile has several sections. There is the topmost wear layer that protects the vinyl underneath, the vinyl surface itself, and a core layer made from wood pulp and various plastics, followed by a cork or foam under layer. In SPC, the wood pulp is replaced with crushed limestone. The result is a floor that is thinner but denser than WPC vinyl. This may not seem like much of a difference, but the increased density is the secret behind SPC’s eventual dominance amongst vinyl flooring.
The density of a floor affects several key factors. The first is how well it withstands impacts and weight. SPC’s denser core lets the vinyl absorb impact and weight better than its wood-core counterpart. Vinyl has always been good at holding up to foot traffic but tends to fall behind other materials when it comes to handling large weights. With SPC, this gap is closing fast.
Stability is the other area where SPC vinyl makes its mark. All floors will contract and expand in response to temperature and these subtle shifts can lead to distortions over time. SPC’s greater density means it won’t expand or contract as much as WPC when the temperature changes.
As an added bonus, SPC tends to be the more affordable of the two. It’s worth keeping in mind that WPC does have some advantages over SPC. Since WPC surfaces are thicker, they tend to feel more “cushioned” to anyone walking over top. A thicker core also makes WPC vinyl better at muffling the sounds of footsteps. Having said that, SPC’s density means you are less likely to hear a “hollow” sound when walking on it.
Durability and Affordability
Although SPC vinyl is more durable, stable, and affordable, the true reason why it’s becoming the most popular vinyl flooring is that it still offers the strengths, which made vinyl a star in the first place. SPC is impervious to water and can still be used in laundry rooms, kitchens, basements, bathrooms, or other areas where standing water or high ambient moisture are a concern. SPC is just as easy to install, in sheet or tile form, as other types of vinyl, making it extremely DIY-friendly.
Best of all, SPC still has vinyl’s remarkable ability to mimic the appearance of other materials. This allows you to get luxurious wooden floors, elegant marble tile, or hardy granite at a fraction of the cost and without any of the installation or maintenance concerns these materials normally come with. SPC vinyl is still a snap to maintain: just be sure to vacuum or sweep regularly and mop up occasionally and you’ll enjoy your vinyl floors for years and years.