Step aside laminate flooring, there’s a new floor in town proving to be more waterproof, more indent resistant and just as easy – if not easier – to install. Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Flooring is a resilient floor category taking over the industry. This amazing flooring option continues to evolve and innovate; it’s continuously developing. Part of the Resilient market, Rigid Core vinyl planks are a type of Luxury Vinyl Flooring but instead of being flexible like standard LVF, Rigid Core offers a stiffer plank with a myriad of benefits over flexible LVF.
The Rigid Core planks offer better dimensional stability overall and virtually get rid of telegraphing of minor subfloor imperfections because of the rigid format and click lock floating install. The click locking technology on most Rigid Core is constantly being updated and made easier and stronger. DIY homeowners love the construction of Rigid Core because click lock is super easy to install yourself and requires no glue.
The wear layer on Rigid Core vinyl planks is incredibly durable, resisting scratches, scuffs, stains and indentation.
Rigid Core is also waterproof, not a characteristic that most hard surface floor types can boast. Looking for a new flooring option for your bathroom or kitchen? Homeowners tend to dread renovating these rooms because the standard flooring options include either dated sheet vinyl or expensive tile and the labor involved puts the budget through the roof. You could always go with beautiful hardwood – but then there’s the water issue. Ever seen water damage on a hardwood floor? It’s not pretty. And not an easy fix. Rigid Core vinyl flooring is the perfect solution for these scenarios.
When it comes to Rigid Core vinyl planks, there are two different types: WPC and SPC. They offer slightly different compositions, but there are benefits to both.
WPC vs. SPC
All manufacturers are slightly different in design, but usually construction of Rigid Core is going to be:
a vinyl surface treated with some version of a UV Cured Acrylic Wear Layer
a stabilizing core of either WPC (waterproof polymer core) or SPC (solid polymer core)
WPC Rigid Core vinyl products are more prevalent across the market right now. They feature a waterproof polymer core which is sometimes referred to as a “wood polymer core” or a “wood plastic core.” All variations for the WPC initialism are basically correct though. The core is going to be comprised of a composite material of plastic, calcium carbonate and sometimes wood flour (a variation of very fine sawdust). What results is a dimensionally stable and rigid resilient vinyl plank.
SPC Rigid Core vinyl products are also sometimes referred to as “stone plastic core” or “stone polymer core” products. Again, the wording with SPC may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the overall meaning is the same. SPC products are superior in commercial based applications because they are denser and more dimensionally stable than the WPC. The core is made up of limestone, polyvinyl chloride and plasticizers (a solvent/resin mix).
Because of the denser core of the SPC vinyl planks, it’s the most resistant to dents, but most homeowners prefer WPC Rigid Core vinyl planks in their home. They feel like the indent resistance of the WPC is high enough for standard residential use (WPC is even rated for light commercial areas, so it’s pretty tough) and the construction of the WPC leads to a better comfortability underfoot, which is a huge plus with homeowners looking at hard surface options for their homes.