In reality, the hybrid flooring category includes two separate but related flooring products: WPC hybrid and SPC hybrid. While they share the moniker 'Hybrid,' it is crucial to distinguish them as different items.
In this section, we'll go over an in-depth comparison of SPC hybrid and WPC hybrid flooring to help you determine which alternative is perfect for you.
WPC (Wood Plastic/Polymer Composite) flooring has a core that is often made of:
This is then covered with an underlay (foam or rubber) and a tiny 1.5mm layer of vinyl on top, followed by a Polyurethane PVC Wear Layer and a vinyl picture layer.
WPC flooring, which was initially termed for the wood-like elements used in their construction, originally appeared on the Australian market around eight years ago.
Until SPC was introduced, WPC flooring never truly gained traction in Australia to replace numerous rafted flooring solutions. Then, both goods were grouped under the 'Hybrid' label, and the distinction between them was frequently forgotten.
WPC flooring is waterproof, with the same wear layer and picture coating as vinyl plank flooring.
SPC (Stone Plastic/Polymer Composite) flooring has a core that is often made up of:
An underlay (again, either foam or rubber) has been put to the back of the product. Then, using the same Polyurethane PVC, a vinyl image film is attached directly to the core. Unlike the WPC, no layer of vinyl is required between the core and the Picture Film.
SPC hybrid flooring first appeared on the market around three to four years after WPC flooring and soon gained popularity because of its durability, reliability, and quality. SPC Hybrid Flooring has risen to the top of the Flooring category in the previous three years. It has a more stable and solid composition and is more resistant to temperature change since it lacks the WPC's Wood and Bamboo Flour and Foaming Agent.
SPC flooring is waterproof, like WPC flooring, and has the same wear layer and image film as vinyl plank flooring.
The main distinction between SPC and WPC hybrid flooring is that WPC flooring has a foaming agent in the core. As a result, the whole core of WPC hybrid flooring is filled with tiny microbubbles of air.
WPC hybrid flooring is lower in weight due to the aeration of the core due to the foaming agent in its core. However, as a result, it has weaker joints and is less robust than SPC flooring.
WPC flooring cannot have a picture film attached directly to its core due to the micro-bubbling created by the foaming agent. When these goods (both WPC and SPC) are made, a procedure called 'Hot Pressing' is used. The product's numerous layers are pushed together under tremendous heat and pressure, activating adhesives and bonding all layers together.
When vinyl picture film is hot pressed directly onto a WPC core, the pressures involved 'Press' the picture film into the core's microbubbles, resulting in noticeable micro-dimples in the image. While the dimples cannot be seen directly (because of their small), they give the product a lacklustre appearance that makes it appear washed out.
To minimize micro-dimpling, WPC hybrid floors include what seems to be a 1.5mm vinyl plank attached to the top of the core to providing support for the vinyl image film behind. This stops the Microbubbles from transferring into the image film.
WPC's aerated core can potentially be damaged by heat. Flooring can also cause tiny microbubbles to heat up and expand, causing the product to grow. Unless expansion breaks are used in the floor, this limits WPC flooring to smaller installations.
For example, if you have a room more than 10 meters long or wide on a WPC floor, you will require at least one extended break. In most circumstances, SPC flooring may span up to 20 metres in each direction before needing an expansion break.
The cost difference between WPC and SPC hybrid flooring is usually roughly the same in terms of price. Because of the additional parts and procedures necessary in its production, WPC hybrid flooring is more labour-intensive.
Because it is a solid core product, SPC flooring is more development intensive, with more Calcium Carbonate utilized in its manufacture.
The thickness of hybrid flooring is a frequently requested question. The popular belief is that thicker is better. While this is often true, the WPC and SPC categories must be examined individually because a 6mm SPC floor is more robust than a 9mm WPC floor!
While a portion of WPC flooring may be thicker than an SPC plank, due to the foaming agent utilized in the product's core, it will typically fall short of the strength of the SPC flooring.
This is similar to hybrid flooring. To compensate for the aeration within their core, most WPC planks must be at least 8mm thick or thicker. SPC hybrid flooring may be as thin as 6mm thick while outperforming 8mm wide WPC flooring in terms of strength.
The ideal number for SPC flooring is usually between 6mm and 7mm in thickness. This is because, while SPC is highly durable, it can be fragile when thinner in format. Furthermore, having less weight in the core might make the product unstable when exposed to intense, harsh sunlight for an extended period.
A hybrid of 7mm, for example, will typically have a core weight that is 50% more than a hybrid of 5.5mm from the same source utilizing the same cubic metre core weight. This offers the product significantly stronger joins (every half an mm makes a difference) and increased stability and elemental resistance.
In general, this is true, but there are some unforeseen drawbacks to consider regarding the thickness of a Hybrid. While a thicker product provides more strength and stability, how much more is required? Anything wider than 7mm makes the goods heavier, making shipping significantly more costly.
As a result, the cost-benefit ratio must be considered: is the extra security above and above what is necessarily worth the additional cost? Heavy Hybrids, on the other hand, sit well on the floor, and the increased weight helps produce friction on the underlay and prevent movement in the flooring raft.
We would be happy to assist you in weighing the benefits and drawbacks of the many varieties of hybrid flooring and determining the best option for your house.
Pick up two boards of the same thickness, size, and length to quickly tell the difference between WPC and SPC flooring. WPC flooring will be the lighter one.
A more accessible, more straightforward method is to run your finger down an exposed joint. Because of the open-air bubbles at its core revealed when the join is contoured into the product, WPC will feel like light grit sandpaper.
Because it is solid all the way through, SPC will feel entirely stable and smooth, even where it has been profiled!
A higher weight SPC Flooring is preferred in commercial applications. This is because, being a floating floor, it is not connected to the Sub-Floor underneath it and can move when there are a high number of people moving on top of it.
If the movement occurs in various directions, a lighter weight floor can be pushed together and generate peaks in specific spots or pulled apart at the joints.
As a result, we do not propose WPC or lightweight SPC flooring (5.5mm and lower). Consider a Hybrid with a thickness of at least 8mm for bigger commercial applications.
This may be the question you have after reading this. The simple argument is that WPC is an older technology, and corporations have made significant investments. Thus they must sell their product.
To the uninitiated, a tale may be presented that makes WPC appear to be a terrific company. It's not that it's horrible; it's simply that SPC outperforms it in practically every manner.
As Hybrid picked up steam in the Australian market, it became clear that this was the golden goose, and every provider wanted a piece of the action.
The issue for several suppliers was that they did not have experience in all flooring categories. When seeking a point of differentiation, WPC appeared to be the solution in certain circumstances.