Sorting Out Vinyl Flooring’s Alphabet Soup – LVT vs WPC
Resilient luxury vinyl continues to be a popular flooring choice for homeowners, with innovative new products hitting the market each year. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand the real differences between the options.
Vinyl tiles and planks fall into two big categories – Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Rigid Core/SPC/WPC. The construction is the major difference and helps decide which is best for your project needs.
Traditional LVT uses a thinner, more flexible PVC core, whereas Rigid Core/SPC/WPC uses a thicker, sturdier composite core that gives the floor a solid, stable feel. With the composite core, the thickness of Rigid Core planks is usually 5mm to 8mm, which is closer to the thickness of an engineered wood. The core also adds dimensional stability and a softer feel underfoot.
Both luxury vinyl options use a photographic printed film to give the look and feel of natural materials. The textures of wood and stone are even more realistic with embossed in register technologies used for much Rigid Core product. A final wear layer is applied over the film to provide great durability against everyday traffic.
All luxury vinyl is moisture resistant for application in kitchens or baths, and can be installed below, on and above grade. Subfloors should always be properly prepared, but Rigid Core products will be more forgiving of imperfections due to their thicker planks. Traditional LVT includes glue down or click-lock installation, while most Rigid Core/WPC uses a floating click-lock system that makes DIY easy.
Finally, if price is driving your flooring decision, LVT will be the more budget-friendly option. However, Rigid Core is often worth the upgrade for the realistic textures, ease of installation and stability it provides. With regular sweeping and damp mop cleaning, any luxury vinyl floor will keep looking great for years to come.