If you are a homeowner considering vinyl flooring for your home, you may have come across the terms ‘SPC’ or ‘LVT’ vinyl flooring and are curious as to how these two flooring products differ. SPC vinyl flooring is the latest addition to the vinyl flooring product market while LVT vinyl flooring has been in the market since early 2010. Both types of vinyl flooring are considered superior to traditional forms of vinyl flooring. In the following article, the types of vinyl flooring are compared to help you make a decision between SPC or LVT vinyl flooring.
Material composition plays an important role in the overall durability of a vinyl flooring product such as SPC or LVT vinyl flooring. SPC vinyl flooring consists of high mineral content in the form of ground limestone, making it more rigid, and hence durable, compared to LVT vinyl flooring.
SPC vinyl flooring refers to vinyl flooring that consists of a stone plastic composite core. This composite material is a combination of ground limestone and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Comprising approximately 50 percent of the core material, the stone filler contributes to a high mineral content in SPC vinyl flooring.
Similarly, LVT vinyl flooring is a layered construction that consists of a vinyl derivative core. However, in the formulation of LVT vinyl flooring, plasticizers are added in the manufacturing process.
Plasticizers are chemicals, mainly phthalates, which are commonly added to increase the flexibility of thermoplastics such as PVC. They also act as a binding agent for the PVC particles. Unlike LVT vinyl flooring, the manufacturing process of SPC vinyl flooring does not involve the addition of plasticizers.
Now, the difference in material composition of SPC and LVT vinyl flooring becomes more obvious. You may sometimes encounter LVT vinyl flooring being referred to as a flexible vinyl flooring product. This is because it has a softer and more pliable core, due to the use of more plasticizers compared to rigid products in the core construction.
In comparison, the high mineral content in SPC vinyl flooring contributes to the thickness, weight, and overall rigidity of the material. Due to its highly dense and rigid core, SPC vinyl flooring is thus sometimes referred to as rigid core luxury vinyl flooring. Now you know all about the composition of SPC and LVT vinyl flooring.
How does SPC or LVT vinyl flooring compare in terms of moisture resistance? Both SPC and LVT vinyl flooring hold up well against moisture. Because of the lack of water-absorbent organic substances in the material, they can withstand soaking and are well-suited for use in the kitchen and bathroom. There is thus no difference in terms of their ability to withstand moisture.
SPC and LVT vinyl flooring are commonly available as click-and-lock installation types. Without the seams present in traditional flooring that are potential weak points that water can seep through, there will be no penetration of moisture that can affect the appearance and integrity of the flooring. That being said, both types of flooring are made of vinyl derivatives. As it is, the material is impermeable to water and resistant to any decay or water damage. This also means that you do not have to worry about mould or mildew growth.
Comfort and Durability
There are slight differences between SPC and LVT vinyl flooring in terms of their comfort and impact resistance. Of the two, LVT vinyl flooring is more pliable and hence, softer underfoot. Because of its rigid core, SPC vinyl flooring has less give underfoot compared to LVT vinyl flooring. Before installation of LVT vinyl flooring, the subfloor should ideally be level throughout and free of unevenness.
In comparison, the rigid core present in SPC vinyl flooring makes it relatively more forgiving over uneven or imperfect subfloors. When installing flexible LVT vinyl flooring, any dents or protrusions that happen to be present in your subfloor may transfer due to the relative flexibility of the flooring above it.
Naturally, the impact resistance of SPC vinyl flooring also surpasses that of LVT vinyl flooring. Heavy furniture, pets, or accidental dropping of objects at high velocity are hazards that can cause scuffing, dents, and punctures in your vinyl flooring. SPC vinyl flooring is more durable and impact-resistant. It is hard-wearing and well-suited for high foot-traffic areas or areas in the home that are prone to accidents or damage.
Homeowners who prioritise comfort may consider opting for LVT vinyl flooring while those with children or pets in the household may want to opt for SPC vinyl flooring.
The plasticizers added in the formulation of LVT vinyl flooring can contribute to poorer indoor air quality and are less safe for children and pets. As plasticizers are not used in the manufacturing process of SPC vinyl flooring, it is increasingly favoured for its absence of hazardous chemicals. SPC vinyl flooring is also free of formaldehyde and contributes minimally to Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions.
Many vinyl flooring suppliers have increasingly undertaken emissions testing to ensure that VOC emissions are within a healthy range for pets and children. However, homeowners who are especially concerned about indoor air quality in the household and who want to be on the safe side can consider opting for SPC vinyl flooring. All vinyl flooring carried by Home Expo Asia has surpassed the minimum health and safety requirement for emissions.
In conclusion, both SPC and LVT flooring belong to a category of vinyl flooring that is considered one grade above conventional vinyl flooring types. The distinctive feature that separates SPC vinyl flooring from LVT vinyl flooring is its rigid core construction. This component is responsible for higher indentation resistance and minimal transfer of any subfloor imperfections. Homeowners who are choosing between LVT or SPC vinyl flooring and are especially concerned about material toxicity may want to consider installing SPC vinyl flooring for added peace of mind.