Both laminate and SPC floorings look alike. However, there are differences between the two types of floorings upon closer inspection. If you’re looking for new flooring, SPC and laminate come off as a suggestion. This is because they are affordable, easy to install, and have good aesthetics.
In this post, I’ll talk about these two types of flooring, their pros, and cons, and also compare them against one another. Enjoy.
What is SPC Flooring?
SPC, short for Stone Plastic Composite, is a type of vinyl flooring that combines limestone and stabilizers to make a more durable core. SPC is made up of several layers. These layers enhance all the functional and aesthetic benefits of a standard vinyl floor for a rigorous practical design.
SPC vinyl flooring has the following layers:
- UV Coating – This is the top layer and is a protective finishing layer. The UV layer prevents fading or discoloration caused by sunlight, waterproof performance, and stain resistance.
- Wear Layer – This transparent layer enhances the lifespan of your SPC flooring tiles. The wear layer adds stain and scratch resistance to a vinyl plank.
- Vinyl Top Coat – This is also known as a decorative layer, a thin layer of vinyl. The vinyl top coat layer serves as a primary aesthetic layer and contains the floor’s pattern, texture, and overall look.
- SPC Core – This layer, also called a rigid core, is made by combining limestone and stabilizers. This creates a high density and waterproof core that gives SPC flooring rigidity and stability.
- Attached Underlayment – This is an optional layer in SPC flooring tiles. The layer can be cork or foam, which helps reduce noise and make the SPC tiles more comfortable.
Pros of SPC Flooring
- Easy to install
- Durable and long-lasting
- 100% Waterproof
- Offer some soundproofing
- Low maintenance costs
- Suitable for high-traffic areas
Cons of SPC Flooring
- Costs more than normal LVP
- Less comfortable than other types of floorings
- Unable to be refinished or repaired
- Difficult To Remove Once Installed
- Susceptible To Sharp Objects
See a detailed post on the pros and cons of SPC flooring.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a type of flooring made from the fusion of several synthetic materials in different layers. The layers are fused through a single press process with a high heat of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit using direct-pressure laminate construction or DPL for short.
A laminate flooring comes with four layers, as shown below.
- Wear Layer – This is the top layer of laminate flooring. It is the protective layer, which is made of an aluminum oxide clear coat. The wear layer protects laminate flooring from stains, surface burns, and fading.
- Decorative Paper – This is called the decor or laminate image layer. This layer uses a high-quality printed design, giving a laminate floor a distinctive appearance. The decorative paper usually mimics wood but can also be stone, marble, and other designs.
- Core Layer – This layer gives a laminate tile its structure and dent-resistant properties. It can be a layer of plywood or high-density fiberboard. The core layer is similar to the one used in most engineered wood flooring products.
- Backer Paper – This is the final layer of laminate flooring. It is also known as the backing layer or balancing layer. It is made of either plastic, paper, or melamine. The layer provides additional stability and protects the plank against moisture.
Pros of Laminate Flooring
- DIY friendly and easy to install
- Easier to clean and maintain
- Different beautiful appearance
Cons of Laminate Flooring
- It cannot be refinished
- Susceptible to liquid damage
SPC vs Laminate Flooring – Which to Choose?
Core Materials & Usage
SPC or stone composite flooring is made from vinyl, limestone, and other stabilizers. The limestones give SPC flooring a thicker and tougher rigid core than laminate flooring. This makes SPC flooring great for use in high-traffic areas. The antibacterial properties of limestone also make SPC flooring great for clinics, hospitals, pet care centers, and other health facilities.
Laminate flooring comprises combined layers of wood composite, paper, and wood pulp. This makes laminate flooring susceptible to cold and heat, affecting the wood pulp.
Cost and Longevity
The price of laminate na SPC floorings varies according to quality and functionality. However, both floorings are more affordable than other high-quality floorings like carpeting, ceramic tiles, and finished concrete. They are both easy to install and will work on many existing floorings.
SPC flooring lasts longer than laminate because of its water-resistant qualities. SPC flooring is much harder to scratch and dent than laminate flooring.
If you’re looking for a waterproof option between laminate and SPC flooring, SPC should be your choice. It is 100% waterproof, which makes it ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and restaurants.
Although laminate floorings seem waterproof on the surface, the core comprises natural wood fibers and pulp. If any water gets in between laminate planks, they will swell.
Cleaning and Maintenance
SPC floorings are more durable and stain-resistant. This means SPC will not require expensive cleaning treatments to make it look good. They are also water resistant, which means they are easier to clean. The UV coating on SPC floorings also ensures it does not fade like other types of floorings.
Laminate flooring is also easy to clean, but the problem comes when maintaining the flooring. Laminate floorings are affected by water and moisture. For this reason, cleaning laminate floors using dry methods or vacuuming is advised. Clean it dry if you use wet mopping to avoid water sipping between laminate planks.
For best noise soundproofing and to reduce transmission of sound, SPC flooring is a good choice. The SPC core layer is hard and helps reduce the noise level. Add an underlayment, which will significantly reduce the noise level and transmission. This makes the walking sound less noisy.
Laminate flooring is not made of any soundproofing materials. Therefore noise from walking or any movement is not efficiently absorbed. This is why walking on laminate flooring generates a higher noise level.