How to choose the right waterproof flooring?
A key benefit in the improved technologies in manufacturing of luxury vinyl flooring has been these new LVT floors are both pet-friendly and 100% waterproof. Thus, over the past two years or so waterproof flooring has grown extremely popular among many families with active lifestyles. These floors are not only beautiful but also have tremendous performance features built-in that homeowners have been asking for.
Waterproof Flooring – Kids, Pets & Easy Care!
Why has waterproof flooring becoming so popular? As many flooring buyers discover that these floors have the visual appearance of real, natural wood and stone and are ideal for kids, pets and the unexpected spills that do happen in every household it becomes the obvious choice. This is what makes these floors so desirable for kitchens, laundry rooms, mud rooms and even bathrooms – actually, any room in the home.
Today’s luxury vinyl flooring (referred to as LVT flooring or LVP Flooring) has a WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) or SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) rigid core that is both 100% waterproof and extremely durable. From the top wear layer right through the rigid center core the entire floor is 100% waterproof. The flooring manufacturers also have perfected hi-tech printing to duplicate the realism in any natural wood or stone. The natural looking designs have such stunning realism and combined with textured embossing of the surface it is near impossible to tell if the flooring is a real or not.
Although many online flooring shoppers read about laminate floors being waterproof that is seldom true. The surface of laminate floors is water-resistant, but the middle core of most laminate floors is generally made up of recycled wood fibers (HDF) and only treated to repel water along the exposed plank edges. If moisture gets between the laminate planks the floor may swell or worse delaminate.
Glazed ceramic tile, porcelain tile and non-porous stone are inherently waterproof but most sanded grouts are not and have to be continually sealed and cleaned. Also, because of the weight of floor tile you need a subfloor that can support the weight, especially above grade over a wood subfloor, or the tile and grout may crack. Many brands of LVT waterproof flooring now offer beautiful tile and stone designs that can be installed any where in the home without the hassles of installing ceramic floor tiles.
Understanding LVT / LVP Waterproof Flooring Options
Luxury Vinyl Tile is often referred to as LVT and Luxury Vinyl Plank as LVP. In many cases they really are the same. Many of luxury vinyl waterproof flooring brands offer tile designs in a rectangular plank design for fast installation. Imagine 3 tiles together in one rectangular plank. Now every time you install a plank you are installing 3 tiles rather than one at a time.
The LVP waterproof plank flooring looks just like the planks you would buy box of engineered wood flooring. Most LVP planks floors have some sort of click-locking installation system that can go any where in the home and over the top of most existing flooring without having to remove the existing floor. This is what is referred to as a floating floor because you never glue or nail it down to the subfloor underneath. The floor floats over the subfloor or existing flooring.
WPC Waterproof Flooring
WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite which is used to form the rigid center core of the waterproof planks. The center core is partially made up of recycled wood dust, calcium composite (limestone) and some other foam ingredients and is 100% waterproof. WPC waterproof vinyl flooring is recommended for residential use or light commercial. WPC’s rigid core is more forgiving underfoot than the SPC floors.
SPC Waterproof Flooring
SPC gets its name from the center core being made up of limestone and virgin plastics. This makes SPC floors extremely durable and 100% waterproof flooring. The solid rigid core also makes SPC flooring more indentation resistant than WPC floors and is better suited for commercial applications. Although, SPC floors can be also used within the home most of the design styles lend themselves better for commercial settings.