Posted by Sukhmani Walia in Fuzz Buzz Flooring on 3/27/2017

Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring (LVP) is by far the fastest growing flooring category today. There is a specific sub-category called WPC, which stands for wood plastic composite core, which is fueling the growth in the vinyl segment. WPC has a fusion-core, meaning it is much more rigid than standard LVP and therefore, the product doesn’t expand or contract nearly as much as typical LVP and is water proof. As a result, there are less potential problems with the product, the planks can be longer and wider and the product can also go over less than perfect subfloors. Consumers have embraced the visuals, ease of installation and durability of this product.

Luxury vinyl and WPC floors are most often being used instead of hardwood floors or laminate. To best understand why LVP, and specifically WPC, is so often being selected instead of hardwood floors, we will compare it to hardwood floors in the following categories:

  • Design & Look
  • Durability & Maintenance
  • Ease of Installation; and
  • Cost

Design & Look

At first glance, the luxury vinyl planks are hard to distinguish from hardwood floors. Luxury vinyl planks are available in variety of colors, designs and looks inspired by natural products and some even are enhanced to feel similar to hardwood. In addition, because of the stability of the core, you can have longer and wider planks than typical hardwood products.

Durability & Maintenance

WPC vinyl products, like those produced by Coretec, Aduramax, Triversa and others, have a major advantage over hardwood floors when it comes to durability and maintenance. Fluctuations in humidity caused by Chicago’s dry winter and humid summer can wreak havoc on hardwood floors. Unlike luxury vinyl floors, wood is susceptible to moisture, which causes it to expand and contract. Whereas, the big advantage with WPC is that they are waterproof. Plus luxury vinyl can be cleaned and maintained easily with soap and water. By comparison, water is really the enemy of wood floors. Even if you experience a flood in your basement with a WPC product installed, that product should survive and you will be able to re-install it after the clean-up. That would never be the case with hardwood or laminate floors.

Ease of Installation

The ease of installation of LVP and WPC products is another major advantage compared to hardwood. The most popular products today utilize a click or locking system that allows the floors to be floated over most existing floors. The core in the WPC products prevent the existing floor from telegraphing. Wood, on the other hand, requires a perfect subfloor for installation and most cannot be installed below grade.

Cost

Luxury vinyl planks and WPC products offer the high-end wood looks often associated with oil finished floors at a fraction of the cost. In addition, installation costs for LVP will typically be far less than the costs of installing hardwood floors.

For the above reasons and more, LVP and WPC products should be considered for both residential and commercial installations.

 

Tags: Luxury Vinyl, Plank Flooring, LVP, Wood Plastic Composite, WPC, Hardwood, Designs, Durability, Installation, Cost

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