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SPC VS Engineered Hardwood: 7 Things Discussed

SPC VS Engineered Hardwood

Last Updated on July 26, 2023

So you want to update your flooring, but you’re not sure which way to go. Do you want something durable and water-resistant or the classic look of hardwood? SPC and engineered hardwood can give you the appearance and feel of real wood while remaining durable. But what are the differences between them?

You should note that SPC is a type of vinyl flooring, while engineered hardwood is made from real wood.

SPC, or stone plastic composite, is a flooring mixture of stone and plastic. On the other hand, engineered hardwood is a type of flooring made up of multiple layers of real wood, with a top layer of hardwood veneer.

To help you make the best decision for your home, let’s compare these two types of flooring.

The Differences Between SPC vs Engineered Hardwood

The Differences Between SPC vs Engineered Hardwood

If you’re looking for a flooring option that’s both durable and visually appealing, you might be considering SPC or engineered hardwood. Here are some of the differences between them.

  • No 01: Composition
  • No 02: Installation
  • No 03: Durability
  • No 04: Waterproof and Dimensional Stability
  • No 05: Appearance and Aesthetics
  • No 06: Maintenance
  • No 07: Cost

No 01: Composition

SPC flooring is made up of four key components. These are a tough UV coating wear layer, a decorative layer created using HD decor film that can effectively imitate various patterns, a sturdy core of up to 70% stone dust, and a backing material for stability and sound absorption.

The rigid core is incredibly durable and exceptionally resistant to damage, ensuring longevity and reliability. Also, the UV coating wear layer provides excellent protection against scratches, stains, and fading, helping to maintain the floor’s appearance over time.

In comparison, engineered hardwood flooring features several layers of plywood or HDF board, a wear layer, and a backing layer designed to enhance the natural wood grain and protect against moisture.

The core of engineered hardwood flooring comprises plywood or HDF board, which provides stability and helps to prevent warping or twisting over time. The top wood veneer protects, while the natural wood grain is displayed.

No 02: Installation

The process of installing either type of flooring can be made easier with the right tools and knowledge.

SPC flooring is a popular choice among DIY enthusiasts because of its glueless, easy-click system allowing floating installation over various subfloors. This means you can install it without needing nails or glue, making it relatively simple and hassle-free.

But, you should note that proper subfloor preparation is crucial to ensure a successful installation. Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and level before laying down the SPC planks.

On the other hand, engineered hardwood typically requires professional installation. Depending on the chosen installation method, it’s often nailed or glued down.

Also, engineered hardwood may need to be acclimated to the room’s humidity levels before installation, which can add time and complexity to the installation process. Hardwood is a natural material that can expand or contract based on the room’s moisture levels.

No 03: Durability

Considering durability, it’s worth noting that the wear layer thickness of engineered hardwood can range from 0.6 mm to 6 mm, with thicker wear layers providing up to 10-15 standings and refinishes.

This means that if you’re looking for a flooring option that can withstand heavy foot traffic, engineered hardwood with a thicker wear layer may be a suitable option.

But, take note that the durability of engineered hardwood largely depends on the quality of the wear layer, and cheaper options may only hold up well over time.

On the other hand, SPC flooring is known for its superior durability due to its 5S U-guard UV coating and use of 100% virgin materials. These features make it resistant to wear, scratches, and impact, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas.

No 04: Waterproof and Dimensional Stability

Waterproof and Dimensional Stability

You’ll appreciate the benefits of waterproof and dimensional stability in your flooring, especially in areas with high humidity or frequent water exposure.

SPC flooring is 100% waterproof, meaning it can withstand spills, dampness, and moisture without the risk of water damage. It’s the ideal flooring option for bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, where water exposure is inevitable.

Also, SPC flooring is highly resistant to swelling, warping, and buckling, making it an excellent choice for homes in regions with high humidity or extreme temperature changes.

On the other hand, engineered hardwood isn’t entirely waterproof, but it can still have good water-resistant properties as long as the raw wood isn’t directly exposed to water.

But, engineered hardwood is more prone to swelling and warping when exposed to moisture, making it less suitable for areas with high humidity or frequent water exposure.

Also, engineered hardwood has a dimensional stability rating, which measures how well it can handle changes in temperature and humidity without expanding or contracting.

No 05: Appearance and Aesthetics

Engineered hardwood floors showcase various wood species’ unique grain patterns and textures, providing a classic and timeless appeal that can elevate any room’s aesthetic.

With advancements in manufacturing techniques, engineered hardwood can now replicate the look and feel of solid hardwood, making it an affordable and practical alternative.

In contrast, SPC flooring uses high-definition (HD) decor film to replicate the appearance of wood, stone, or carpet patterns. With advancements in 3D printing and surface texturing techniques, SPC flooring can now provide various design choices.

From classic oak to modern concrete, SPC flooring can simulate the look and feel of any material, providing a versatile and affordable flooring option.

No 06: Maintenance

SPC flooring is a low-maintenance option that requires minimal effort to keep clean and looking new. With its non-porous surface, you can easily sweep, vacuum, or mop with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. This makes it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas or homes with pets and children.

Conversely, engineered hardwood requires a bit more attention to maintain its appearance and durability. You’ll need to sweep or dust mop regularly to prevent dirt and grit from scratching the surface.

The most effective way to clean engineered hardwood floor cleaning products is specifically formulated for engineered hardwood, as harsh cleaners or excessive moisture can damage the wood veneer.

No 07: Cost

Affordability is a key consideration when choosing between these two flooring options, and you should remember that one option may be significantly more cost-effective than the other.

SPC flooring tends to be more budget-friendly than engineered hardwood due to its simpler manufacturing process and lower maintenance requirements.

This is because SPC flooring is made of a highly durable composite material resistant to scratches, dents, and stains. It means it can last for years without needing to be replaced or refinished.

In contrast, engineered hardwood can be more expensive due to its more complex manufacturing process, which involves bonding layers of real wood veneer to a plywood or MDF core. Also, engineered hardwood may require professional installation, adding to the overall cost.

Comparison Table between SPC Flooring vs Engineered Hardwood

AspectSPC FlooringEngineered Hardwood
CompositionStone Plastic Composite (SPC) core with decor filmWood veneer, plywood/HDF layers
InstallationGlueless, easy click systemProfessional installation required
DurabilitySuperior wear resistance, scratch resistance, impact resistanceDepends on the wear layer thickness
Water Resistance100% waterproof, suitable for wet areasWater-resistant, but can swell and warp with moisture exposure
MaintenanceEasy to clean, non-porous surfaceRequires specific care, occasional refinishing
CostGenerally cost-effectiveVaries based on thickness, species, and style
AppearanceSimulates wood, stone, or carpet patternsShowcases natural wood grains
RefinishingNot applicable. No refinishing neededIt can be refinished depending on wear layer thickness
Installation MethodDIY-friendly, floating installationNailed or glued down professional installation
Suitable AreasResidential and commercial wet areasResidential, limited moisture exposure

Is SPC better than tiles?

Is SPC better than tiles

SPC flooring is a superior option to tiles due to its exceptional thermal insulation performance. This makes it a comfortable and practical choice for walking barefoot, even during colder months.

A recent study has found that SPC flooring can maintain warmth up to 10% longer than ceramic tiles. This is due to its higher R-value, which enables it to resist heat flow from the room to the ground better than tiles.

Apart from these thermal insulation benefits, SPC flooring has several advantages over traditional ceramic tiles. It is more durable and scratch-resistant than tiles and can withstand even heavy foot traffic, furniture movement, and accidental impacts without visible damage.

Also, SPC flooring is easier to install and maintain than tiles since it requires no grouting or sealing.

Is SPC flooring slippery?

You’ll be pleased to know that SPC flooring is non-slip, making it a safe and practical option for households with children and the elderly. Its surface is slip-resistant, ensuring you won’t have to worry about accidental slips and falls.

The wooden surface of SPC flooring is also waterproof, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to spills and moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. The high-density structure of SPC flooring also contributes to its non-slip properties.

Is engineered hardwood real wood?

If you want the authentic look and feel of wood, engineered hardwood is a great choice because it’s made of real wood layers. The top layer is a solid hardwood veneer, which is then attached to a core comprising multiple layers of plywood.

This construction technique results in a floor that looks and feels like solid hardwood but with added stability and durability. But take note that not all engineered hardwoods are created equal. Some manufacturers cut corners by using lower-quality materials or skimping on the thickness of the top layer.

To ensure the best possible quality, look for products with a thick top layer (at least 2mm) and a reputable manufacturer with a proven track record of producing high-quality flooring.

How thick is engineered hardwood?

Engineered hardwood flooring has impressive durability and stability due to its top layer thickness, which can range from 1.2mm to 4mm, depending on the core and veneer layers. The thicker the top layer, the more times the flooring can be sanded and refinished, which offers a more cost-effective option in the long run.

A thicker top layer provides the flooring with more opportunities for sanding and refinishing, resulting in increased durability and longevity. Therefore, the thickness of the engineered hardwood flooring is crucial in determining its lifespan.

Enhance Your Space with Long-Lasting and Stylish Flooring

Choosing between SPC and engineered hardwood flooring depends on various factors, including your preference, budget, and the level of traffic your floors will see. Both options offer unique benefits, from SPC’s durability and water resistance to engineered hardwood’s natural beauty and warmth.

Ultimately, selecting the flooring that suits your needs and creates your space’s desired look and feel is essential. Regardless of your choice, both options will provide long-lasting functionality and style to your home or business. Make an informed choice, and enjoy your beautiful and functional floors for years.

So go ahead, make your choice, and enjoy the stunning results.

SPC VS Engineered Hardwood: 7 Things Discussed

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