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Laminate Flooring vs. SPC Flooring: Which is Better?

Jun. 22, 2021

Many people may mistakenly believe that SPC and Laminate Flooring are the same. But don't they look the same? Well, it is indeed difficult to visually distinguish between SPC and laminate flooring. Nonetheless, there are many differences between the two types of flooring, and when you compare composition, function and characteristics, you will be convinced how different they are.

1. Core material

Typically, both laminate and SPC flooring consist of 4 layers, namely the backing layer, the core, the printed design layer and the top with wear layer. The difference lies in the materials used in each layer, especially the core material.

Laminate flooring

The core material used for this type of flooring is usually fiberboard. It can be MDF or HDF, depending on the quality of the laminate flooring you choose. Higher quality laminate flooring uses waterproof HDF as the core material. This helps to improve the overall durability of the laminate flooring.

SPC Flooring

As the name implies, SPC flooring uses solid SPC as the core material. Solid SPC has a high density, making it strong enough to withstand heavy foot traffic, durable, and of course, waterproof.

2. Cost

Much depends on the quality of flooring you are looking for. The price range for laminate and SPC flooring varies depending on its quality and features. Not only that, but installation and maintenance costs should be part of the consideration, as a well-maintained and well-installed floor can last for years.

Laminate Flooring

Cheap and low-quality laminate flooring can cost as little as $1 per square foot. However, high-end laminate flooring can cost as much as $5 per square foot or more. Mid-range laminate flooring typically costs about $3 per square foot.

While laminate flooring is cheaper per square foot, more importantly ...... laminate flooring is actually more difficult to maintain compared to SPC flooring. You should also consider the maintenance and repair costs of laminate flooring over time.

SPC Flooring

Again, depending on the type of SPC flooring you need, the cost of traditional SPC Flooring can be as low as $0.50 per square foot. On average, mid-range SPC flooring costs about $2.50 per square foot. For high-end SPC flooring, such as luxury SPC plank or luxury SPC tile, the price can be much higher, ranging from $5 to $8 per square foot. In addition, darker SPC flooring tends to be slightly more expensive due to the concentration of specialized pigments used. Therefore, do not be fooled into thinking that all SPC flooring products are low-cost.

SPC Flooring

SPC Flooring

3. Installation

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring with snap mechanism is one of the product range that simplifies the whole installation process. However, if not installed properly, moisture-sensitive gaps and edges can cause serious damage to the floor if water gets in. Specialized equipment, such as circular saws with specific blades and cutting tables, are required to prepare the laminate to fit the measurements.

SPC flooring

Even though you can find SPC flooring suitable for DIY, it may not be as easy as it seems. When installing sheet SPC flooring, you need certain skills, such as applying glue evenly and cutting the sheets.

4. Preparation for installation

Laminate flooring

Laminates need to be acclimated to their environment before installation. What is the easiest way to do this? Simply place a board or sheet on the floor for at least 3 days prior to installation. This is to ensure that the laminate is acclimatized to the surrounding temperature and humidity, thus reducing swelling problems after installation.

SPC Flooring

If you are preparing to install SPC flooring, a basic step that should never be skipped is to make sure that the existing floor or subfloor is smooth, level and free of dirt or dust. The reason for this is that any uneven surface of the subfloor will affect the finish of the SPC floor. 5.

5. Water resistance

Laminate flooring

As mentioned earlier, the core of laminate flooring is made of wood fibers and is therefore susceptible to water or moisture. Once laminate flooring comes into contact with water, problems such as swelling and curling edges are common.

SPC Flooring

Luxury SPC flooring has good water resistance. This is why you can see SPC flooring being installed in wet areas such as bathrooms, laundry areas and kitchens. However, some low quality or improperly installed SPC flooring may not handle moisture as effectively as luxury SPC flooring. In such cases, moisture can get trapped between the gaps and cause odors and mold to grow.

6. Thickness

Laminate flooring

The average thickness of laminate flooring is about 6 mm to 12 mm. Due to the structure of the layers and materials used, laminate flooring is usually much thicker than SPC flooring.

SPC flooring

The thickness of SPC flooring can be as thin as 1.5 mm and up to 5 mm. heavy duty SPC flooring is usually up to 5 mm thick and also has a thicker wear layer.

7. flooring warranty

Laminate flooring

Most warranties for laminate flooring are approximately 5 years or less. Compared to the warranty period of SPC flooring, this is quite short.

SPC Flooring

SPC flooring is usually more durable and therefore offers a longer warranty period. So don't be surprised to find that some high quality SPC flooring actually has a warranty of 10 to 20 years or even longer!

8. Flooring maintenance and cleaning

Laminate flooring

Although it is said that laminate flooring is very simple and easy to clean, this is not the case when it comes to maintaining the floor. Laminate flooring is sensitive to moisture and water. If you use laminate flooring at home, make sure you keep your laminate flooring dry and avoid using a wet mop when cleaning.

SPC Flooring

Cleaning SPC flooring can be accomplished by sweeping and wet mopping. It is waterproof, but you still do not want any moisture or water to penetrate the joints. Therefore, you should avoid flooding the floor with water or steam mopping. To keep it in good condition for a long time, you may also need to watch out for stains, UV rays and direct heat contact. This is a detailed guide on the proper way to clean and maintain SPC floors.

Which flooring is the best choice?

As you can see, there are many differences between laminate and SPC flooring. When taken care of properly, both are cost-effective and versatile options for homeowners.

Ultimately, it all depends on your lifestyle needs and desired style. If you are still unsure which one to choose, you can seek expert advice from our SPC Flooring Suppliers and we will be able to provide you with valuable suggestions and advice.

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