What is WPC flooring? Water proof flooring?
What is WPC flooring? Or waterproof vinyl?
WPC stands for wood plastic composite. It’s has been widely used for outdoor decking products due to its stability and waterproof feature. Lately, the same technology has been used in the interior floor covering industry but with a twist. In order to achieve a more realistic wood looking finish, a layer of luxury vinyl veneer is added to the WPC core to create the “waterproof flooring.”
Different from Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), the flooring can be easily installed by using interlocking system just like the traditional laminate flooring. Most of the WPC flooring comes with cork or pvc padding already attached, which makes it even easier to install. The requirements for subfloor preparation is also very minimal. It can be installed over concrete, plywood subfloor or over any hard surface. And because it is waterproof, customers can now choose to use it in the kitchen or full bath without the worry of water damages.
The quality of the WPC flooring is differentiated by the several components: the hardness of the core, the thickness of the vinyl veneer, the thickness of the wear layer. (the clear coating on top of the veneer) and the dimensions of individual plank.
Core: The density of the core affects the hardness. If incorrect mixture of wood, plastic and air is used during the production process, the core can turn out soft and weak.
Vinyl veneer: Being the more expensive component of the flooring, the thickness of the vinyl veneer affects the cost significantly. Make sure you choose manufacturers that use virgin material in this layer.
Wear layer: The thickness of the wear layer determines how “tough” the flooring is against wear and tear as well as scratches. It ranges from 8 mil, to 27 mil thick. Wateproof flooring with 20 mil wear layer is considered premium level. Such wear layer can withstand commercial usage as well.
Waterproof flooring is still in its development stage. Manufactures are still fine tuning designs and color variations as the market demand increases. That also means many smaller importers are taking advantage of the trend by bringing sub standard products with lower prices to lure consumers. Make sure you fully understand the specs of the flooring before you commit to the purchase.