What is vinyl plank flooring?
Vinyl planks are 100% water-proof products that have multi-layers similar to laminate flooring. As the name implies, vinyl planks are made from vinyl and have elastic but firm construction. The core layer of the vinyl plank can be either stone plastic composite (SPC) or wood plastic composite (WPC), main difference being how the planks were constructed. Usually, planks that have WPC core tend to be thicker and softer on the foot. However, planks with SPC core perform better in areas with frequent temperature fluctuations and have better dent resistance. Vinyl planks can be divided in two groups depending on their look:
1= Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) has appearance of wood
2= Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has appearance of tile
Both LVP and LVT can be floating, glue-down or loose lay.
Since vinyl planks are 100% water proof, they can be installed in anywhere in the house including wet areas and basements. It is considered as most durable flooring choice since it is highly resistant to scratch and moisture. Also, it is pet-friendly, easy to maintain, and does not require special cleaning products. Compared to laminate flooring, vinyl planks tend to be quieter; however, they might need to be protected from direct sunlight to preserve their appearance.
- SPC (stone plastic composite) click vinyl flooring is an innovative flooring solution made to withstand the harshest conditions. With proper installation and minimal care, SPC flooring is virtually resistant to cupping, discolouration, expansion, and peeling. With easy installation through its click locking system, it can be installed on many surfaces such as radiant floor, plywood, concrete, tiles, and etc. Typically, SPC floors are able to exceed AC4 on the Abrasion Class scale, meaning it meets or exceeds the requirements of commercial grade floor materials. In addition to its outstanding durability, SPC flooring is also 100% waterproof.
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate is a multi-layered synthetic product with an imprinted decorative layer that gives the laminate appearance of hardwood floor or tile. The top layer of laminate is a transparent plastic to provide scratch resistance. The thickness of laminate can range from 8 mm to 15 mm, with the thickness being an important factor for aesthetics or durability. In terms of price, cost normally increases with increasing thickness.
Laminate flooring provides a great alternative to hardwood flooring without having a high price tag. It is easy to install and highly resistant to scratch. Also, effortless care and maintenance without use of special cleaners make laminate another attractive option for your home.
- Laminate floors are the floor of choice for below grade (basements) or in condos. Laminate floors are floating floors which are applied through a locking system. Laminate floors come in a variety of different finishes to meet a wide array of preferences. The main benefits of laminated floors is wide variety of colours, price, and durability.
What is hardwood flooring?
As the name suggests, hardwood flooring is made from wood, and it is considered as one of the most popular flooring choices among the homeowners. Although hardwood flooring might have a higher price tag than other flooring options, the benefits definitely outweigh the initial cost. Hardwood flooring adds elegance to your home and never goes out of style.
There are two main types of hardwood flooring: solid hardwood and engineered hardwood.
Solid hardwood is manufactured from solid wood and offers a real natural look. It can be sanded and refinished multiple times if you want to alter color of the wood. For high traffic areas, oak and maple is recommended due to their durability. For homeowners looking for a rustic atmosphere, hickory is the choice, while for those looking for a softer option, pine is recommended.
- Engineered hardwood is manufactured by gluing real wood over a plywood base, creating a multi-layer product that is very stable. If you are looking for an affordable hardwood flooring, then engineered hardwood is your choice, as you get the same natural appearance without the high cost. It is moisture resistant and highly durable, making it suitable for high-traffic areas including kitchens, halls and living rooms.
- Engineered hardwood is a great alternative to solid hardwood for a radiant subfloor, below grade or in a condo. It offers the same great look and feel of solid wood but is more stable and forgiving to extreme conditions in your home. The top layer of engineered hardwood is made of real wood, complemented by by a solid or plywood core. Depending on the manufacturer, they can be either float, glued, or nailed down. The biggest misconception regarding engineered flooring is that it is more scratch resistant than traditional solid hardwoods. This is not the case, as the surface layer of engineered floors is made of the same material as solid hardwood.
- Solid hardwood floors have a standard thickness of 3/4″, and is the most common type of floor with a wooden subfloor, as it requires staple or nail down application. The width of hardwood floors typically range between 2 1/4″ to 6″, though it is best to avoid floors wider than 5 1/4″ as they require more care, and more susceptible to cupping or warping caused by its environment.