Hopefully, this will clear up some confusion about this flooring category that goes by many names. It’s sometimes called wood plastic composite (WPC), rigid core, enhanced vinyl plank, composite core, multi-layer flooring, premium vinyl plank or something completely different. No matter the name, there’s no question it’s become very popular.
What is Rigid Core Flooring?
Rigid core luxury vinyl tile and plank (LVT/LVP) flooring is an improved version of first generation LVT. It’s more stable and is less likely to show indentation marks like high heel shoes or pet claws — a problem with some of the LVT category’s earlier products. You can drop a can of tomato soup on this floor and it won’t leave a dent. It’s more like laminate in this sense.
Rigid core literally means the core is solid PVC. The core is what’s between the top and bottom of the plank. Are you worried you might not have a perfectly even subfloor? One of the benefits of rigid core is it doesn’t telegraph minor subfloor imperfections is easier to install over imperfect subfloors. It can even be installed over things like tile and hardwood. But be careful with wavy floors because the locking mechanism may not perform well in this scenario.
It’s also dimensionally stable meaning that it will not expand and contract like traditional luxury vinyl floors do. The benefit here is that it will not separate or create a ridge where the planks come together with changes in temperature or moisture level. It also eliminates cupping and warping. Direct sunlight is not a problem and no acclimation time is needed before installation. Use it anywhere – kitchen, bathroom or the basement!
What is WPC Flooring?
WPC luxury vinyl tile and plank (LVT/LVP) flooring is also an improved version of first generation LVT. Its core contains wood and plastic. However, many these days do not contain any wood. Some do have cork backing which aids in cushioning and sound absorption.
Like rigid core, it is waterproof, can be installed over slightly imperfect subfloors and dimensionally stable. These floors can also be floated, meaning no glue or nails are required.
The visuals of these floors continue to improve with features such as high definition printing. Another feature of WPC as well as rigid core is the easy maintenance of sweeping, vacuuming and damp mopping.
Use it anywhere – the kitchen, bathroom or the basement! An example of WPC flooring is found on this page WPC Waterproof Flooring.
What is Luxury Vinyl Tile and Plank Flooring?
Luxury vinyl tile and plank (LVT/LVP) flooring is the common name for the first generation in this category. Some people use it for the entire category so be sure when talking with a salesperson which type they are talking about. Take a look at these examples of LVT and LVP.
These floors are still a great option, especially for the price-conscious consumer. Just take into consideration where the floor will be installed. Lots of sunlight? Imperfect subfloor? If so, avoid this type due to possible cupping, warping, gapping and telegraphing. Also be aware this floor can dent and scratch.