When renovating your home, choosing the right type of flooring is an important decision. There are two main types of flooring; SPC and laminate. They have similarities and key differences. Comparing them in depth can help you pick what works best for you. This article will show differences between SPC and laminate flooring in 6 key areas.
6 Main Differences Between SPC and Laminate Floors
One of the biggest differences between SPC and laminate flooring is water resistance. SPC stands for Stone Plastic Composite, and these floors are highly water-resistant. The limestone composite core and waterproof coating prevent water from penetrating the floor. Even if you spill a glass of water or have a pipe leak, an SPC floor will not swell, warp, or be damaged by moisture. SPC flooring Dubai is an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements.
Laminate flooring, on the other hand, is susceptible to water damage. The fiberboard core of laminate flooring will swell when it gets wet. Over time, excessive moisture will cause laminate floors to warp, buckle, and lose shape. The laminate flooring’s attached pad also retains moisture. For this reason, laminate is not recommended for rooms with frequent spills or leaks. Special water-resistant laminate is available, but traditional laminate still has limitations regarding moisture.
In terms of durability, SPC again has the advantage over laminate. SPC flooring is highly scratch, stain, and dent resistant due to its thick top layer of ceramic coating. Even high-impact drops leave no mark on SPC floors. Pet claws and furniture legs also do little damage to SPC flooring.
While laminate floors are durable to daily wear-and-tear, they are not scratch or stain-proof. The melamine layer on top of the laminate can become scratched by pets, furniture, shoes, and falling objects. Laminate flooring is also prone to staining from spills not cleaned up quickly. SPC offers better protection against scratches, dents, stains, and high-impact collisions.
The installation process for SPC and laminate floors also differs. SPC flooring can be installed as a floating floor or glued directly to the subfloor. Floating SPC floors click together with an interlocking system, much like laminate. But SPC can also be installed using the direct glue-down method, which creates an even more stable and secure floor.
Laminate floors can only be installed as floating floors. The planks connect by tongue-and-groove and click into place over an underlayment. Gluing laminate directly to the subfloor is not an option since the floor needs room to expand and contract. The floating installation of laminate is generally quicker than glue-down SPC, but the result may need to be more durable.
SPC flooring historically did not appear as realistic as laminate when imitating wood or stone. However, SPC flooring technology has advanced in recent years. New SPC floors feature surfaces virtually indistinguishable from genuine wood and stone. When comparing newer SPC and laminate floors, the visual differences are minimal. Both flooring options can accurately imitate natural materials with realistic designs.
Regarding visual appeal, laminate flooring has long had the edge over SPC and other resilient floors. High-quality laminate mimics the look of real hardwood, stone, or tile. Technological improvements in printing allow modern laminate floors to recreate the color variations, grains, and textures of high-end flooring options.
An area where SPC excels over laminate is heavyweight resistance. Since SPC contains a rigid composite core, it does not indent when heavy objects are placed on top of it. SPC will bounce back to its original form even after bearing heavy loads. Heavily trafficked commercial spaces often use SPC flooring because of its indentation resistance.
Laminate flooring’s fiberboard core cannot withstand the weight of heavy furniture or appliances. The pressure placed on laminate flooring can cause permanent indentations in the planks. It can lead to an uneven flooring surface. Using wide-legged furniture protectors on laminate floors helps prevent indentations. But SPC is the way to go for optimal indentation resistance in any room.
The final difference between these two popular floors comes down to cost. On average, SPC flooring is moderately more expensive than laminate. Part of the reason is that SPC is still an emerging product category, while laminate has been mass-produced for decades. The rigid core and ceramic coating layer of SPC also add manufacturing costs. However, as SPC gains more mainstream popularity, prices are coming down.
For a lower-priced alternative, laminate can’t be beat. The production process for laminate flooring is highly streamlined, keeping material and labor costs low. Many laminate brands offer affordable options for any budget. Though laminate costs less upfront, it may need replacing sooner than higher-priced SPC.
You can see several pros and cons when comparing SPC and laminate floors. SPC provides superior moisture resistance, durability, indentation resistance, and installation options. Laminate offers a more realistic appearance and lower upfront cost.
There is no universally “better” choice between SPC and laminate. The right flooring depends on your needs and budget. By weighing the key differences discussed here, you can decide which of these popular floors is the best fit for your home.