What Exactly is WPC?
WPC—wood, plastic/polymer, composite—holds.
The “w” stands for wood, but the fact is the majority of WPC-type products entering the market today do not contain wood. WPC is a composite material made of thermoplastics, calcium carbonate and wood flour. Extruded as a core material, it is marketed as being waterproof, rigid and dimensionally stable. In an effort to differentiate their products, suppliers are branding their WPC offerings with names such as enhanced vinyl plank, engineered luxury vinyl flooring and waterproof vinyl.
Laminate floors are a very popular choice for pet owners and families with children because of their extreme durability. However, they are water resistant, not waterproof. The core board that composes the bulk of a laminate floor plank is made with compounds to increase its moisture resistance, and it is protected by layers both on the top and on the bottom, but it’s still an absorbent material.
Wood Plastic Core (WPC) is a patented hybrid composed of wood and plastic that adopts the best qualities of both vinyl and laminate flooring. COREtec™ and INNOcore, like all WPC, are 100% phthalate free materials. WPC is waterproof, provides superior stability, and is suitable for installation in areas with higher instances of moisture. It will never swell if exposed to water!
How does it differ from LVT?
(LVT is a luxury vinyl product that looks like stone or ceramic tile, complete with gorgeous natural colors and surface texture that feels like the real thing. Some styles are even made to be installed with grout.)
The main differences are that WPC is waterproof and can go over most subfloors without much preparation. Traditional vinyl floors are flexible and any unevenness in the subfloor will transfer through the surface. Compared to traditional glue-down LVT or solid-locking LVT, WPC products have a distinct advantage because the rigid core hides subfloor imperfections. In addition, the rigid core allows for longer and wider formats. With WPC, it is not necessary to worry about the preparation LVT would require for use over cracks and divots in concrete or wooden subfloors.