Engineered timber flooring is not uncommon nowadays. In fact, the variations of engineered timber flooring continuously increase with innovative technology and better manufacturing processes.
With a wide range of engineered timber flooring products in the market, including laminated boards and rigid core flooring, what are the pros and cons amongst them?
Priding on its customer service, experts from SunStar SPC flooring break down the boards one by one.
Being the pioneer of engineered timber flooring, laminated boards basically stack thin wood together to the thickness suitable as a flooring board.
These engineered boards are lack of “engineering” usually, apart from glueing thin ply of wood together and sand them down to a better-looking board.
These laminated boards utilize the wasted ply of woods from making solid boards be more environmentally friendly. Adding to the benefits, laminated boards are more affordable than solid hardwood boards for budget-limited buyers.
Laminated boards also limit the number of refinishing allowed for the floor. While contemporary laminated boards are created to allow refinishing, it is still limiting until the top layer wears out. For high traffic cases like commercial space, laminated boards are not the best solution.
But laminated boards remain as a cheaper alternative to solid wood boards while providing the naturalness and warmth that buyers are looking for.
Rigid core flooring
Rigid core flooring is a new alternative of engineered timber flooring. These more contemporary timber floor solutions offer more advantages over both solid timber and laminated boards. And rigid core flooring is continuously improving through newer technologies.
The fundamental material used in rigid core flooring is “rigid core” itself. There are two types of rigid core on the market. Shortened to SPC and WPC, the two materials have slight and ignorable differences.
Other layers, including a bottom cork layer and a top cover, sandwich the rigid core to form the boards. Features like a clipping system are also added for simpler installation.
SPC vs WPC
As the core of these engineered timber flooring, SPC and WPC are both frequently seen on the market. But SPC has a slightly better momentum due to its affordability.
The full form of SPC and WPC refer to:
SPC: Stone Polymer Composite
WPC: Wood Polymer Composite
The names of the materials are self-explanatory. Both composite materials bind a natural resource with plastic composite to form a strong, dense and solid layer.
Because of their similarity of formation, SPC and WPC are hard materials that can resist impacts and offer substantial solidness when stepping on wood rather than vinyl.
Both SPC and WPC are 100% waterproof as well. Not only are they resistant to mould, but these composite flooring also protect the underfloor from moisture.
The advantages of the two materials are basically the same. They only differ from the warmth felt on the feet. WPC shares more of the warm feeling from wood while SPC is cooler on the first touch. However, more would choose SPC over WPC with the cost concerned.
Vinyl or timber?
Rigid core flooring has been dominated with vinyl for a long time. Notably for the overall affordability, vinyl is a cheap alternative to offer the look of timber without the actual need of using wood.
However, vinyl is fundamentally limiting in nature with the timber pattern variations. The repetitive look of vinyl will become apparent especially in larger spaces, not to mention the negative impact of low-quality vinyl.
On the notion of vinyl, it is not uncommon to hear feedback about the lack of naturalness with vinyl. Despite we seldom stare into the floor, an inaccurate representation of timber by the vinyl often downscale some of the most miraculous interiors.
Recently, a wholesaler has replaced the vinyl on a rigid core with a timber veneer to solve the issues. Using timber from a sustainable source, this ensured the rigid core timber flooring is as environmentally friendly as the vinyl brother.
The final words
Whichever engineered timber flooring that you choose, the naturalness of timber remains as the key in using timber in interior design. And the visible quality of the flooring is crucial to the appearance.
Albeit the differences in prices, spending more on quality looking timber flooring can earn you more benefits than choose more affordable ones for cost-saving now.