You can install WPC vinyl over any smooth, even surface so your wood floors should be great! Just double check the manufacturer specifications on the specific product to be sure. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
What DIY project are you interested in?
By Ari Ziskin
Published: April 4, 2019 | Updated: June 3, 2021
WPC flooring stands for Wood Plastic Composite. These 100% waterproof engineered luxury vinyl planks and tiles are DIY-friendly, featuring an effortless interlocking system that can be installed over most existing subfloors.
WPC vinyl flooring is extraordinarily durable and known for its gorgeous, realistic aesthetic. Using advanced technologies, manufacturers are able to beautifully mimic the look of natural wood and stone at a lower price point.
There’s a reason WPC vinyl is taking the flooring world by storm! This bad boy is changing the way people buy flooring and it will only continue to grow and increase popularity over the next several years.
There’s a lot to learn, but first, let’s take a look at what other industry experts have to say about WPC vinyl flooring.
“Luxury vinyl tile was already one of the fastest growing floor covering categories. When you add to its benefits waterproof features and ease of installation, WPC products are a homerun for the consumer. We’ve already seen a new generation of products out in the marketplace with enhanced stability, durability and stain and indent resistance. And, there is a laser focus on bringing out realistic visuals. This is just the beginning. I expect suppliers to continue to innovate in the coming years to help fuel the growth of this category.” – Amy Rush-Imber, Editor in Chief, Floor Covering Weekly
Before we get into the details on WPC vinyl flooring, I want to show you just how legit these floors are. We wanted to put WPC vinyl’s ability to hold up to water damage and stains to the test and soaked that bad boy in red wine for 24 hours. We compared it to laminate and engineered hardwood to see how each floor would hold up.
WPC vinyl plank flooring and WPC vinyl tile flooring are best known for being 100% waterproof. It is luxury vinyl flooring amped up a notch with a special waterproof core that makes it perfect for just about any room in the house.
WPC is the best of the best in the vinyl flooring world and hugely popular amongst homeowners looking for the look of traditional hardwood without the maintenance. It is also one of the most popular flooring options for commercial spaces and businesses.
It’s beautiful and low maintenance.
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WPC waterproof flooring is typically comprised of 4 layers.*
*Can vary between manufacturers.
This is the backbone of your plank.
This is the main attraction! WPC flooring contains a solid, waterproof WPC core. It won’t ripple, swell or peel no matter much liquid you subject it to.
This is where you get your gorgeous photo imagery that makes the vinyl look (nearly) identical to natural materials like stone and wood. Often, WPC vinyl flooring is the highest quality vinyl on the market. This means you get the most realistic looks that people will swear are real wood/stone!
Just like with traditional vinyl, the wear layer is like your bodyguard; it helps protect your floor from dents, scratches, etc. The thicker the wear layer, the buffer your bodybuilder, you feel me?
WPC indoor flooring is known for having buff, beefy wear layers offering more protection. When you look at vinyl flooring, it’s just as (if not more) important to look at wear layer thickness as plank thickness.
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WPC vs LVT / LVP. So.much.lingo.
LVT stands for luxury vinyl tiles and LVP stands for luxury vinyl planks. Sometimes you will find LVT/LVP that are also waterproof/WPC, but not always. They mean two different things.
Typically, all WPC products will be considered luxury vinyl tiles or luxury vinyl planks, but not all luxury vinyl is WPC. Kind of like how all golden retrievers are dogs, but not all dogs are golden retrievers. It’s a specialty in the luxury vinyl market.
It’s worth noting, the term “luxury” is kind of like “organic”. There isn’t an industry standard or definition so you have to be a little wary when you see it. Usually (and, for us, always), a luxury vinyl product includes a thick, durable floor, multiple layers, realistic 3D printing, a tough wear layer, and sometimes, a textured surface. If not, it’s probably more like that junk food that sticks an organic label on the cover to make you think it’s healthy.
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Why does this matter?
Simple: a thicker plank is denser. It’s going to feel sturdier, and more substantial beneath your feet, as well as covering up for a less-than-stellar subfloor. It will also provide more resiliency and durability, making it more comfortable to stand on for extended periods of time, and also more likely to withstand the test of time.
All of our WPC vinyl flooring is relatively thick and definitely dense and durable enough for entire home use. If you’re trying to determine the best quality, you’ll want to look more at the wear layer than plank thickness.
That being said, here are the available WPC vinyl thickness options:
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The wear layer is the top surface of your WPC vinyl flooring. The wear layer is like the bodyguard for your floor. If your options were a scrawny little thing, or a big, bulky, tough and ready-for-battle bodyguard, obviously you’d want the latter.
While no bodyguard (wear layer) is perfect, there is a wide range and great options for every use and price point. Pretty simply put, thicker = better. The thicker the wear layer (or, the higher the MIL number), the more resistant your floor will be to scratching and scarring. Which wear layer do you need? Well, let’s take a look at our options.
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A better question would be where shouldn’t you use WPC vinyl flooring. Honestly, you can use WPC for any indoor application. So you wouldn’t want to use it to floor your entire backyard, but it’s great for any room in the house or business.
Because it’s waterproof and super durable, there are a few locations that are especially popular.
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Okay, cool. But is WPC right for you?
While anyone can benefit from WPC vinyl, there are a few types of people we’d really recommend it to.
The answer is pretty simple. WPC vinyl is 100% waterproof. Traditional vinyl and laminate floors are not.
Additionally, the thicker planks lend themselves to uneven subfloors, giving you less prep work before your wpc flooring installation. These thick planks also tend to be more durable and provide thicker wear layers which prevent your floor from dents and scratches.
WPC is like the best of the best in the vinyl world. Of course, many people are fine with traditional, water-resistant vinyl. But if you need that extra protection, nothing will do it quite like WPC.
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Okay, so how do you find this magical flooring? There are a few brands known for their WPC vinyl flooring lines.
Shaw’s Floorte line is perfect for anyone looking for WPC vinyl on more of a budget. It is the only WPC vinyl flooring on the market (that we’re aware of) that you can get at the same price as traditional vinyl and laminate.
These planks still offer a realistic wood look while maintaining the 100% waterproof capabilities that WPC vinyl is known for. They are, however, a little thinner and more limited in their warranty.
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Mohawk offers an in-between option. Their prices are typically somewhere around Floorte. Additionally, their warranty also falls in the in-between with a 35 year home warranty, which, if you ask me, is pretty darn good.
You can find some really unique looks in Mohawk’s WPC vinyl line that will make you forget all about solid hardwood. Seriously, they’re gorgeous!
Now, this could change any day as technology advances, but as of right now, all of our WPC vinyl floors come as interlocking floating floors. What does that mean for you? Well, those are the easiest kind to install!
So think about it – you don’t have to worry about unevenness in your subfloor* and you can easily install the flooring yourself. All the sudden the higher price point of WPC vinyl flooring is starting to seem more reasonable when you realize how much money you’re saving!
*Note: WPC vinyl can make up for a slightly uneven subfloor with normal cracks and wavering. However, if your floor is totally unlevel, not even magical WPC vinyl can fix that for you. In that case, you need to get someone out to moderately level your subfloor.
Ready to get started with WPC vinyl flooring?
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can WPC flooring be installed over 12 in square tile floors:?
If I install WPC over 12 inch tile will it make a hollow sound when walking on it with heels
Can I use my shark steam mop to clean WPC floors or is heat not recommended?
Is all WPC flooring phthalate free or only certain manufacturers?
I would like the link.
Oh sorry I just saw the links. Thanks
Can you please give me some links to phthalate-free WPC vinyl products?
I just purchased a house in Texas and considering the WPC flooring. The concern is will it benefit or hurt resale value. Any insight?
How can we get samples? We’re general contractors, and looking for waterproof flooring after Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
Can WPC be installed over mesh type radiant heat?
Hi can this flooring be glued down?
I am at a loss as to what flooring to put down in my 3 season porch.
It is unheated and sits about 20 inches off the ground. It is an aluminum framed sunroom. The subfloor is .75 inch pressure treated OSB.
WPC seems to be the only thing that is stable but I’m concerned about its stability and resistance to any moisture that might migrate from the ground.
Also, I live in the Northeast U.S.
Thanks for any advice.
I’ve decided on LVT WPC formmy concrete slab basement renovation. We’ve just looked at samples from Core Floor…is this a brand of CoreTec, or a totally different company? How do their WPC floors compare to CoreTec, Mohawk, Shaw, etc?
Is it is prefereble for out side of desert Khaima (tent) (MIDDLE EAST)
I would also like the link to the manufacturers who sell WPC without phthalates. In fact, I am looking at the most “green” floors possible. I have a toddler and this will be our forever home and I need something that is the least toxic. I know that FloorScore is one certification but the more the better! Thanks!
For diy person, when installing a vinyl flooring product require any special tools, like saw blades for the chop saw? Do the cuts melt the vinyl? Do you also need a vapor barrier? I look forward to hearing back from you.
I live in a cold climate, so I want to ensure that my basement flooring is warm. What is the r value of wpc with the cork layer?
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Do WPC flooring require a vapor barrier over a concrete slab on grade?
Tell me about WPC fade resistance from sunlight.
I think it’s really cool that you can use waterproofed flooring to hid imperfect sub-floors. I also think it would be great for the kitchen and laundry room areas of the home, as they have appliances which may leak. My aunt is building a new home, so I think she’d be very interested in ways she could waterproof her floors. Just to make sure I understand correctly, WPC vinyl can be installed over wooden floors, correct?
I’m looking into the care instructions for WPC flooring vs hardwood flooring to be used in a condo community and found your site. After further research, the WPC flooring seems to be the same maintenance as most hard wood floors. From the additional care requirements below, would you say this is in line with most WPC products?
• Long term exposure to direct sunlight can cause damage to the floor. Close drapes or blinds during peak sunlight hours.
• Do not wear high heeled footwear with missing heel lifts as they can cause denting to the WPC floors.
• Keep pet nails trimmed.
– Make sure that any metal protectors are rust-proof.
If you need to move heavy furniture and/or appliances across the floor, always use strips of wood, plywood, or hardboard runways to protect the floor. Always use runways even if you have an appliance dolly, or even if the heavy objects are equipped with wheels or rollers. Support furniture with wide-bearing, non-staining floor protectors. Ideally, the protectors should be at least one inch
in diameter, made of non-pigmented hard plastic, and rest flat on the floor.
Thank you so much for this posting. It was very helpful. I love it!!
Thank you so much for this posting. It was very helpful. I love it!!
What is the proper tool for cutting WPC
We have LVP flooring and were told no to use rubberized throw rugs is that true?
How to achieve the high wear resistant level for WPC flooring board?
Any research or reviews on Aquarius Waterproof WPC by Medallion? I am mostly concerned by the off-gasing of chemicals and would like a eco-friendly flooring option. I know of it to be Phtalate free but there are other gases
that can be harmful or toxic. Any assurances on WPC Vinyl?
All very informative… Questions about WPC.. Are there temperature restrictions that these can feasibly be used??.. 3 seasons homes?? -10 degrees?? -20??..
How do you secure the WPC floor from sliding around once you put them in place…. do I need to glue it to the base?
I love your information that vinyl plank flooring requires no maintenance and is more comfortable than tile while still looking beautiful. This has helped me make the decision to get vinyl plank flooring installed in my house. We will start looking into different services in our area and find one that offers some light colored vinyl planks with wood detailing.
Thicker plank does not mean denser. Thicker products can be less dense. Density is how compact the core is made. Less air, more dense. This means more dent resistance. You forgot SPC’s. They are water proof and have limestone mixed with vinyl. They are denser. WPC’s core is foamed up, less dense, and will dent easier than SPC’s.
Can WPC flooring planks be used in 3 season rooms in Michigan where temps are extremely cold and hot?
How does WPC hold up under heavy furniture?
New pieces of information. Very nice.
I have an older small hose that I just want to sell pretty quickly after years of some neglect. It’s a modest neighborhood. Is using WPC Vinyl overkill for moving such a home? Kitchen Dining and living room are all different flooring. I would want to make them into one contiguous Vinyl WPC which sounds expensive.
Is the WPC Vinyl Flooring Planks made in the USA? Got caught in the whole recall of the China produced laminate floors that were toxic!
Having a 100% waterproof floor sounds like a really good deal to me. The wife and I have been remodelling our kitchen and dining room to help give us some nice quality of life changes. I’d love to see what waterproof luxury vinyl flooring products I can try to bring more longevity to my kitchen and dining areas.
We are purchasing a house that has WPC flooring- Protex: Artisan #5510 Benchmark. I have read that some Vinyl flooring emits VOCs but some are safer and considered “low VOC”. Do you know who this flooring is characterized with regards to VOCs?
Thank you for posting so much information about WPC! Do you have a post that delves into the differences from WPC and SPC Cores? I believe they are both waterproof but what are the real advantages or disadvantages of one to the other?
Maybe you have a resource that looks at luxury vinyl as a whole and shares valuable insights like what you have shared here?
The article said it was good in bathrooms. Does that mean it can be used as the floor in the shower as well?
Looking for advice on vinyl flooring in the kitchen, should it be installed under secured cabinets and appliances? or should it be given room to expand ?
We just had Coretec Plus Premium WPC installed in our open concept townhome living area, kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. What type of throw rugs and/or area rugs are recommended? Would rubber-backed/non-skid rugs discolor the light-colored planks over time?
What products are suitable for camper floors? Will WPC work? Does it need to be glued, or can it remain as floating?
Another question. If I have a sound vinyl sheet floor in my camper, do I have to remove it or can I install over it?
Nice post, found a lot of information regarding WPC Vinyl flooring. Will share this information with many of my friends.
Can wpc vinyl be put over wood floors or do they have to come up before laying it down?