People searching for timber-looking floors for their homes often come across various options to choose from. Some options they may have run into include laminates, vinyl, engineered timber, glue-down vinyl planks and many more. In addition to these, they may have stumbled upon hybrid flooring.
One may wonder what hybrid floors are and, since it is hybrid, what components does it merge? And more importantly, they may ask if this is a suitable option for their homes. And these are some of the questions, the answers to which will be provided in this article.
What Is a Hybrid Floor?
Hybrid flooring combines two widely used types of flooring: laminate and vinyl. Both these types have been used for many years in countless homes. Hybrid floors were developed to overcome their drawbacks because these floor types are not suited to all types of buildings. They are developed by incorporating the best characteristics of both these floor types. They can easily be installed (like laminates) while being able to withstand wetness (like vinyl).
Construction of Hybrid Floors
This flooring typically consists of four layers:
- Top hard-wearing surface
- Decorative layer
- Waterproof core
- Pre-adhered backing layer
Often, hybrid flooring is fabricated from inert polymer or stone polymer cores. Along with these, many layers are involved, such as the acoustic backing, stability layers, wear layer, high definition image, and the specialised core, apart from various protective layers. Like laminate floors, hybrid floors possess multiple interconnection locking systems that facilitate simpler installations.
Types of Hybrid Floors
Hybrid floors mainly consist of two types based on the type of core used.
- WPC: WPC stands for wood plastic composite. As the name suggests, the core is made of wood plastic composites which are smooth and safe underfoot. WPC is perfect for residential applications. It is extremely comfortable, can be incorporated around corners and stairs, and is a child- and pet-friendly.
- SPC: SPC is an acronym for stone polymer composite. The core here is made of stone shavings compressed into the core board, which is topped up by the coating and decorative layer. The material is affordable, strong, doesn’t distort and produces very little noise. Due to these reasons, SPC finds a practical application in offices and commercial buildings.
Benefits of Hybrid Floors
As mentioned earlier, a hybrid floor comprises four layers. These layers add beneficial properties to the floor, equipping it to withstand multiple issues whilst adding certain benefits.
- Minimal Expansion and Contraction: Hybrid floors have been designed to overcome vinyl’s shortcomings, which tend to swell when met with adverse conditions, and are equipped to withstand changing weather conditions.
- Waterproof: Being a combination of vinyl and laminates, hybrid floors are 100% waterproof and can be used in areas of the house most prone to damage caused by water without a worry.
- Strong and Durable: These floors have been designed with durability being a key requirement and can last very long and handle high foot traffic with absolute ease.
- Timber Look: The decorative layer provides the finishing touch, which offers a splendid resemblance to genuine timber.
Hybrid flooring has emerged as an extremely attractive yet cost-effective floor solution for people seeking floors that look like a million bucks while being as sturdy and cost-efficient as possible. These floors assimilate the advantages of vinyl and laminates while keeping their shortcomings at bay. Apart from these characteristics, they are very simple to install and maintain after that as well. Because of these reasons, they have been gaining a lot of popularity and acceptance of late.