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7 Different Types of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

2023-09-07, Laura Nieto


In the world of modern hard surfaces, luxury vinyl plank flooring stands out for its durability, affordability, easy upkeep, and realism. It’sbasically a dream floor. Designed to mimic the look and feel of hardwood, this flooring type combines practicality with elegance. Within the broad category of luxury vinyl plank flooring, several variations cater to different needs and preferences. Let's explore what is luxury vinyl and the seven main types.

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1. SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Stone Plastic Composite or SPC is a type of luxury vinyl plank flooring known for its incredible durability. What makes it so resilient?

Composition of SPC Flooring
As the name suggests, SPC combines limestone and stabilizers to create a rock-solid composite core which strengthens each plank from within. This core is both flexible and super strong.

Benefits of SPC Flooring
SPC flooring is perfect for areas that need resistance against impacts, heavy traffic, or even temperature changes. It's waterproof, which makes it ideal for spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. That SPC core also enables an extra strong click-lock edge, which makes for faster, easier installations.

Feel of SPC Flooring
Although it generally offers less cushioning than WPC, SPC’s rigidity provides a solid feel underfoot.

CALI Vinyl SPC Flooring
The following CALI collections are SPC luxury vinyl plank floors. These collections are all extra easy to install and 100% waterproof in addition to being especially well-protected from indentation:





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2. WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Wood Plastic Composite or WPC, another variant of luxury vinyl plank flooring, leans more towards comfort while retaining much of the durability features of SPC.

Composition of WPC Flooring
WPC combines wood pulp, plasticizers, and a foaming agent to create its unique core. Modern versions have less wood material for a more waterproof composition.

Benefits of WPC Flooring
WPC is 100% waterproof and slightly softer than SPC, thanks to its foaming agent. This gives planks a slightly more cushioned feel, making them comfortable for prolonged standing or walking. WPC planks are also generally thicker than SPC, which gives them more of a hardwood feel.

Application of WPC Flooring
While suited for any room, WPC’s relative softness makes it particularly appealing for spaces like living rooms and bedrooms. 

CALI Vinyl WPC Flooring
CALI’s premium luxury vinyl plank collection, Legends, is a WPC floor. The thickness of Legend planks is reminiscent of actual hardwood and offers extra insulation capabilities in addition to added comfort underfoot.

3. Loose Lay Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Loose lay vinyl planks provide for an extra easy installation.

Construction of Loose Lay Flooring
These planks are typically thicker and come with a special backing for grip.

Benefits of Loose Lay Flooring
The key advantage is the ease of installation. There's no need for click-lock, glue, or nails. The weight of the planks and their grippy backing keep them in place. Plus, they can be easily replaced if damaged.

Application of Loose Lay Flooring
Ideal for temporary installations or rental properties where minimal disruption is desired.

CALI Vinyl
CALI Vinyl floors all come with rapid click-lock milling, allowing them to be secured to adjacent planks. This makes for more reliable installations that are still fast and easy to complete.

4. Glue-Down Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

As the name suggests, glue down vinyl requires adhesive to stick to the subfloor.

Composition of Glue-Down Flooring
Thinner than loose lay planks, these are specifically designed for glue down installations.

Benefits of Glue-Down Flooring
Offers a more permanent solution and ensures planks stay firmly in place. Typically cheaper than other LVP types. These do require the extra step of applying glue during the installation process.

Application of Glue-Down Flooring
Commercial spaces or areas with heavy traffic would benefit the most due to its secure attachment to the subfloor.

CALI Vinyl Glue-Down Flooring
All CALI Vinyl luxury plank floorscan be glued down, but do not require this step. In fact, most customers prefer to float their planks. This technique relies on the floors’ extra-strong click-lock milling to keep planks together and allows for faster, glue-less projects. Not incorporating glue in a project also cuts down on cost and mess. For all flooring applications, make sure you have the right flooring accessories.

5. Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

While SPC is a type of rigid core, it's worth noting that not all rigid core luxury vinyl is SPC.

In an interview with Floor Covering Weekly about vinyl’s value, CALI president, Doug Jackson said, “the options to rigid core are endless. Rigid core can work in any space and with any décor. If a customer wants a barnwood look in her living room and marble in her bathroom, she can have it.”

Composition of Rigid Core Flooring
This type of luxury vinyl plank flooring comprises a dense core that offers firmness and durability. SPC is a variety of rigid core flooring.

Benefits of Rigid Core Flooring
Rigid core luxury vinyl plank flooring is known for its stability, durability, and resistance to dents or impacts.

Application of Rigid Core Flooring
This type of luxury vinyl plank flooring is suitable for areas with heavy furniture or appliances as it's less likely to dent.

CALI Vinyl Rigid Core Flooring
The following CALI Vinyl collections are SPC rigid core luxury vinyl plank floors:





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6. Interlocking Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

The interlocking or click-lock system refers to the type of milling and method of installation rather than the plank's material composition.

Construction of Interlocking Flooring
Designed with a specialized tongue-and-groove locking system that allows planks to be easily clicked into place.

Benefits of Interlocking Flooring
This installation method is DIY-friendly and doesn't require adhesive. The floating floor system is more versatile across different climates and requires no glue.

Application of Interlocking Flooring
This type of luxury vinyl plank flooring is great for homeowners looking for a DIY project or for quicker installations without the need for professionals.

CALI Vinyl Interlocking Flooring
All CALI Vinyl collections offer interlocking/click-lock milling.

7. EIR (Embossed in Register) Surface Texturing

While SPC and WPC refer to the core structure of luxury vinyl plank flooring, EIR focuses on the surface aesthetics. EIR is a technique used to add a premium textured finish to vinyl planks.

Technique of EIR Vinyl Plank Flooring
EIR replicates the exact grain and knot patterns found in natural wood by embossing these details onto the surface of the plank in alignment with the printed wood design.So if you see a knot, you’ll feel that knot as well.

Benefits of EIR Vinyl Plank Flooring
This technique enhances the authentic look and feel of the vinyl plank, making it even more indistinguishable from genuine hardwood. The added texture not only amplifies its visual appeal but also provides an added tactile experience.

Application of EIR Vinyl Plank Flooring
EIR is suitable for homeowners looking for the most realistic wood-look vinyl flooring, especially in spaces where authentic aesthetics are a priority.

CALI Vinyl EIR Vinyl Plank Flooring
The following CALI Vinyl collections offer planks with EIR texturing:





The range of luxury vinyl plank flooring options is vast and seeing new innovations all the time. From the composition of the core to the method of installation, there's an LVP solution for every need. Whether it's the cushioning properties of WPC or the easy installation of SPC click-lock, homeowners and contractors have a smorgasbord of choices to fit their requirements, budgets, and desired look.

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