Choosing to use EVP flooring saved me a bundle from going with natural hardwood floors, and I get the same effect for a fraction of the price.
EVP flooring is a vinyl-based floor product that imitates the look and presence of typical flooring materials such as stone or hardwood. EVP stands for Engineered Vinyl Planks and are designed with durability and aesthetics in mind. They also costs less than real hardwood or tile flooring.
After learning about EVP flooring and hearing about how more and more people were choosing vinyl over the real thing, I knew I had to investigate. I’m going to share with you my research on EVP, what LVP is and the difference between LVP and EVP, the pros and cons, and the installation process.
I’m also going to include a few additional questions with answers that folks typically have about EVP.
What Is EVP Flooring?
EVP flooring is a mix of laminate, engineered hardwood, and LVP, or luxury vinyl planks. EVP is thicker than LVP and has a more rigid core that maintains plank stability for years. It’s a popular flooring option, favored for its ease of installation, durability, and natural-looking design.
EVP Flooring Layers
To create the illusion of hardwood or stone, your vinyl plank flooring is made up of different layers, these are:
- Wear layer – is a clear coating on the topmost section that gets the most traction. If you’ve got a large amount of traffic coming through on your floors, you’re going to want to pay attention to the level of thickness; the higher the traffic, the thicker the wear level. This layer also helps to protect your floors from scratches, marks, spills, and anything else that may cause damage.
- Decorative layer – is where your personal preferences appear. This layer is beneath the wear layer and the one that’ll most resemble your desired flooring. If you’re interested in the look of tile flooring, some companies have EVP floors products available to mimic the look of tile, ceramic, or even marble flooring, in addition to hardwood and stone.
- Rigid core layer – Engineered Vinyl Planks are made with a rigid core layer, making this type of flooring extremely durable. This layer is stone-based which helps to create structure and stability. It also helps hide imperfections or unevenness of the floor underneath these planks.
- Backing layer – provides the bottom-most piece of EVP flooring and protects the rest of the plank from your original floor underneath.
What Are Main types of EVP Flooring?
There are two different types of EVP flooring you’ll find available, these are Stone Polymer Composite (SPC) and Wood Polymer Composite (WPC). Either of these types makes up the rigid core layer and helps to give the plank that waterproof seal.
Both types have advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other, so basically, it comes down to your needs and preferences on what type of flooring is the right choice for you.
If you’re worried about comfort, go with WPC. If you want a hard floor that’ll stand up to high foot traffic, go with SPC; it depends on your situation.
Let’s describe them more in detail.
Stone Polymer Composite
SPC’s core primarily consists of limestone, although it’s the thinner of the two types of planks, hence, making up the stone aspect of this choice.
It is generally tougher than its counterpart, so it’s mostly used in high-traffic locations, such as an office or business. This type also tends to be the more inexpensive selection despite its stone components and higher durability.
Wood Polymer Composite
Despite the name, WPC’s core isn’t made up of 100% wood but wood-like materials, such as wood flour. The finished product results in a softer plank, making this flooring more comfortable to stand and walk on than SPC.
WPC is also made with a foam-like substance that helps to absorb sound better than its stone counterpart. Due to its high comfort quality, WPC is best suited to residential homes in bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor spaces like patio.
What’s the Difference Between LVP and EVP Flooring?
Now that I’ve talked your ear off about everything EVP, it’s time to introduce another category of vinyl plank flooring.
LVP or luxury vinyl planks are an alternative to hardwood or stone flooring and come in various types of wood and plank designs. They are waterproof and cost less, just like EVP. Although they fall under the umbrella of vinyl plank flooring, they do have differences in their composites and installation processes.
LVP doesn’t have a rigid core like EVP does, which means LVP won’t have the same potential to be as stable as EVP flooring. The installation process can also differ. Although LVP and EVP are similar in looks and similar in the idea of an installation, the exact processes are a bit different.
They both have planks that interlock that go on top of your subfloor, but to add extra stability, LVP flooring is usually glued down to the original floor underneath, unlike EVP, which is laid on top of the subfloor.
EVP Flooring Pros and Cons
There are many positives to installing EVP flooring, but just like with every home improvement material, there are some downsides. Let’s take a look and weigh the pros and cons of EVP flooring.
- EVP flooring is a less expensive alternative than going with authentic hardwood, stone, tile, or ceramic floors.
- The aesthetic and attractive look makes it great for any room in your home or business, and you can even choose different patterns and designs that are tailored to fit your needs and preferences.
- The multi-layered planks are engineered to make this type of flooring durable, long-lasting, and comfortable.
- Installation is easy and can be done over an existing subfloor without having to glue down planks, leaving you with less of a headache.
- EVP flooring is also completely waterproof and a breeze to clean up once installed.
- If your floors become damaged or aged, you won’t be able to refinish them like you could with natural wooden planks. You’ll have to install brand-new EVPs instead of repairing the old ones.
- EVP doesn’t hold up to UV rays and will fade if placed in a room that receives an abundance of sunlight.
- EVP flooring isn’t the greenest option if you want to be environmentally friendly. EVPs are made with materials such as PVC, which aren’t biodegradable.
NOTE: Make sure you choose EVP that advertises a low VOC content.
How To Install EVP Flooring
The installation is pretty easy. If you’re willing and able, you can do it yourself, which is another plus for your budget! Engineered Vinyl Planks are designed to click and lock into place together, and installation can be done over the weekend, or usually 1-2 days.
Do You Need Underlayment?
You do need underlayment for vinyl flooring for the best outcome, especially if there are any cracks or flaws that may affect your EVP flooring. Some vinyl planks will not need underlayment and work problem-free, but it’s highly recommended.
See my best rated list below:
EVP Flooring Related Questions
How Much Does EVP Flooring Cost?
EVP flooring can cost as low as $2 up to $7 per square foot. The biggest factors affecting price are quality and personal preference. Oftentimes, it’s best to invest in flooring with a higher quality and thus cost because it will last significantly longer than less expensive options.
How Long Will EVP Flooring Last?
EVP flooring could last for up to 20 years, if treated and cared for correctly. You may even be able to find warranties on some EVP flooring brands, so be sure to shop around and do your research.
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