Everything You Need To Know About Laminate, Vinyl & SPC Flooring

The world of flooring can be a tricky one, with products like vinyl, SPC, underlay and laminate often causing confusion. Whether you're renovating a space or flooring a new build, we know that you'll want to make an informed decision on what's best for you. 

Here we run through some important information that will help you when choosing flooring with us.

What's the difference between laminate, vinyl and SPC flooring?

Our three main sellers of flooring are laminate, vinyl, and SPC. While some designs may look similar, let's break them down and look at what sets them apart.

Laminate Flooring is manufactured from wood and consists of a melamine surface. These floors are possibly the most well-established among new builders and renovators.

When considering laminate, there are a few things to bear in mind. Firstly, laminate floors can absorb water, meaning they can contract and expand. Secondly, due to their "clicking" application, the choice of underlay is essential to cushion this floor. However, laminate is extremely scratch resistant, easily installed and cleaned, and provides a beautiful realistic wooden floor feel. 

How thick should your laminate floor be?

Our laminates come in a range of thickness, from 8mm to 14mm. Choosing the right thickness is often a personal preference, depending on how cushioned you would like it to feel underfoot. 

A thicker laminate can provide a quieter and smaller echo, and a more realistic feel.

Greige Oak Herringbone
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Greige Oak Herringbone Laminate 12mm

29.88 sq m
This stunning laminate click Greige Oak Herringbone is an alternative to our current engineered 14/3 Herringbone collection. Once you get started they fit together perfectly to create a stunning finished floor, they also have a fantastic DIY click locking system. This laminate floor has an AC4 commercial rating, so are really hard wearing and can be used in commercial premises as well as being more than suitable for any busy home. They are ideal for a lounge, kitchen, dining room or hallway and are sure to create a conversation piece, particularly for their authenticity and decors. Each Box Contains: 1.92 (sq m)
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Heritage Oak Quarry 12mm Laminate Floor
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Heritage Oak Quarry 12mm

21.52 sq m
The Heritage Oak Quarry floor is a contemporary neutral toned laminate floor, which is sure to suit a range of interiors. This trendy floor is from the Heritage Oak range of laminate floors. Featuring a thickness of 12mm which allows for greater sound absorption, ideal for busier spaces within your home. The Heritage Oak Quarry flooring is suitable for both residential and commercial spaces. Each Box Contains: 1.6(sq m)
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What about AC Ratings?

Every laminate has an AC Rating- or Abrasion Class Rating. This rating differs for every laminate, and gives an indication of where in the home this floor might be best suited. 

  • AC1: Sufficient for bedrooms, walkways and closets.

  • AC2: Suits family rooms, living and dining rooms.

  • AC3: Best for a high-traffic space in the home such as hallway or corridor, and light commercial use. 

  • AC4: Great for residential spaces and commercial areas with medium foot traffic. 

  • AC5: The best option for a heavy commercial area.

What's the difference between laminate and vinyl?

Essentially, vinyl flooring is made of  synthetic material, with a PVC or SPC core. Due to this 100% synthetic make-up, vinyl is better suited to high moisture areas, such as kitchens.

What underlay do I need for laminate?

Underlay is essential for a number of reasons. The right underlay can facilitate underfloor heating, insulation, protection and sound absorption. 

Our only underlay suitable for underfloor heating is our Quick Transfer Underfloor.

Are laminate floors waterproof?

Many laminates are water resistant to a certain degree. However, it is not recommended to place a laminate floor in a damp or frequently flooded area as it cannot be guaranteed that it will withstand the conditions as this is not recommended.


Quick Transfer Underfloor Heating Underlay Roll

The perforated structure of the Quick Transfer underlay is unique and facilitates the transmission of heat. With quick transfer underlay you are sure to reach top efficiency of your flooring heating system. This low tog (0.35 Togs) underlay is designed for underfloor heating. Thermal resistance is RB=0.035m2K/W which means that the tog rating will be 0.35 togs. It is recommended that the heat transmission resistance of flooring and underlay must not exceed a value of RB= 0.15 m2K/W. This means that the thinner the engineered or laminate floor the better the transfer of heat. In Stock For Immediate Delivery
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Liberty Rock Tile Dallas 5.2mm

44.43 sq m
The Liberty Rock range is a high quality LVT Flooring with an acoustic underlay to absorb sounds. This LVT has a PU surface treatment which makes it easy to maintain and has a high scratch resistance. Not only that, but this luxury vinyl is 100% waterproof making it an ideal choice for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. There is an acoustic underlay backing built in this LVT which reduces noise levels by 18dB and provides extra comfort underfoot. The 4-way micro bevel adds to the realistic authentic look of this tile designed flooring. Easy to install stabilising rigid core with Uniclic Unipush patented technology. The Liberty Rock Range is ideally suited for all residential interiors as well as general commercial use in areas such as office, conference room, libraries etc. Each Box Contains: 1.8 (sq m)
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Now we've come to Vinyl Flooring. Vinyl is a flooring compost of 100% synthetic materials. The final product produces a highly durable, affordable and practical flooring for your home. The two main kinds of vinyl available are vinyl roll and LVT- or Luxury Vinyl Tile. 

LVT, or Luxury Vinyl Tile, is designed to look as realistic as laminate, giving a true wood floor effect. They come in either tile or plank formats to imitate real wood floors. LVT is generally incredibly fast and easy to install, meaning minimal downtime for each room being renovated. 

Vinyl Roll has a fibreglass-cushioned-back, giving flexibility and an almost unlimited number of styles. Vinyl rolls are also one of the most affordable solutions available. They are 100% phthalate-free and have low VOC emissions, all of which contribute to healthier indoor environments.

What are the pros and cons of vinyl?

This depends heavily on the style, brand and quality of the vinyl that you choose. The advantages of a vinyl floor include its quiet and comfortable underfoot, affordability, style and design ranges and easy installation. A disadvantage may be that the vinyl will be difficult to remove if it's glued to your floor. Vinyl can also scratch or dent if heavily furniture is placed on top of it. It has been noted previously that vinyl floors do not manage high temperatures or UV exposure as well as other flooring options. This means that colour may fade if exposed to high temperatures or sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

What rooms are suitable for vinyl flooring?

Due to its high water-resistance and durability, vinyl floors can be installed essentially in any room in your home.
Its water-resistance and durability make it particularly a good choice for bathrooms or kitchens. Vinyl is also a popular choice for many other rooms in the home including living and bedrooms.

What is SPC?

Unlike a vinyl floor which has a simple PVC core, SPC flooring has a core made of stone plastic composite. Meaning SPC will be much thicker, harder and less flexible than vinyl or LVT. Compared to LVT, SPC flooring is far more durable and dent-proof.

So, which floor is best for me?

That's the age-old question! Choosing flooring is a personal and situation-specific thing for many people. Luckily, you have us on hand to help. We'll happily talk you through all of our flooring options and help you make the right choice. Talk to us today to arrange a free flooring quote below.

Contact us here.

The Team @ Lawlor's.


Ranch Oak (SPC)

40.65 sq m
The Ranch Oak is a luxurious vinyl that combines limestone and stabilizers to create an extremely durable “Core”. This also adds stability, dent resistance and structure to vinyl plank flooring. This flooring comes complete, with attached Underlayment to help with sound reduction and add softness to the floor. Ranch Oak is 100% waterproof suitable for installation in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Each Box Contains: 2.64 (sq m)
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