Choosing a hybrid floor
Hybrid floors are growing in popularity and there's a common belief that they're all pretty similar in quality. But this is absolutely not true!
There are two main hybrid types and one is a clear winner for safety, comfort, practicality, quality and acoustics.
Hybrid type 1: SPC
Most hybrid products are made from SPC (stone plastic composite). It's generally a simple manufacturing process with a fairly cheap set up cost, meaning lots of inexperienced factories are producing SPC hybrid products with limited quality control standards.
SPC hybrids have a brittle joint, so unless your subfloor is extremely flat, you'll run the risk of unevenness and breakage. It's also a rigid plank so if its placed over an uneven floor, you'll end up with trampoline effect -- where the plank doesn't make full contact with the floor, causing a drummy sound when walked on.
SPC hybrids also often contain harmful ingredients such as crystalline silica, so safety measures must be taken on installation to avoid the risk of silicosis.
So, is there a better hybrid option?
Hybrid type 2: True Core / Infused Core
Yes! Look for a much more flexible, forgiving product that is manufactured with a multi-step process, features multiple layers and is limestone and silica free. Examples include True Core, which is exclusive to NFD, or Carpet Court's Infused Polymer Core (IPC) hybrids.
True Core and IPC hybrids require a factory with the technology and experience to create a thermoplastic polymer with millions of tiny air pockets. This provides superior strength and flexibility along with great acoustic values.
Why is flexibility important? Because it allows the plank to follow slight contours and undulations in the subfloor without adding pressure to the locking system. This will help avoid unevenness and breakage and improve acoustics.
Our True Core hybrid product is the unrivalled Belize. Find out more about Belize here.
Here's a quick comparison between an SPC hybrid and True Core Belize...