This year’s Flooring Show in Harrogate will host the launch of PRO-TEK WPC – a new type of engineered vinyl flooring. Developed to meet the demands of the commercial and residential sectors, this new innovation ticks a lot of boxes and looks set to open up new retail opportunities across brand new sectors. With over 40 natural effects to choose from, matching accessories and multiple benefits – from a waterproof construction to fast installation – it packs a big punch. But what exactly is WPC?

Wood plastic composite (WPC) is a type of engineered vinyl flooring. It’s still a relatively new concept in the UK, but in America it’s one of the fastest growing surface sectors. Many US retailers offer WPC as an alternative to luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and laminate, as it combines a natural aesthetic with the benefits of vinyl, and provides additional benefits too.

Its popularity has also been driven

by the demanding US commercial sector and it’s widely specified in new- build, healthcare, retail, education and hospitality sectors, with growing interest from the consumer market too. Closer to home, stick-down LVT has enjoyed strong growth in the UK and this, in turn, looks set to fuel interest further.

WPC flooring is waterproof and it’s renowned for being stable and rigid. It is made up of calcium carbonate, thermoplastics and wood flour.


the PRO-TEK WPC engineered vinyl construction, the WPC element makes up the fifth stability layer of the floor and sits below the UV layer, wear layer, décor layer and luxury vinyl top layer. The WPC element is the thickest layer and it forms the core structural layer, incorporating a glueless locking joint. Underneath the WPC layer is an attached IXPE foam underlay.

The incorporation of a WPC engineered structural layer makes the floor much thicker and more rigid than traditional vinyl, so it can be laid directly onto a subfloor with little or no preparation. In comparison, traditional vinyl tends to be more flexible and is prone to ‘telegraph’, i.e., any irregularities in the subfloor can distort the surface, creating gaps and an uneven appearance.

In traditional vinyl installations, subfloors generally 16 | Tomorrow’s Retail Floors

have to be screeded or boarded out to create a sufficiently flat surface but, even then, some distortion is often visible.

The new designs can be laid over most existing hard floor coverings and are compatible with ‘wet’ underfloor heating systems; the waterproof features also make it suitable for bathrooms and basements. Built-in underlay also makes the surface comfortable to walk on, as well as providing sound insulation up to 24db.

In addition, PRO-TEK’s WPC

engineered construction is phthalate- free and all materials used are 100% recyclable, so there are health and eco-benefits too.

There are also considerable time– saving benefits for the installer too. Minimal floor preparation and the product’s integral underlay cut installation time dramatically.

This makes it an attractive proposition for projects with tight turnarounds, from university halls to healthcare environments.

For the retailer looking to add design breadth to its portfolio, there are 40 individual designs within the PRO-TEK WPC range. Wood effects are divided into four collections: ‘Excel’ rustic planks; ‘Distressed’ vintage designs; ‘Excel Long Plank’, which includes wider, longer boards and ‘Essential’ – a range designed for new build homes, refurbishment and student accommodation. The fifth collection, Excel Tile, includes eight designs in marble, slate and travertine effects. Matching WPC vinyl-wrapped accessories are compatible with all of the collections and span from doorway T-bars, to stair set tread and riser profiles.

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