Hybrid Flooring Review 2021 – Honest Buyers Guide

Man researching about flooring on a couch

Hybrid Flooring Review 2021 – Honest Buyers Guide

With so many different hybrid flooring brands to choose from, how do we know which ones to trust and which ones to avoid?

As Sydney’s leading flooring retailer, our shelves showcase over a thousand different hybrid flooring products. We’ve aggregated our years of data – and present to you our first edition of the ‘Honest Review’ series. Before we begin, let’s review some hybrid flooring features.

Hybrid Floors – What Are They?

A common misconception is that hybrid flooring is the same as vinyl flooring. Vinyl plank flooring is made from plastics (polyvinyl chloride) and stabilisers, whereas hybrid flooring (a.k.a hybrid vinyl flooring) is a type of rigid floating floor covering constructed from one of two methods:

  1. Stone Plastic Composite – SPC hybrid floors are made from 80% limestone and 20% polyvinyl chloride. This makes them more durable and also slightly more affordable than WPC alternatives.
  2. Wood Plastic Composite –  WPC hybrid floors are made from 70% recycled wood fibres and 30% polyvinyl chloride. These planks are softer to the feet, and more comfortable. (At FloorVenue we usually recommend SPC over WPC)

hybrid flooring diagram which explains the different layers

Benefits of Hybrid Flooring

1. Waterproof

Hybrid floors are all 100% waterproof (otherwise it’s not a hybrid floor) which makes them suitable for areas that may be exposed to more water like kitchens and dining rooms. Although some may claim otherwise, our experience at FloorVenue advises against installing hybrid flooring in bathrooms.

2. Durable

Hybrid floors have a much more durable surface compared to natural timber flooring (although they aren’t as durable as laminate flooring). The urethane and aluminium oxide wear layer can withstand the rough and tumble of life very well, which makes them suitable for areas with higher traffic.

3. Stylish

As a synthetic solution, hybrid flooring utilises a print layer which allows them to emulate the look of any timber species. European oak, Australian hardwood, even tiles, and marble designs! You’ll definitely be spoiled for an option.

4. Floating Floor

The edge of each hybrid plank comes with a click-lock system which means you don’t need any glue or nails. This classifies them as ‘floating floors’. In fact, you can do DIY installations with hybrid floors if you are a hands-on person.

 installation of hybrid flooring

Top 5 Hybrid Floor Brands in Sydney

Without further delay, let’s explore some honest hybrid flooring reviews! It is important to understand the limitations of our top hybrid flooring brands so you know what you are paying for.

Number 1: Marvel SPC Review

Our hands-down number one top-selling products are the 6.5mm hybrid range which is constructed from a stone and plastic composition. Aside from a surprisingly affordable price tag, Marvel SPC’s key differentiating feature is their pre-attached underlay which achieves a 6-star acoustic rating.

Benefits of Marvel SPC Hybrid Flooring

  1. Acoustic Underlay – Marvel SPC’s pre-attached underlay achieves 6 AAAC stars which is the highest tier. This makes it very handy when installing in apartments, units, or townhouses with strict strata policies regarding noise.
  2. Design & Feel – Marvel SPC hybrid planks are hyperrealistic with an ’embossed in register’ surface finish where the visual designs come with matching grain patterns which you can literally feel.
  3. Warranty – Marvel SPC hybrid flooring comes with 25 years of structural warranty for your peace of mind.
  4. Affordability – Marvel SPC has a surprisingly affordable price tag for value which makes it accessible for tighter budgets.

Drawbacks of Marvel SPC Hybrid Flooring

  1. No Red Colour – They really don’t have a red colour in the Marvel Hybrid range. It doesn’t look like they’ll be developing one any time soon either, which is a real slump if that’s the colour you’re going for.
  2. Just Thick Enough – At FloorVenue, we don’t recommend choosing a hybrid floor that is any thinner than 6.5mm. Any thinner and there is a higher uneven subfloor intolerance. Marvel Hybrid flooring just makes the cut, which puts it on the safe side.
Blackbutt Silver Thaw Spotted Gum Classic Oak
Blackbutt Marvel SPC Silver Thaw Marvel SPC Spotted Gum Marvel SPC Classic Oak Marvel SPC

Number 2: ResiPlank RigidCore Summit Review

ResiPlank is one of the most premium of premium hybrid ranges. At 9.7mm thick, they offer embossed in register woodgrain surfaces with some of the most realistic timber designs amongst hybrid floors. If it’s design and feel underfoot which you are going for, ResiPlank Summit hybrid flooring is without question one of your best options.

Advantages of ResiPlank Summit Hybrid Flooring

  1. Design & Feel – ResiPlank RigidCore Summit has some of the most realistic prints and surface embossing which makes them feel just like real timber underfoot. These planks are also embossed in register.
  2. Durability – These planks are very robust with their aluminum oxide wear layer. This is made evident through their very long warranty.
  3. Thick Plank – With 9.7mm of thickness, these floorboards are slightly more tolerant of subfloor unevenness.
  4. Warranty – With 30 years of residential warranty and a 15-year commercial warranty, you can trust ResiPlank Summit to last.

Drawbacks of ResiPlank Summit Hybrid Flooring

  1. Dearer – ResiPlank Summit isn’t for a tight budget. Although the Summit range is on the pricier end of the spectrum, we can guarantee you’ll be getting what you pay for.
  2. Heavy – These planks are thick, they are long, and they are dense. If you plan to DIY install these floating floors, be sure to be careful with your back when lifting.
Blackbutt Nomad Spotted Gum Chiffon
ResiPlank Summit in Blackbutt Nomad ResiPlank Summit Northern Spotted Gum ResiPlank Summit Iron Grey ResiPlank Summit

Number 3: Easi-Plank & Aspire Review

The winners for the third most popular hybrid floors are Easi-Plank and Aspire RCB. Both of these hybrid floor ranges are within the moderate price range and offer peace of mind to buyers with their long record of positive reviews. Gorgeous, affordable, and durable – these two brands belong to Preference Floors, one of the first and most trusted hybrid flooring wholesalers in NSW. You can think of these two ranges as twins.

Advantages of Easi-Plank & Aspire Hybrid Flooring

  1. Visual Designs – Both Easi-Plank and Aspire hybrid flooring ranges come in a large range of contemporary designs. This includes various iterations of Australian hardwoods as well as European oak timber prints.
  2. Warranty – Both of these hybrid flooring ranges come with 25 years of warranty which backs the quality of the products.
  3. Affordable – Like Marvel SPC options, Easi-Plank and Aspire hybrid floors don’t command a very high price and sit in the middle range despite offering better qualities.

Drawbacks of Easi-Plank & Aspire Hybrid Flooring

  1. Just Thick Enough – Aspire and Easi-Plank are both 6.5mm which makes them on the thinner side of hybrid floors. Whilst they make the cut, they do require a more even subfloor.
  2. RCB – This fancy feature for Aspire RCB stands for Rigid Core Board. In reality, it’s the same as SPC (stone-plastic composition), in case you thought it was something special. Of course, that also means there aren’t any drawbacks either.
Spotted Gum Wheat Washed Coral Blackbutt
Spotted Gum Easi-Plank Wheat Easi-Plank Washed Coral Easi-Plank Blackbutt Easi-Plank

Number 4: Stone Floor Review

As the only range which offers both timber and tile designs, the 8mm thick Stone Floor hybrid flooring has a diverse range of visual aesthetics to match almost any interior. Their products are manufactured for unmatched durability as well as aesthetics and are definitely worthy of recognition.

Advantages of Stone Floor

  1. Tile & Marble Designs – Stone Floor options allow you to mimic the look of tiles at a more affordable rate compared to real tiles. Great for minimalist modern interior designs, especially in areas that may be exposed to more water or spillage like kitchens and dining areas.
  2. Durable – Stone Floor is very tough against abrasions. The surface achieves an AC4 (light commercial grade) durability rating, which is one of the highest amongst hybrid floors.
  3. Warranty – Of course, Stone Floor comes with a 30-year residential warranty and a 10-year commercial warranty.

Drawbacks of Stone Floor

  1. No Pre-attached Underlay – Where most hybrid floors come with pre-attached underlay to save you money and extra work, Stone Floor doesn’t offer this amenity. Although it’s not a major setback, you will need to source underlay separately.
  2. Dearer – Stone Floor comes with a higher price tag compared to other hybrid flooring options, which is justified by its’ high performance.
Blackbutt Oak Beige Natural White-wash
stone floor hybrid flooring in spotted gum, installed in kitchen Stonefloor hybrid flooring in oak beige colour stone floor hybrid flooring in natural colour Stone floor hybrid flooring in whitewash

Number 5: Dunlop Heartridge Highland Oak Review

Although Dunlop is a more recent partner of FloorVenue, their Heartridge products have already shown promise. The 7mm Highland Oak hybrid floorboards use an innovative method of improving dimensional stability by layering the SPC core in PVC films, allowing a greater reduction in movement.

Advantages of Highland Oak Hybrid Flooring

  1. Dimensional Stability – Highland Oak uses multiple layers of PVC and SPC for minimal expansion and contraction in temperature changes. The innovation is evident through their lifetime structural warranty.
  2. Comfort Underfoot – Combining the softness of luxury vinyl planks and rigidity of stone-plastic composite cores, Highland Oak provides an unparalleled comfortable walking surface.
  3. 5G-i Locking System – As a floating floor, Highland Oak uses the newest click-lock system which makes them easier to do a DIY installation.
  4. Warranty – The Heartridge Highland Oak range is equipped with 30 years of residential surface warranty and 10 years of commercial surface warranty.

Drawbacks of Highland Oak Hybrid Flooring

  1. Limited Patterns – The Highland Oak hybrid flooring range offers a limited number of unique patterns. Since their colours have less feature variations, it’ll be harder to detect.
  2. Less Affordable – As a premium range, Highland Oak is priced a little higher than the mid-range. In saying this, it isn’t as expensive as many other options out there.
Sterling Fall Arlington Grove Autumn Harvest Regal Cove
Sterling Fall Arlington Grove Autumn Harvest Regal Cove

Conclusion – Which Hybrid Vinyl Flooring Is Best?

Whilst we have given a comprehensive review of our best hybrid floors, it’s impossible for us to cover every single product out there. As Sydney’s leading and trusted flooring supply and installers, we don’t push specific brands or companies. Instead, our key focus is helping you find the best product for your individual circumstance.

If you would like advice on picking a floor, don’t hesitate to contact one of our flooring consultants for an honest product review. It doesn’t have to be centred on hybrid flooring, we can help with any floor covering whether it’s laminate flooring, vinyl flooring, or even solid timber flooring.

The short answer is yes, they are great! However, you must consider many factors before jumping to a conclusion.

Hybrid floors are 100% waterproof floors, very durable, and also come in many different designs. This makes them very attractive as they can be installed right around the entire house (except bathrooms).

On the other hand, these planks aren’t as scratch-resistant as laminate floors, don’t have real timber, and may require subfloor preparation since they are thinner.

Comparing laminate flooring and hybrid flooring really comes down to your individual circumstance. Whilst most laminate floors are not waterproof (keyword – most), hybrid floors are 100% waterproof. However, laminate flooring is more durable than hybrid flooring. In fact, you’ll find a very limited number of hybrid floors which are designed for commercial settings.

For a complete comparison, we have an entire article that explains the difference between laminate and hybrid flooring.

Decent hybrid floors should last a minimum of 20 years if cared for properly. Higher ranges can exceed 30 years, however, it really goes down to how well you treat your flooring, especially since they cannot be sanded or polished like solid timber.

Key tips to maintaining hybrid flooring include using felt pads for furniture legs, doormats at entrances to keep out dirt. Most importantly – ensure the subfloor is flat before installing hybrid planks, or any floating floor!

Hybrid flooring is indeed more popular than vinyl planks. Luxury vinyl planks were popularised for their waterproof nature, however, hybrid floors offer the same functionality with greater durability and more realistic timber designs. Often considered the ‘next generation’ of vinyl flooring, hybrid floors are definitely great.

On the flip side, vinyl planks are designed more for commercial settings since they may offer anti-stain and anti-slip features which hybrid floors do not normally have.

For a direct comparison, we’ve written an article that explains the difference between vinyl and hybrid flooring to help you decide.

The vast majority of hybrid floors are definitely not noisy, in fact they are one of the preferred options when it comes to reducing footfall noise.

This is because most hybrid floors come with a pre-attached underlay which traps the ambient and impact noises from passing into other areas.

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