22 Aug Hybrid Flooring Review [Updated 2023] – 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 three methods:
- 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.
- 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. Experts also consider them slightly more quiet as they block more noise from passing to those below.
- Stone Wood Composite – The newest SWC hybrid combines stone and wood to form the most durable surface ever seen on hybrid flooring. In fact, SWC hybrid flooring is the only one to achieve an AC4 commercial-grade abrasion rating.
Benefits of Hybrid Flooring
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.
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.
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.
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: Crest Luxury SWC Review
The Crest Luxury SWC is our most innovative hybrid product – the first hybrid floor that offers both commercial-grade durability and full waterproofing in one package. The 10mm thick hybrid includes a 2mm acoustic underlay pre-attached to significantly reduce noise transfer and increase comfort underfoot. Crest hybrid is the ultimate high-performance floor that is used in residential, multi-residential and commercial applications.
Benefits of Crest Luxury SWC
- Durability – The Crest Luxury SWC is made with a unique stone and wood core, making it extremely durable against impacts and scratches. It uses an AC4 robust wear layer that exceeds some of the strongest laminate floors.
- Easy to Clean – Crest Luxury SWC is easy to clean and maintain, and hard to stain. The matt finish surface makes it harder for dirt and grime to cling to the surface.
- Acoustic Underlay – Crest hybrid flooring comes with a pre-attached 5 star AAAC acoustic underlay that makes it suitable for most multi-residential and commercial use.
- Ultra Stability – A key feature that puts Crest SWC above other hybrid flooring is the stability of the core. PVC-based hybrid floors are prone to expand under heat, whereas Crest SWC is impervious to movements from both moisture and temperature.
- Lifetime Warranty – Crest Luxury SWC walks the talk with a life time structural warranty. Rest knowing that you are covered when you choose an industry-leading floor covering.
Drawbacks of Crest Luxury SWC
- Higher Priced – The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies to this day and age. Our most premium hybrid floors do come with a higher price tag. However it is an investment as Crest hybrid flooring will last much longer than the cheaper options. Feel free to contact us for a quick quote.
- Smaller Plank Size – Customer reviews have shown that longer and wider planks are the trending design. Crest Luxury planks come a little over 1.2m long, whereas the hybrid flooring average plank is 1.5m – 1.8m long.
|Blackbutt||Sterling Oak||Spotted Gum||Sandy Oak|
Number 2: 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.
Update (2023): Marvel SPC has introduced a new deep red colour called Brushbox in a gorgeous burgundy with brown.
Benefits of Marvel SPC Hybrid Flooring
- 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.
- 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.
- Warranty – Marvel SPC hybrid flooring comes with 25 years of structural warranty for your peace of mind.
- Affordability – Marvel SPC has a surprisingly affordable price tag for value which makes it accessible for tighter budgets.
Drawbacks of Marvel SPC Hybrid Flooring
- 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|
Number 3: 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
- 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.
- Durability – These planks are very robust with their aluminum oxide wear layer. This is made evident through their very long warranty.
- Thick Plank – With 9.7mm of thickness, these floorboards are slightly more tolerant of subfloor unevenness.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Number 4: 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
- 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.
- Warranty – Both of these hybrid flooring ranges come with 25 years of warranty which backs the quality of the products.
- 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
- 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.
- 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|
Number 5: 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Warranty – Of course, Stone Floor comes with a 30-year residential warranty and a 10-year commercial warranty.
Drawbacks of Stone Floor
- 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.
- Dearer – Stone Floor comes with a higher price tag compared to other hybrid flooring options, which is justified by its’ high performance.
Top 3 Runner-Up Hybrid Floor Brands
Now that we’ve covered the top 5 hybrid flooring brands, here are some runner up options that are still great but have their drawbacks.
Runner Up 1: Dunlop Heartridge Highland Oak Review
Heartridge products have already shown promise since entering our showroom. The 7mm Highland Oak hybrid floorboards uses 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
- 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.
- Comfort Underfoot – Combining the softness of luxury vinyl planks and the rigidity of stone-plastic composite cores, Highland Oak provides an unparalleled comfortable walking surface.
- 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.
- 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
- Limited Patterns – The Highland Oak hybrid flooring range offers a limited number of unique patterns before repetitions. Since their colours have less feature variations, it’ll be harder to detect.
- 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, which definitely makes this range a great option.
Runner Up 2: Frontier District Hybrid Flooring Reviews
Frontier District is also manufactured and imported by Dunlop Flooring. This range’s feature is the incredibly low price tag that makes it the most affordable hybrid flooring in our showrooms. However there are some features that are sacrificed along the way…
Advantages of Frontier District Flooring
- Affordability – Frontier district offers the most savings out of 800+ waterproof floating floors. If budget is an important factor, this range is definitely worth exploring.
- Popular Designs – Affordable doesn’t mean unattractive when it comes to flooring. Frontier district offers quite a few trending colours that will definitely catch your eye.
Drawbacks of Frontier District Flooring
- Very Thin – Frontier district may be the most affordable hybrid floor, however it is also the thinnest option at only 5.3mm, including the underlay. This means the subfloor needs to be perfectly flat before laying these.
- Short Warranty – Frontier district reflects it’s lower price tag with a shorter warranty, only 10 years in residential settings.
Runner Up 3: PALLAS 6mm Hybrid Flooring Reviews
Pallas flooring is made up of 80% limestone and is well-suited for the harsh heat climates, in Australia. It’s safe to be used for the whole house, townhouse and apartment, with an underlay made of EVA.
Advantages of Pallas
- Star Coating – Pallas hybrid flooring offers a special “star coating” that makes the surface more stain resistant as it repels dirt and grime.
- Affordable – Pallas 6mm is on the more affordable side of hybrid flooring prices which makes it easier on your budget.
Drawbacks of Pallas
- Less Thick – Pallas flooring is 6mm, in thickness, which makes them thinner than other floorboards. Once again you will need a very flat an even subfloor for this brand.
- Lesser Acoustics – Pallas hybrid flooring only achieves a 4 star AAAC performance which means they cannot be used in as many applications as other types of hybrid flooring.
- Volatile Organic Compounds – VOCs are respiratory irritants that are commonly found in many man-made products. This includes the EVA underlay that Pallas Hybrid uses.
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.