Waterproof is a buzzword in the residential flooring market, but commercial building owners, designers and property managers are beginning to look at this category of flooring for their latest projects.
While waterproof flooring can encompass a host of materials, including resilient sheet, laminate and even some hardwoods, the rigid core category is drumming up interest in some commercial sectors as well.
“Rigid core products have seen growth in the commercial sector—maybe not to the level as in the residential sector, but rigid core products have seen growth commercially at an increasing rate,” explained Jeremy Whipple, vice president of business development, Novalis.
Drew Wiley, product manager, commercial, AHF Products, added that its rigid core’s unique features that are driving its growth. “Rigid core flooring is an innovative hybrid product that combines some of the best features from multiple flooring categories. There are varieties of rigid core solutions ideal for spaces ranging from hotel rooms and cafeterias to apartment buildings and retail businesses.”
For Mohawk, the rigid core market has grown within the commercial sector as LVT/LVP has, in general, as a component of the overall flooring market, according to Ben Wojcikiewicz, director of commercial hard surface. “We still see glue-down, flexible LVT being specified in a majority of projects in the commercial space, but rigid is popular in segments like senior living, hospitality and builder/multi-family,” he said. “This is primarily driven by a need for acoustical performance that isn’t delivered by other LVT/LVP product types.”
At Shaw Contract, Jeff West, vice president of marketing, explained that the rigid core category has also grown over the last year based on features like less floor prep, high indentation resistance and enhanced scratch performance. “Rigid core minimizes floor prep and reduces telegraphing,” he said. “This means faster and reduced installation costs. No transition strips are required between rigid core and carpet tile. It also has acoustic benefits, reducing sound transmission. Additionally, it addresses top-down moisture. It’s great for multi-family, senior-living and workplace environments—particularly common areas in these segments.”
Kelly Williams, design director at Patcraft, noted that within healthcare and education environments, the company often sees projects that have a shorter construction window or that are in a space that is unable to close down for an extended period of time. “These segments typically require a quick turnaround for flooring installation so disruptions will be minimized, and with attributes including no acclimation time and subfloor forgiveness, rigid core products can provide a faster install with minimal floor preparation.”
Following are some of the latest innovations in waterproof rigid core flooring for the commercial market.
AHF’s Nod to Nature collection comes in three distinct structures: Rewilding, dry-back traditional LVT; Individuality, loose-lay thick LVT; and Visionary, SPC rigid core. The collection features realistic hardwood and stone visuals. Each format delivers high performance with the HartGuard ultra-shield finish, which provides resistance to dents and stains and makes it easy to clean—just simple maintenance with damp mopping. The collection features a 15-year commercial warranty, plus it is FloorScore certified and includes Cleantivity antimicrobial technology, which inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
Ava by Novalis
Novalis’ Ava Fave aims to bring back the best and most popular designs for another run and with a Made in the USA impact. Fave’s high-density core (HDC) provides a waterproof, rigid core performance in large, 5.75 x 47.75 click planks with attached acoustical backing that provides superior sound control performance. Fave is phthalate free and has Ava’s AMP Advantage patented coating that resists 30% more scratches over typical coatings with exceptional wear resistance and high strength featuring low-gloss finish.
Patcraft’s rigid core Longitude collection is said to offer improved stain resistance compared to traditional LVT. It can withstand common stains such as hair dye, nail polish and nail polish remover, as well as common medical stains including iodine, disinfectants, hand sanitizers and others. The product also offers enduring durability that can stand up to the most demanding environments.
Shaw Contract’s Cover+ Envelop collection is designed to convey warmth and simplicity while delivering high performance and durability in heavy commercial environments. With a patented layered construction, COREtec is dimensionally stable, waterproof, scratch resistant and reduces sound transmission. Installation is quick and easy, which can help reduce time and labor costs. Manufactured in the USA without ortho-phthalates, Cover+ Envelop is FloorScore certified for low-VOCs.
ProGen is a rigid core flooring product with next-generation center-to-surface engineering, designed to perform radically better under the rigors of daily wear. It holds up against water, temperature change and sunlight, resisting buckling, denting and warping. ProGen features 22 high-definition wood designs, waterproof rigid construction, proven scratch and indent resistance and a fast locking click system for easy installation using a utility knife.