Consumers don’t have to look too hard to find waterproof flooring. From ubiquitous store signage to catchy ads on TV, social media and other outlets, the abundance of waterproof floors is palpable. And it’s not just resilient products like SPC, WPC and LVP looking to make more waves in the market; wood/rigid core hybrids as well as new and improved waterproof laminates are also being promoted more heavily.
Following is an overview of some of the waterproof flooring products available to retailers and distributors today:
Armstrong Lutea SPC
Armstrong Flooring, now part of the AHF Products family of brands, returns to market in a big way with the introduction of a line called Lutea—a waterproof, rigid core offering targeting the midrange of the market. Produced in partnership with AHF Products’ manufacturing partner in Cambodia, the eye-catching, 20-SKU lineup comes in two formats: 7 x 60- inch planks (Oasis) and a beefier 9 x 60-inch version (Sanctuary).
Blue 11, a new rigid core line from Benchwick, features a core made with 80% recycled plastic recovered from oceans and waterways. As opposed to SPC floors that primarily utilize materials derived from oil or virgin PVC, Blue Eleven offers a more sustainable and feasible alternative to current manufacturing methods that are dependent on petroleum. “That’s thousands of tons of plastic recovered from the ocean,” said Ken Li, president of Benchwick, a subsidiary of Northann Corp.
GeoWood from Cali aims to offer consumers the best of two worlds: the durability and visual appeal of real hardwood combined with the waterproof qualities of SPC. GeoWood offers three wear layer options—oak, maple or bamboo—bonded to a 100% waterproof limestone composite core. This combination, according to Cali, makes the product exceptionally strong and dimensionally stable.
While some companies are just now wading into the waterproof/water-resistant laminate flooring pool, others have been towing the waters for several years now. Case in point is CFL, which has been successfully marketing its AtroGuard waterproof laminate line in markets across the globe for the past few years. The product boasts a natural wood fiber floor that combines the durability of laminate with the stability of LVP. It features CFL’s signature WaterSafe Waterproof Technology and ultra-stable SureCore, which allow the floors to be installed in any room of the house across over 4,000 square feet without transition moldings between rooms or open spaces.
COREtec Originals—the first WPC waterproof flooring to hit the U.S. market in 2013—is considered by many as the floor that launched the waterproof craze. Fast forward 10 years, COREtec Originals comprises three different tiers: Classics, Enhanced and Premium. This tiered approach not only gives COREtec retailers an opportunity to promote floors with demonstrable waterproof capabilities, but also offers dealers a valuable tradeup story. “A dealer would offer the COREtec brand because of what it provides compared to some of the other hard surface categories,” said Maud Swalens, senior marketing manager. “That waterproof aspect has become table stakes at this point for consumers, so all COREtec products offer that waterproof piece.”
The Dixie Group
The Dixie Group first entered the hard surface arena with a line of rigid core offerings under the TruCor brand and hardwood under the high-end Fabrica label. Now it’s throwing its hat into the suddenly resurgent laminate arena with Tymbr, a high-performance collection designed to be water-resistant up to 72 hours. The product is backed by a 10-year residential bath and kitchen warranty and features an AC5 rating for scratch resistance.
Eternity unveils its Ecoessent Incore eco-engineered composite water-resistant laminate flooring featuring an Aqua Fiber waterproof core with an overall thickness of 12.3mm. Ecoessent Incore is engineered and tested to withstand everyday household spills left for up to 72 hours. Incore is 100% child and pet-friendly and 100% wetmop safe. It features Digitalism 20/20 Technology, digitally enhanced exclusive patterns and colors designed in California. Eternity also offers a Made in USA waterproof laminate line called AquaFi, which features the Aqua Fiber waterproof core system with AC4EVERPLUS scratch and dent resistance and Spill-Resist technology.
Made in Germany, Inhaus’ Elandura is a new generation of health-conscious eco-vinyl flooring. Constructed using Ceramin—a proprietary production process—the collection is high performing and 100% waterproof and recyclable. Through Ceramin technology, Classen Group, Inhaus’ parent company, can craft a highly robust product that is truly waterproof, can withstand temperature changes and has ultra-low VOC emissions. Elandura’s is also 100% recyclable.
Lions Floor’s full line of waterproof SPC products have met and exceeded tests for moisture incursion, making them safe for any room in the room. What’s more, the latest EIR embossing technology with an impressive eight to 10 repeats on film designs. This pioneering capability delivers a premium look of rich and vivid wood-like flooring. The company’s 6-foot planks offer a premium look that aims to achieve the realism of a wood grain embossed veneer. The seven collections of classic yet stylish SPC flooring options all feature state-of-theart, registered-embossing technology for a more genuine rendering of natural wood flooring products.
Mannington’s TimberPlus combines the natural beauty of hardwood with extreme durability. TimberPlus is 100% real hardwood that is said to be 2x more scratch resistant and 3x more dent resistant than typical hardwood and is waterproof, thanks to the company’s SpillShield Plus technology, the 5G Dry profile that keeps water from seeping down to the subfloor and a high moisture-resistant core. Featuring European white oak in a long-and-wide format, TimberPlus boasts extra-large hardwood planks that are 8 inches wide x 7 feet long and are made with a technique allowing 10x more flooring to be produced from the same amount of lumber as traditional wood floors.
Pergo Extreme Ultra makes it easy to offer customers extreme durability at any price point. Pergo Extreme Ultra is dent-proof, kid-proof, pet-proof and waterproof, which translates into fewer customer claims. Featuring WetProtect technology, Pergo Extreme Ultra offers the right kind of waterproof with water-tight joints, a proprietary waterproof finish and a lifetime surface and subfloor warranty.
The Smithcliffs hybrid rigid core flooring series from MSI features extra-thick solid core construction with a pre-attached, 2mm closed-cell comfort and acoustic pad for greater comfort underfoot. With MSI’s patent-pending DryLuxe technology, the Smithcliffs collection offers 100% waterproof protection and the new CrystaLux Ultra protection layer, providing durability and longevity, and protection against everyday wear. With anti-microbial protection built in, Smithcliffs is ideal for any setting.
NovaFloor’s Dansbee is available in a waterproof rigid core format. The line features blonde tones, clean visuals and generous proportions—all designed to emulate chic, effortless style inspired by Southern California living. Color options include French Oak, White Ash, Brushed Oak and Contemporary Maple. Designed to accentuate the organic elements of home, Dansbee features a clean aesthetic designed to add warmth to the home.
Cling Comfort from OneFlor USA, which features innovative SetaGrip technology, is an ideal choice for a quick and easy installation on a tight budget. It is softer underfoot, acts as a sound insulator and can be installed in an occupied space quickly.
“What we like to say is, ‘It’s not your grandmother’s peel and stick,’” said Tiffany Davis, director of marketing. “It’s perfect for the residential market. You have retailers that have labor shortages; now they can send their B or C team to install the product. It can be installed over existing floors, so they can save money there, too. Or, if they have cash- and-carry customers, they can opt to install it by themselves. And it’s waterproof with sound absorption.”
Republic Floor, an innovator in the development of resilient vinyl flooring, offers its signature Pure SPC flooring lines. It has taken the wood content out of WPC flooring to make what it says is a greener product. Republic Floor also uses advanced manufacturing techniques to deliver winning visual designs that focus on quality and environmental sustainability. “The quality of Republic’s product is great, and their products are competitively priced for the quality you get,” said Carlos Hernandez, owner, Wholesale Flooring, Commerce, Calif. “I’ve never had a claim with them.”
Designed to be softer, warmer and quieter underfoot, Titan Platinum, part of the Floorté Classic Series, offers the style customers want with the performance they need. The design and performance layer boasts authentic wood visuals and texture while the company’s signature Armourbead finish protects from scratches and dents. The thicker WPC core is 100% waterproof with added foaming agents for enhanced warmth and comfort. When it comes to unwanted noise, Titan Platinum features an attached Soft Silence acoustical pad, providing increased peace and quiet.
Borrowed Scenery, an SPC vinyl collection from SLCC, is positioned as a premium SPC that allows for enhanced embossing options, better sound absorption and, of course, installations in areas prone to spills. The collection features two layers of vinyl, which adds stability to the product. Borrowed Scenery is a flexible product that can be bent in half and is durable enough to withstand the force of a bowling ball dropping on it without any dents or damage. The collection’s on-trend colors feature many traditional and contemporary looks.
Tarkett Home’s ProGen and NuGen rigid core offerings boast key features, including durability, waterproof attributes and ease of installation. Both ProGen and NuGen are designed with a rigid core construction that goes beyond basic LVT. This means it can handle whatever homeowners throw, drop, scrape or spill on it. In addition, ProGen and NuGen’s designs give users fashion-forward realism with all the benefits of rigid core flooring. With five new ProGen designs and three, 60-inch NuGen XL products, there is no shortage of unique, eye-catching options for the homeowner.
Unilin’s Unicoat, a water-repellent edge-coating technology, actively repels water away from the joints of the floor, making it an ideal waterproof solution for wood-based flooring. How it works: Unicoat is applied on the edges of the floorboard during production, resulting in a fully sealed surface when the panels are locked together. First, the coating seals the surface of the floor and prevents water from penetrating in between the joints of the flooring panels. As such, it prevents standing water underneath the floor, which could cause mold. Second, the coating prevents swelling of the edges of a floorboard by forming a shielding layer that minimizes its moisture absorptive nature. In addition, the coating protects the short-side edges of a wood top-layer from discoloring after it has been in contact with water.
The 5G Dry patented technology from Välinge not only boasts fast, easy and durable installation technology as the popular 5G Fold Down, but it has been updated with a unique, watertight joint—resulting in zero leakage through the seams of the floor panels. The new, watertight technology adds advantages to any type of flooring and is invaluable to extend performance and longevity of laminate, engineered wood and real hardwood products. When upgraded with 5G Dry, product performance is proved to be significantly enhanced without the need of any extra coating or chemicals.
Wellmade’s new “Ultimate Solution” HDPC/SPC rigid core flooring collection is designed for DIY, multi-family commercial or professional installations. It features an innovative installation system and is available in vinyl plank and vinyl tile options. In addition to 100% waterproof performance, the Ultimate Solution is said to substantially streamline the installation process. The product features a self-adhering IXPE pad that bonds easily to subfloors without additional adhesives, while its interlocking edge and end system includes a “crackn- peel” adhesive that increases locking strength and further prevents moisture incursion.