Since its inception in the U.S. market in the mid 1990s, laminate flooring has garnered a well-earned reputation for being one of the most durable, scratch-resistant products available. And thanks to ongoing innovations in board construction and wear layer technology, it continues to be the go-to product category for retailers, builders, DIYers and other end users seeking a floor that offers the most bang for their buck.
But more recently—the past two to three years in particular—laminate flooring suppliers have made great strides in elevating the category’s performance in another area—water resistance. Whether it’s enhancements to the overall structure of the core board or innovations in perimeter sealing installation systems, suppliers have upped the ante in laminate flooring to better compete with the likes of WPC, SPC and LVT—products that are inherently waterproof.
Following are several examples of laminate flooring lines that tout either water-resistant or waterproof capabilities.
The Kingston Collection from BHW was designed to stand up to everyday accidents. This line features an i4F locking system for easy installation, a tough AC4 wear layer for scratch resistance and 100% waterproof functionality. Featuring a 12mm + 1mm attached IXPE pad thickness, these laminates are designed to withstand high traffic and daily wear and tear.
Cali, known for its high-performance, environmentally friendly products, took the wraps off Shorebreak, a new laminate line that features a fully waterproof SPC core as opposed to the traditional wood-based fiberboard core. The line is available in ultra-realistic stone visuals that are lighter, warmer and easier to install and clean than the real thing, according to Cali.
CFL, an early innovator in the laminate flooring field, has been successfully marketing its AtroGuard waterproof laminate line in markets across the globe. The product boasts a natural wood fiber floor that combines the durability of laminate with the stability of LVP. Key attributes of the product include WaterSafe Waterproof Technology and its ultra-stable SureCore. These attributes 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. Plus, AtroGuard floors, which are PVC free, can be maintained using steam or wet mopping, according to CFL.
Eternity Flooring offers its AquaFi line of waterproof laminate floors. The line features AC4EverPlus protection integrated with 72-hour SpillProtect technology. This makes the product suitable for kitchens and bathrooms on, above or below grade. Eternity Flooring also offers its Ecoessent Incore line of eco-friendly composite waterproof laminate. Featuring the company’s beefy, 12.3mm Aqua Fiber Core, Ecoessent Incore is engineered and tested to withstand everyday household spills for up to 72 hours. What’s more, Incore is child- and pet-friendly and wet-mop safe.
Inhaus is putting the spotlight on Lamdura, an ultra-premium laminate made in Germany. The product boasts a high-density, water-resistant Aqua Protect core topped with a commercially rated AC5 wear layer for added durability. If that wasn’t enough, Lamdura also features Inhaus’ patented Megaloc 2.0 water-resistant, angle-fold locking system.
Lions Floor introduced Comfort Heights, billed as an innovative solution for those seeking waterproof laminate flooring in their homes. The Comfort Heights high-density, water-resistant core is complemented by a surface layer that’s engineered to resist swelling, warping or buckling—all problems encountered by some floors when exposure to water or spills.
Mannington’s top-selling Restorations collection might be best known for its ultra-realistic hardwood visuals, but that’s not the only outstanding feature. The award-winning laminate line also boasts innovative waterproof technology called SpillShield Plus, which guarantees the floor will not be damaged from spills, standing moisture and pet messes for 72 hours.
“Laminate presents quite a few advantages that are appealing to the retail salesperson, the installer and the consumer: waterproof technologies; easy-to-install locking systems; embossed-in-register designs for an extremely realistic texture; digital printing for crisp and clear visuals; and extraordinary scratch and dent resistance,” said David Sheehan, VP, residential hard surface, Mannington Mills.
Mohawk’s popular line of RevWood products check virtually all the boxes when it comes to styling, design, value and performance. But its virtues don’t end there. The company showed why it’s an industry leader with the enhancement of its popular RevWood/RevWood Plus offerings. New styles in the collection feature Mohawk’s patented WetProtect technology that enables the product to be safely installed in areas of the home prone to spills or other accidents. “WetProtect offers the right kind of waterproof with water-tight joints, Mohawk’s proprietary waterproof finish and the industry’s only lifetime surface and subfloor warranty,” said David Moore, senior product director, wood and laminate.
The Pacific Vineyard waterproof laminate collection from SLCC features an embossed-in-register surface with an AC4-rated wear layer and a micro-beveled edge. Plank widths come in 6.67 and 7.5-inch options in today’s popular white oak visuals. “Our intention is to provide our customers with the best waterproof laminate offering possible to capture this exciting segment,” said Vincent Circosta, chief influence officer at SLCC.