Most people love the idea of hardwood floors. They are one of the few parts of a home that can transcend any style and trend, and are able to last for decades.
However, there are situations in which hardwood isn’t the best choice during a remodel or new build. A modestly budgeted renovation can mean that real hardwood flooring may have to be one of the products you nix from the list in order to stay within your price point.
You could also be a parent to toddlers, pets, or both, and that means a lot of wear-and-tear on not only floors, but every surface of your house.
With the promise to supply quality products for every budget and lifestyle, Builders Surplus has a variety of waterproof flooring products, such as luxury vinyl flooring options that give you the look and feel of hardwood floors.
There are so many options to choose from and that can get overwhelming, so let’s break it down so you get to know all about laminate products.
Your Two Options: Luxury Vinyl (LVT or LVP) or Waterproof Laminate
History of the laminate flooring starts in Sweden in early 1920 and despite popular misconception, there are actually very few similarities between hardwood and Laminate.
Whereas the durability of wood floors will vary with the different types of wood, laminate floors are not made from any particular species.
Laminates are constructed using three principal layers: the decorative layer, the core, and the backing layer. These layers are compressed together using a high-pressure process.
The higher the pressure used, the more durable the laminate will be--and it will have a higher AC rating. AC, or also known as Abrasion Rating System, was created to give us a way of determining durability and recommended usage level of different laminate floors. The common term used to denote the durability level of luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring is the Abrasion Criteria or “AC” rating.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring:
In 1926 vinyl as a useful substance was invented by accident. In Akron, Ohio, Waldo Lonsbury Semon, a researcher, was trying to develop an adhesive to bond rubber to metal for The BF Goodrich Company.
Vinyl manufacturing was reintroduced after the World Ware 11 ended, boasting some of its newly discovered properties, versatility and flame resistance. Vinyl flooring was shown to handle heavy foot traffic, and to be relatively inexpensive, so it quickly took off in commercial spaces, then in residential homes’ high traffic area, and finally as a home flooring in general. It became a solid competitor other resilient flooring.
The first Vinyl Planks were introduced in the 70's and they grew in popularity. Today these planks have a deal sealer. Vinyl plank is now available as a 100% waterproof floor. Top to bottom, inside and out, now they are 100% waterproof, and benefit from the same technologies that have made laminate flooring become so increasingly realistic looking.
The design options of LVT flooring make it a desirable material, but this flooring also has many properties that homeowners look for in their flooring. Extremely resistant to dents, moisture damage, heat and more, Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is perfect for those who want durable floors. Additionally, there are many types of LVT that offer built-in soundproofing and don’t contain harmful chemicals that will affect the air quality in your home.
Laminate Waterproof Flooring
Most laminate flooring is NOT waterproof, some are just water resistant. However, there are some waterproof laminates. The ONLY waterproof element is the surface, so if water gets into the cracks or underneath, it will be ruined. It’s better than standard laminate, but still not as durable as Luxury Vinyl.
What is the difference in Laminate and Luxury Vinyl Flooring? For starters, They’remade from different materials. Laminate flooring is made of layers. The primary layer (the core) is made of high-density fiberboard that gives laminate flooring its rigidity and strength. LVT is made in layers as well; its primary component is PVC vinyl, which makes LVT dimensionally stable and flexible.
Laminate flooring can offer the appearance of real hardwood floors or slate, but for about two-thirds the cost. Laminate flooring is an excellent choice–healthy for your family and environmentally friendly. It’s pretty durable and sometimes scratch resistant, it will not fade even after years of exposure to direct sunlight.
Surprisingly, some laminate waterproof flooring can be both chemical and burn resistant. Even the toughest stain you can safely remove with acetone, with no damage to the floor. And burning embers falling from an open fireplace will not leave any mark or discoloration.
The biggest downside to buying a waterproof laminate is the fact that only the surface is waterproof. Most major water accidents are in the cracks and under the boards.
Luxury Vinyl Plank – COREtec One and Plus
Luxury Vinyl Plank, also called Luxury Vinyl Tile, LVT or LVT, is becoming the flooring material of choice. Not only is it waterproof on the surface, the ENTIRE plank is 100% waterproof.
Achieving a beautiful wood look that requires little to no maintenance has never been easier than with COREtec One luxury vinyl plank flooring.
These planks are completely waterproof, highly durable, and resistant to dents, making them ideal for any room of the home.
A no-mess, glue-less installation, these luxury vinyl planks can be installed with minimal floor prep over existing hard surfaces and will help to hide sub floor imperfections.
With a 25 year residential warranty, you are sure to love your new flooring for many years to come.
COREtec Plus represents the next revolution in luxury vinyl flooring. This waterproof flooring is a great alternative to glue-down, solid locking, or laminate flooring. The patented construction of COREtec Plus features innovative core structure, which is an extruded core made from recycled wood and bamboo dust, limestone, and virgin PVC.
Since COREtec Plus is 100% waterproof, the floors can be installed in wet areas and will never swell when exposed to water. Inert and dimensionally stable; it will not expand or contract under normal conditions.
And the best part? Each COREtec Plus plank has an attached cork underlayment for a quieter, warmer vinyl floor that is naturally resistant to odor causing mold and mildew.