Today’s waterproof flooring can’t be pigeonholed; they run the gamut from sheet vinyl and SPC to laminate and engineered wood/rigid core hybrids. As well, waterproof is no longer the domain of traditional resilient suppliers. These days, you’re just as likely to see a carpet mill or hardwood manufacturer make the crossover to waterproof flooring.
This constellation of companies and flooring types reflect today’s market, one that is increasingly crowded with newcomers vying for showroom relevancy as they try to catch lightning in a bottle the way COREtec did 10 years ago.
FCNews‘ 2022 Ultimate Waterproof Guide showcases the latest and greatest waterproof products, with ongoing trends like wider/longer planks joining newer innovations such as advanced imaging technology—all with the purpose of creating a winning formula at retail.
A case in point is Cali, which is making use of more advanced imaging technology to deliver the sharpest details it has ever produced. Its colors are richer while specialized embossed-in-register treatment creates impressive realism to the point where if you see a knot in the grain, you’ll feel the texture of that knot as well.
This year’s guide includes newcomers as well as traditional hardwood companies offering up their own renditions of waterproof flooring. The new Riverwood XL line from Poplar Hill, for example, is a collection of five contemporary designs with realistic texturing. Riverwood XL’s overall thickness is 6.5mm with attached IXPE pad, and its 30-mil wear layer has the durability to withstand both residential use and heavy commercial traffic.
Johnson Hardwood introduced its own 30-mil wear layer, which it said will accomplish two goals—provide greater abrasion resistance and allow for a deeper embossing—ultimately providing a more aesthetically pleasing “real wood” visual.
Products made in the US are represented in this guide as well. In September, Bella Flooring Group will be unveiling its first domestically produced waterproof SPC collection. Dubbed American Woodlands, Bella has partnered with one of the most experienced rigid core manufacturers in the world with an emphasis on quality, styling and fast service.
Engineered Floors’ recent investment in domestic LVT manufacturing paves the way for products featuring the company’s cutting-edge digital print technology, as evidenced by its flagship digital print product, Ensignium.
Wellmade, meanwhile, has rolled out its waterproof HDPC/SPC Vinyl Plank collection, which is produced in the company’s new, state-of-the-art facility in Cartersville, Ga.
Then there’s Southwind’s new domestically made SPC line, aptly named Liberty Plank, which aims to provide long-lasting floors for today’s demanding consumers.
While rigid core/SPC dominates the waterproof landscape, flooring retailers shouldn’t overlook luxury sheet vinyl and its many benefits. In particular, Tarkett’s TruTEX sheet offering is designed to resist mold and mildew thanks to an innovative textile backing.
Stanton’s foray into hard surfaces has turned into a full-fledged invasion as its DWF collection features 84 colors in either traditional stairstep units or the company’s new flagship wing display. These collections cover a broad range of trending visuals.
The TruCOR brand from The Dixie Group, launched in 2019, has worked on building an innovative portfolio of hard surface offerings to set itself apart from the competition. Since then, it has brought to market unique collections in both WPC and SPC constructions.
Within these pages, readers will learn more about waterproof flooring—how the products are constructed, how they perform and how they should be positioned and sold to the consumer. The objective is to arm store owners and retail salespeople with the product knowledge and information on trends so they will be better equipped to respond to customer inquiries.
View the full guide here.
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