With so many options, finding the best rigid core flooring for your home may feel a tad overwhelming. These Q&As about product construction, style options and installation will help you better understand this unique flooring type so you can shop with confidence.
What is hybrid rigid core flooring?
If you're shopping for the best water-proof flooring, hybrid rigid core should definitely be on your shortlist. It's a flooring that includes the best attributes of different flooring types: waterproof, scratch resistant, stain resistant and dent resistant.
Hybrid rigid core is a smart choice for shoppers who want the look and feel of natural wood plus peace of mind that their floors will hold up beautifully in high-traffic or high-moisture areas.
Hybrid rigid core flooring comes in a huge variety of hardwood designs, some with visuals and textures so realistic you'd believe it was the real thing.
What is the difference between rigid core and vinyl flooring?
Hybrid rigid core's construction is similar to vinyl tile or luxury vinyl — a wear layer, image layer, resilient core and attached underlayment. Unlike typical vinyl planks that are more flexible, rigid core's thick, sturdy boards allow for an easy floating-floor installation. Planks simply snap together instead of adhering to the subfloor.
Is hybrid rigid core durable?
Yes, it's incredibly durable in a couple of important ways:
- 100% waterproof – Like luxury vinyl, rigid core flooring is 100% waterproof, so planks won't swell, buckle or lose integrity when exposed to water. Install it anywhere in your home*!
- Scratch and stain resistant – The wear layer protects against everyday wear and is super easy to keep clean and maintain over time. EMPOWER™ Hybrid Luxury Flooring even has a commercial-grade wear layer that features our patented Diamond 10™ surface to take on the toughest challenges. Think kids and pets.
- Dent resistant – The firm core provides superior resistance to things like high heels, dropped objects and heavy furniture.
Armstrong Flooring's EMPOWER™ hybrid rigid core products have a lifetime warranty for residential use, and a 15-year Commercial warranty.
What is the best hybrid rigid core collection for durability?
Every rigid core collection is perfectly suited to install in busy homes, but EMPOWER™ offers unmatched scratch, stain and dent resistance thanks to its commercial-grade surface and reinforced mineral polymer core. Plus, it's backed by our lifetime warranty.
What is Diamond 10™ Technology?
Diamond 10™ Technology is a patented process where cultured diamonds are encapsulated within the surface of EMPOWER™ hybrid rigid core products providing unmatched scratch, stain and scuff resistance.
What is the best waterproof floor in the rigid core line?
Easy answer: EMPOWER™. Every EMPOWER™ product is 100% waterproof, meaning planks won't swell, buckle or lose integrity when exposed to water.
In what areas of my home can I install EMPOWER™ hybrid rigid core floors?
Install at, above or below ground level — anywhere you have floors*! Lots of people pick it for frequently used gathering spaces like playrooms and kitchens where there's plenty of foot traffic (and easy cleanup and comfort are key). Bathrooms, utility areas and laundries are also a good match since these floors perform superbly in high-moisture, high-use areas.
Of course with how realistic, chic and beautiful EMPOWER™ styles are, there's no reason to limit your installation to the busiest spaces. Elevate the style and longevity of your living room, dining room and bedroom floors, too!
Is hybrid rigid core a good alternative to hardwood?
Yes! Homeowners especially love that you can get really authentic looking wood styles, and have them be durable enough for rooms where moisture can be a concern. Hardwood isn't a good choice for bathroom and laundry installations, but because EMPOWER™ flooring is one of the best waterproof floor options, it's a perfect way to get gorgeous hardwood style in high-moisture areas.
How do you install EMPOWER™ hybrid rigid core floors?
We've rated this flooring "DIY Level": Beginner, so if you're pretty handy with tools and cutting you may feel confident tackling installation on your own. You can also consider the benefits of hiring a professional installer.
Angle/Angle locking installation. All EMPOWER™ products feature angle/angle locking planks. You simply connect boards to each other on an angle, then slide into place. The flooring then "floats" over the subfloor.
No acclimatisation is needed for most installations and rigid core products can be installed over large areas without transition strips*.
*See the installation instructions for specific recommendations and always use proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when cutting materials with electric tools where dust could be created.