Glue Down vs Rigid Core Waterproof Flooring

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Comparing Traditional Glue Down LVT/LVP to Rigid Core Waterproof Vinyl Flooring


Due to its unparalleled features, luxury vinyl continues to be a popular flooring choice among home and business owners. LV floors are the perfect blend of beauty, comfort, durability and affordability, making them a more popular choice than standard vinyl.

There are a few different categories within LV flooring, among which are traditional glue down tiles (LVT) and planks (LVP) as well as rigid core waterproof vinyl flooring. Although both floor types can be installed as tiles or planks, there are some key differences between the two products. Rigid luxury vinyl floors are 100 percent waterproof compared to their traditional glue down cousins. Moreover, rigid waterproof vinyl floors are easy to install and don’t require using messy adhesives.

Although both products can be excellent flooring solutions for your home or business, the advanced features of rigid core waterproof vinyl flooring can make it a better choice for moisture-prone rooms.

Traditional Glue Down LVT/LVP

As the name implies, traditional LVT/LVP flooring requires a glue down installation, which involves using an adhesive to glue the vinyl flooring to its base. At Metroflor, our most popular adhesive is our water-based Prevail 6000 due to its low odor, quick flash time, and relative ease of use. However, when using a water-based adhesive, the resulting LVT installation is only water resistant, because invasive water/moisture can break down a water-based adhesive. For installations of traditional glue-down LV floors that need to be more waterproof, a two-part epoxy like our Prevail 4000 can be used to improve the installed floors resistance to invasive moisture. However, the trade off is that two-part epoxies are more costly and time consuming to use than the more popular water-based adhesives.

Both methods involve similar installation techniques, which are thoroughly explained in the product’s installation and maintenance manual.

How Do Traditional Glue Down LVT/LVP Floors Perform Against Water?

As previously noted, traditional glue down vinyl floors aren’t considered completely waterproof. They have water-resistant properties, meaning the flooring shouldn’t be damaged by exposure to water, but water or moisture can adversely affect the adhesives used to install dry back products, potentially compromising the performance of the installation.

Because of this, water resistant floors such as glue down vinyl aren’t necessarily the best option in areas where moisture is an issue, such as bathrooms, mudrooms or basements. However, they perform well in variety of low-moisture residential and commercial environments, such as living rooms, bedrooms, offices and retail stores.

Benefits of Traditional Glue Down LVT/LVP

  • Extremely durable, warm and comfortable under foot
  • Doesn’t harbor dust or allergens
  • Available in a diverse array or authentic-looking patterns, colors and designs that replicate a natural wood or stone floor
  • Doesn’t peel, crack or delaminate
  • Doesn’t need waxing or surface treatments
  • Limitless designs can be created including borders and patterns such herringbone, parquet, and even intricate inlays can be installed with traditional glue down vinyl

Rigid Core Waterproof Vinyl Flooring

The installation of rigid core waterproof vinyl flooring doesn’t involve using any adhesive. Instead, the flooring is installed by snapping planks or tiles into place using the Droplock 100 technology integrated into the edge profile of each rigid core flooring product. The technology expedites installation speed and aligns the top-surfaces of adjoining planks.

How Does Rigid Core Waterproof Vinyl Flooring Perform Against Water?

As the name implies, Metroflor’s rigid core Inception SPC and Genesis WPC floors are 100 percent waterproof due to the absence of underlying adhesives. If you install a rigid core product in your home, your floor won’t be structurally damaged by exposure to water. This is why rigid core planks and tiles are ideal for high-moisture areas like kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and basements.

Benefits of Rigid Core Waterproof Vinyl Flooring

Rigid Core Waterproof Vinyl Flooring has all the benefits of traditional glue down products, plus a number of additional advantages, including:

  • Rigid core flooring hides minor subfloor imperfections and can keep them from telegraphing to the surface.
  • In many cases, rigid core floors can be installed directly over a residentially installed ceramic tile floor without having to fill the grout lines. This saves big bucks in labor costs and disposal fees… not to mention the mess that is avoided.
  • Many rigid core floors have an attached underlayment pad that provides comfort underfoot and helps absorb sound making it a great option for kitchens and for families with active households.
  • Fast and easy glueless installation
  • Tough wear layer for enhanced durability and surface protection
  • Ideal for pet owners due to resistance to stains, scratches and dents
  • Perfect for single family and multi-family homes and many commercial applications such as hotels, retail outlets, schools, and more.

Explore Luxury Vinyl Flooring Solutions from Metroflor

Whether you’re looking to upgrade the floors in your home or business, we offer the highest quality luxury vinyl and rigid core waterproof vinyl flooring. Our floors come in a diverse array of designs and our waterproof products are suitable for various high-moisture areas, including bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements.

To explore our large assortment of quality traditional glue down Metroflor LVT floors and Inception SPC and Genesis WPC rigid core waterproof floors, browse our website or contact a dealer near you.

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