Hardwood: Innovations enhance water-resistant properties

lIn recent years, the hardwood flooring category has ceded market share to competing hard surface segments such as resilient (namely LVT/SPC/WPC) as well as laminate and ceramic – all of which have made strides in mimicking the wood-look imagery. At the same time, many of these alternative product segments also excel in the performance department, thanks to continuous innovations in waterproof/waterproof technologies.

Wood flooring suppliers, however, want to regain some of the market share they have lost by incorporating water-resistant/waterproof properties into their products. These innovations range from wood/SPC hybrids to products with advanced topical treatments, innovative cores and additional installation systems designed to prevent water from entering the top surface of the planks.

Following are some of the latest innovations in waterproof and water-resistant hardwood floors:

AHF PProducts

hardwood innovations

AHF’s growing portfolio of waterproof hardwoods includes products such as Hydropel (under the Bruce brand) and HydroBlok from the Hartco range – both of which feature the company’s patent-pending Densified Wood technology. Hydropel and HydroBlok are 100% waterproof parquet floors infused with patented technology to withstand water for up to 36 hours. This is possible thanks to an ultra-high density fibreboard technology combined with a special coating and locking system that helps protect against daily spills, wet mopping or even pet accidents due to absorption into the wood or leaks between planks in the subfloor. This innovative construction is denser and more water resistant than typical high-density plywood or fiberboard cores, according to AHF.


GeoWood from Cali aims to offer consumers the best of both worlds: the durability and visual appeal of real hardwood combined with the waterproof properties of SPC. GeoWood offers three wear layer options – oak, maple or bamboo – bonded to a 100% waterproof limestone composite core. According to Cali, this combination makes the product particularly strong and dimensionally stable. “An SPC hardwood hybrid like GeoWood is the closest thing to a truly waterproof wood floor,” said Doug Jackson, president. “It’s the happy, innovative middle ground between LVT and real wood, serving a category of customers who still want a natural product.”


hardwood innovations

Mannington dives into the waterproof wooden pool with TimberPlus, a real wooden floor from top to bottom. TimberPlus is extremely durable and offers 2x more scratch resistance and 3x more dent resistance than normal hardwood. Mannington’s SpillShield Plus technology combined with Välinge’s 5G Dry profile work in tandem with a moisture-resistant core to prevent water from seeping into the subfloor. The product also scores points in the field of visuals. TimberPlus consists of European white oak in a long and wide format and features oversized hardwood planks measuring 8 inches wide x 7 feet long. In addition, the products are made with a technique that allows 10x more floors to be produced from the same amount of wood as traditional wooden floors.


MSI has expanded its signature Everlife brand of waterproof LVT products with Woodhills Waterproof Wood. The innovative line consists of authentic, hand-selected, high-quality wooden floors that combine traditional craftsmanship with MSI’s patented technique. Woodhills features a genuine, handcrafted wooden top layer bonded to a rigid stone core. The collection is available in 11 colors and comes in planks measuring 6 ½ inches wide x 48 inches long that showcase the rich and natural aesthetic of hand-selected wood floors. Additional features include MSI’s exclusive DryLuxe technology and a pre-attached cushion for enhanced comfort and noise cancellation. The combination of features aims to deliver a luxury hardwood floor with all the benefits of rigid core LVT: durability, visual appeal and ease of installation and maintenance.


hardwood innovations

To help its retail partners keep up with demand for trendy, performance-enhanced hardwood floors, Mohawk is bolstering its portfolio with additions to its UltraWood line. These include new collections in character maple and European white oak, as well as enhancements to UltraWood Plus with CleanProtect. UltraWood floors also feature Mohawk’s patented WetProtect technology, a lifetime warranty for surface and subfloor waterproofing, and EasyClean technology. “The consumer is entering the purchasing process and wants hardwood; if you can get hardwoods with all the performance benefits, why would they want a plastic floor?” explained Seth Arnold, vice president of hard surface marketing, Mohawk.

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Shaw Floors has announced the introduction of new hardwood introductions with Repel Splash-Proof Hardwood. New styles include Tactility Oak and Tactility Hickory, both based on an HDF core and available in 6 3/8-inch widths in arbitrary lengths up to nearly 60 inches. Repel Hardwood is backed by a splash-proof limited warranty that protects against moisture from normal cleaning practices and against moisture from everyday household spills. Repel Hardwood also features the durable ScufResist Platinum finish for optimal protection against abrasions and scratches.

“Our new introductions of engineered hardwoods from Repel are focused on craftsmanship and long-lasting durability and cleanability,” said Matt Rosato, director of the hard surface channel at Shaw Floors. “Customers want style and performance and Repel is willing to provide both with timeless hardwood visuals and industry-leading durability.”

Well made

hardwood innovations

The natural beauty of real hardwood combined with Wellmade’s powerful HDPC/SPC rigid core makes waterproof hardwood a reality. Available in standard 5 x 48 inch planks and wider/longer premium 7 x 84 inch planks, the product is ideal for areas of the home that are sensitive to moisture.

Wellmade set a precedent in the emerging hybrid flooring category with its patented HDPC/SPC waterproof hardwood and strand bamboo product lines. With the natural beauty and warmth of real hardwood combined with the performance benefits of a rigid core, HDPC/SPC represents the next generation of parquet floors with proven durability and waterproof performance. Ideal for moisture-sensitive areas of the home, HDPC/SPC hardwoods and beach bamboo have a dense, non-porous surface that repels dirt and localized spills and seals out moisture from below. Add to that an antimicrobial, mildew resistant IXPE pad and you have a floor that promotes both comfort and hygiene.


Torly’s New EverestXP line of hardwood floors, billed by the company as “The Pinnacle of Hardwood”, was created to provide end users with a variety of design options for different woods in wider, longer and cleaner planks. More importantly, products in EverestXP collection – which is made of 100% natural materials – offers waterproof surface technology for installation in any residential or commercial space. According to the company, this provides consumers and end users with the high performance they have come to expect from today’s manufactured hardwood products without sacrificing the beauty of natural wood.

“Water and wood don’t normally go together — until now,” said Peter Barretto, Torlys president and CEO. “Consumers are walking into stores asking for a waterproof floor, but of course they want hardwood. Torlys EverestXP is the answer to what they ask. It has the water and dent resistance and is the only hardwood floor on the market today with an AC4 wear layer for extreme wear resistance.”

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hardwood innovations

Featuring several of the latest technologies developed and patented by Välinge Innovation, the parent company of Välinge Flooring, the hardwood flooring collection offers excellent advantages over traditional hardwood floors. Game-changing innovations such as the company’s signature Woodura surface technology and the 5G Dry folding system make the stunning real wood floors not only waterproof, but three to five times stronger than the average hardwood floor.

Another innovation added to the range is the brushed lacquer hardened wood flooring collection in sizes XL and XXL (up to 10 3/4 inches wide x 94 inches long). Made with a combination of the impressive Woodura technology and a new brushing method, the result is a durable, water and impact resistant real hardwood floor with a modern design and aesthetic.

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