Water-Resistant Laminate Flooring

F&D LGN AQUAGUARD3

 

About a month ago, my sister and her husband, who live right around the corner from us (remember this post?), decided it was time to replace their carpet and 80s white floor tile. Here’s what the house looked like when they bought it last year:

 

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Their home has a pretty open layout, so we set out to pick a laminate flooring option that not only looked beautiful in their living spaces but that could go in the kitchen and bathrooms too. They needed about 2000 sq ft of flooring for these main areas, so we also wanted something affordable. After this post on my favorite wood flooring picks from Floor & Decor, Ali and TJ started researching Aquaguard as a serious option. They really loved the price (only $2.99/sq ft!) and the color (they chose the Calico stain – a grayed brown midtone), but they were especially excited by the idea of their laminate being water resistant!
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After ordering a sample plank and testing it every which way by gauging it with nails, scratching it with a knife and then letting water sit on the plank for days at a time, we were all VERY impressed with how the Aquaguard held up to the abuse! The material itself feels so solid and well-made, but the color and pattern also are very forgiving!

 

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We picked up the laminate and let it sit (still boxed up) inside the house for a few days to acclimate while working on prepping the floors. All the tile demo and carpet removal actually took more time than the flooring install! Ali also patched the concrete cracks and divots with FeatherFinish and removed all the baseboards, which were later primed and painted bright white! The paint change alone made an ENORMOUS difference in the look and feel of the house!

 

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Ali and TJ also decided to invest in a really great, eco-friendly underlayment. Floor & Decor has this cool sample stand in their stores where you can tap a golf ball on the same flooring with different underlayments and its insane how much of a difference there is between the different underlayments and their sound-masking levels! There is absolutely no tapping or swooshing sound when you walk on these new floors!

 

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Another great thing about this particular underlayment is it comes in smaller rolls, which is incredibly DIY-friendly! Those huge, bulky rolls can be hard to manage but this one’s really easy to use – you just roll in out, lay a few rows of your laminate on top and then connect another layer of underlayment with the clear sticker adhesive strip. It couldn’t be simpler and I love that you don’t have to deal with any crazy glue!

 

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The Aquaguard laminate itself is also incredibly simple to install. You just come in with the plank at an angle, line up the grooves until they sort of settle and click and then you lay the plank down and tap it into place with a rubber mallet. AND THAT’S IT!!

 

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The only part maybe that is time-consuming is doing all the end cuts, but that’s going to come with every type of flooring install. And also like with other wood plank flooring, you’re going to want to stagger the planks so the seams are random. If you’re not careful about this, a pattern will start to emerge in the seams and you likely won’t be happy with the look.

 

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Here’s the finished look in Ali’s family room and breakfast nook! Doesn’t it look so light and pretty in here? Between the Aquaguard laminate and the bright white trim and fireplace, it feels like a brand new house!!

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I also love how the “Calico” color of the floors mixes with other wood tones in the room, like their piano, the wood paneling on the ceiling, the floating credenza waterfall and even the legs of the ottoman we upholstered with a serape. It’s an amazing stain color that goes with everything!

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I also love how the floors look with the layered rugs! We bound two IKEA jute rugs together and layered this 5×8 Loloi rug on top. Aren’t the colors amazing? I love the overdyed pattern.

 

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We are so THRILLED with the Aquaguard laminate! It felt like a big undertaking to replace all the floors, but it wasn’t all that difficult for Ali and TJ to execute – and the pay off was huge. They are most excited about how the laminate is water-resistant. It’s holding up so well in their kitchen (which we’re tackling together soon!). :)
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Floor & Decor is a well-loved partner of LGN! All opinions are my own.

  1. Rebecca

    Hi! Long time reader and I love your new site! May I ask where your sister’s floating credenza is from? Love it!

    • Hayley

      I am wondering the same exact thing! Are they Ikea Besta units?

      • Jamie

        I’d love to know that too!

    • Heather

      Ditto!

  2. Heidi

    Long time reader and not a fan of the new site. The font is too small and difficult to read. Please reconsider!

    • Jenny

      We’re working on it! :)

  3. Erin

    I can’t believe that you just made laminate floors look good. Beautiful. #whenyoursisterisjennykomenda #jealous

  4. Kathy

    Gorgeous! All of it! That ottoman is genius! (p.s. no need to blur the seam in the rugs – they look beautiful as they are!)

  5. Julia

    I’m a long time reader and am so excited to see the site redesign, and see some fresh new content! The floors are great. Binding two ikea rugs together is something I’m now going to look into. I really loved your sisters black fiddle leaf fig pot with the serape upholstered stool. Great combo.

  6. Monika

    Hello! Wonderful new site! I, too, am curious about the tv credenza. I’m assuming it’s a DIY, perhaps Ikea cabinets bound together? Please share.

    • Jenny

      Yup! IKEA kitchen cabinet uppers hung on the wall and wrapped in wood we stained! It’s a really satisfying project and its nice to have such a big storage piece up off the ground. Keeps things nice and airy!

  7. Beck

    Very excited to learn about this product!

    Also – love the new site design. So pretty! Font size is hard on my eyes, though.

    • Jenny

      Thanks!! We’re working on adjusting the sizes, etc. Thank you for the feedback!

  8. Carolyn in Utah

    Had no idea there was such a thing as waterproof laminate! I’ve lived in my house for 9 years with a very poorly stained concrete floor in the basement and have been so indecisive about what kind of flooring to use down there. This is SO perfect, thank you!

    • Jenny

      You should FOR SURE check out the Aquaguard. It is an amazing look in person especially! Wait until you see what we’re going to do in Ali’s kitchen! :)

  9. yvonne

    Do I spy your old hexagonal dining table?

    • Jenny

      Yes ma’am! With a fresh coat of paint! :)

  10. anne

    I am truly sorry to have to write this, but I find your new website a distinct disappointment. As many have mentioned, the font is too small. One of my favorite features of the old site was the archives function – that was how I read about all your houses, back to the beginning. Now there is just the “Browse” tab at the top, which takes me to five links that do not work. I also loved the blog roll – I usually checked your site every day or two and then picked out a few others from the list to catch up on – now I don’t even know how to find many of them.

    • Jenny

      Hi Anne!

      Thanks for the feedback! Like I mentioned in other comments, we are still working on the bugs. Blog rolls are sort of a thing of the past in many ways, but we are considering bringing it back after several requests like yours.

      Thanks!

      • rosemary willman

        I too used the blog roll as a useful resource so please consider bringing it back. I will echo others, the font size doesn’t work for me, not necessarily because it’s smaller but its needs to be a tad bolder? I hope you don’t mind the feedback? I, and I’m certain all your readers, realize the effort involved to over haul your site, an excellent sign more wonderful ideas are coming our way!

        One question regarding the flooring: There have been reports regarding laminate flooring and toxic fumes. Did your supplier vet this product? I’ve used laminate flooring in two renovations in the past, love that this product is waterproof and more soundproof!

        Love the IKEA hack, looking forward to the instructions as well as the kitchen!

      • Karen Jennings

        Having a user friendly way to look up all the diy projects you’ve accomplished would be very inspiring to a novice such as myself. I’m terrified of trying things myself and your step by step pics and comments are so impressive & inspiring that I’d love to see more!

        Also, I’d love to know if you decided to use this flooring in your bathroom/kitchen areas…

        :)
        Karen

  11. Rachel

    Oh man! This is a really tempting option! We recently bought a 70s split level, and I have carpet and a couple different vinyls on the main level I want to replace. Was thinking of even possibly doing the plywood trick, or using shelving boards (a relative did it in her very swanky house it it looks incredible).

    Which do you think is the better option? High grade laminate or plywood/shelvingboards?

    Long time reader, and loving the new design!

    Thanks :)

  12. Caitlin

    Hi I was wondering what the wall color is?? so beautiful!!

  13. Hallie

    I was really interested in the dining room light fixture, if you wouldn’t mind mentioning the source! Thanks so much for the info!

  14. I’m in love with the floating credenza! Looks so clean and modern. Obviously I’m not alone in that!

  15. Carol

    I had some water damage and due to mold they had to take out ALL of my engineered flooring and kitchen cabinets.. I also have a concrete slab and was in the middle of trying to decide what to put down. I am very limited in my choices because I also have radiant heat. The contractor didn’t want anything glued down and this flooring will be absolutely perfect. I’m also using ideas from your parents remodel to help with cabinets and colors. It’s like having my own interior designer. Thanks for making this whole ordeal easier for me. You have no idea how much it has helped! I always enjoy looking to you for inspiration.

  16. This floor looks amazing! ;)
    Perfect!!!

  17. Kim Price

    I am LOVING watching the transformation of your sister’s house! It looks awesome! Love the new floors – need them in my kitchen.

  18. Laminate floors looks Amazing. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing Great post!

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  20. Elaine

    How did you do the fireplace wall? Did the arch project out from the brick wall before it was covered?

  21. kates

    Love the new site!!! I am also in love with your sisters new floors. I am considering faux wood looking laminate in my house for our whole upstairs. Entry, Kitchen/dining, living room and hallways. My only problem is how do I layout the flooring? My house is L Shaped with the kitchen/dining being on the vertical of the L and the living room being on the horizontal (hallways match the L too). Do I lay the flooring all one way so in one room its horizontal and the other is vertical or do i break up each room with a transition strip?? It looks like your sister did mulitple spaces how did you do it in their house???

  22. kates

    Love the new site!!! I am also in love with your sisters new floors. I am considering faux wood looking laminate in my house for our whole upstairs. Entry, Kitchen/dining, living room and hallways. My only problem is how do I layout the flooring? My house is L Shaped with the kitchen/dining being on the vertical of the L and the living room being on the horizontal (hallways match the L too). Do I lay the flooring all one way so in one room its horizontal and the other is vertical or do i break up each room with a transition strip?? It looks like your sister did multiple spaces how did you do it in their house???

    • Jenny

      Hi Katie! That is a VERY good question! I made a note to do a post about this. There’s not a right or wrong way, and it can be tricky in situations like yours with irregular layouts. But I usually like the flooring to run however will not make the room look squatty. I also like to choose the direction based on where most people will be viewing the floor. Where will you see most of the flooring for the most amount of time? The flooring should be running long in that direction. If you have any narrow areas (like a smallish doorway or opening), you can consider changing the direction of the planks there to best suit the individual spaces. Hope that helps! xo

  23. cathy

    Can you please tell me the name of the paint in this room? Thank you!

    • Jenny

      It’s Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl! Hope that helps!

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  25. Kim

    Approximate total cost for all supplies necessary to complete the flooring?

  26. Ellen

    Hi Jenny,

    Might I ask what paint color you used on your hexagonal dining table here? I want to do something similar, but know i shouldn’t use BLACK black… What’s best? Do you think it’s okay to go dark in a small dining space? (I would keep chairs light and find a table with slim legs)

    Thank you!

  27. Monica Geistwhite

    Hello, I was wondering how the Aquaguard is holding up in your sister’s house. I’m thinking about installing it in the kitchen, dining and living areas. It’s hard to find reviews on LVT and laminate since it’s such an ever-changing market! I have a sample and it is really pretty but wonder how it holds up to kitchen use.

    Thanks!

    • Matt

      I’m interested in th same question…how is it holding up? I’m really nervous about putting any kind of laminate in my kitchen, but I’m not excited about cold tiles in the winter.

  28. Rita

    I am new to your site, but will be back! I would like the letters to be bolder also. My husband and I are about to lay the Aqua Guard. We have been lucky owners of laminate floors in 2 homes. The secret is don’t get wet! We always used Swifter and dried it quickly. But it will get rough areas if pet urine is not wiped up quickly or a piece of ice escapes. I am very curious to see how this Aqua Guard holds up to the Lake house! I am setting a sample in a bucket of water for curiosity sake before buying, though.

  29. Jackie

    Do you still love these floors? We are debating this exact color. We have 6 boys and need durable flooring. And did you ever get a tutorial made for that tv console? Thanks!

  30. Lindsey

    We looked at these exact same floors today at f&d. We want to buy the floors and hire a contractor to do them because we don’t have the tools or knowledge. Do you know how that works with a contractor? Do they go in and tell you how much you need to order?

    This looks great! We are also painting our fireplace white as well so this was cool to see

    • Lindsey

      Thanks!

    • Jenny

      Different contractors will want to handle the purchasing of materials in different ways. It’s best to find the right contractor for you and ask him how he’d like to proceed. Hope that helps! :)

  31. Dawn

    Did you have any issues with sound after laying this floor? We currently have a laminate floor and it has a very loud and hallow sound when walking on it with shoes.

    • Lindsey K

      You need to make sure you have high quality underlay. We tested two different ones and bounced golf balls on them. It was insane the difference. One was hollow and loud the other absorbed the sound almost completely. You’ll pay a little more but you won’t hear that hollow sound quite as prominent. For example if you’ve ever been in an apartment and it sounds like your neighbors above you walk around in their high heels or play with bowling balls all day, verse being in a building where you don’t hear a peep upstairs!

      Ask your flooring specialists about which is best for this

  32. Sandra

    Do you know where this flooring is made? I’ve read information about the toxic gases that can come from new laminate flooring. Any information about this would be helpful. The look of the floor and the rest of the abode is lovely. Great job. This blog is wonderful, too!

  33. Doaa

    Hi Jenny! Amazing job as always❤❤
    May i ask where your sister purchased her sectional from?

  34. Sharonie

    We have these same floors in our house. They’re great. My only complaint is that in certain spots it feels like it’s “unclicking” we had a professional install it and at first it felt fine, but now that it’s been there for 3 months, we feel the clicking. Again, it’s only in Certain spots. They say water can sit up to 24hrs. I find it works well to keep water out. It doesn’t scratch easily, but we have some spots where maybe something heavy fell and took the entire top layer off. It happened during Reno, so it could’ve been anything.

  35. Chris

    Hello,
    Can you tell me what type tools are necessary for install? Specifically what you used to cut through this type of thick laminate, I’m debating doing this myself but am unsure still.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  36. Louise

    Great post and yes, the font is auite small to read. Been thinking on what to choose for our baseement floor which is concrete and here in Canada, it gets very cold during the winter months. If I were to use this product, do you think we would have to put dricore or similar before putting this laminate? Thanks for the feedback

  37. Natasha

    I came across your blog via Pinterest while looking for AquaGuard. My hubby & I are building our final house (this is our 3rd we have built) and plan to stay in it till our Golden Years. We have been talking back and forth over flooring choices& find this is one of our hardest decisions. We know we want the look of hardwood but have had issues with it in the past so we decided to choose a different option. We are now trying to decide between LVT or AquaGuard. We brought a sample home of the AquaGuard and so far have LOVED. We will be installing it pretty much everywhere except the bedrooms so it will have a lot of it. Wondered if you have had any issues so far? How is upkeep? Still happy with the choice?

  38. Jen

    I’ve tried looking all over the place. lol. Floor and decor is a good 6 hours from where I live. :(

    Do these floors have a realistic feel to them? Like do they have a “grain” ?

    • Siobhan

      Just looked at these today at floor & decor and yes they do have a texture to them. Curious how they hold up over time if anyone has feedback?

  39. Sheila

    I enjoyed reading your article very much. I picked out the calico as well a year ago to put in our new home that we are building. Enjoyed the pictures and the reassuring comments from you about the product. Can’t wit to install it..Thank you!

  40. Sadha

    I’m curious as to how they’re holding up as well! I’m looking at the same flooring! Love it!

    • Jenny

      They are honestly holding up beautifully! They look brand new still. :)

  41. sasha

    thank you so much! I am excited to try it out!

  42. Kim

    Just wondering if putting this flooring throughout the whole house with same color would be too much. Some people seem to like matching floors throughout. Don’t want to make a mistake with such a big purchase. Any input would be great. Thanks.

  43. Michael N

    Don’t buy Aquaguard flooring. They sell the product for wet locations like kitchens and bathrooms but it does not do well with water. 2 hours of standing water will cause the mdf core to bubble and the vinyl laminate will separate and peel. The mdf joint is too brittle and the lock ledge tends to sheer off during installation. If you ever damage your floor you won’t be able to fix it easily due to the quick lock mechanic. To repair a damaged section you have to remove the entire floor row by row all the way back to the damaged section to repair it.

    On top of that this product is only sold by Floor and Decor which has a horrible warranty policy. In order to file for the warranty they make the consumer pay for an independent floor inspector, the cost of which they say they will reimburse you for IF they find fault in the product. Do you think they ever find fault in their own product? Most likely not.

    Do yourself a favor and stay away from Aquaguard Laminate and Floor and Decor!

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