AquaGuard Laminate flooring is a water-resistant type of laminate sold exclusively at Floor & Decor online and in stores nationwide. The brand has a good reputation for being specifically made to withstand moisture. Today we review the brand in detail based on Durability, Style, Affordability, and Aquaguard Reviews. We also compare AquaGuard with other competing Laminate brands such as Shaw, Mohawk, Newton, and TrafficMaster.
There’s better flooring out there
While AquaGuard is solid, consumer reviews suggest you might want to look elsewhere. Newton is our favorite affordable laminate flooring.
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The AquaGuard laminate flooring range currently consists of 38 unique designs which are based on hardwood looks. This includes light and dark shades of hardwood as well as hardwood with grey tones. The brand also offers herringbone and mixed-size laminate.
Most importantly, AquaGuard laminate is highly water-resistant and built to withstand 30 hours of water contact, almost like vinyl plank flooring. The overall thickness of AquaGuard laminate is 12mm. AquaGuard does not come with pre-attached underlayment.
AquaGuard is constructed from 4 layers, those layers from top to bottom are;
- Layer 1 – AC5 Protective Aluminium Oxide Coating with 15-year Commercial Wear Resistance
- Layer 2 – Realistic Decorative Pattern Layer
- Core Layer 3 – High-Density Wood Based Fiber Core
- Layer 4 – Durable Melamine Balance Layer
The top coating is a clear layer on the top of laminate planks responsible for protection from scuffs and scratches. AquaGuard has an AC5 Rated top coating, meaning it is suitable for Heavy Commercial Use. This is backed by their excellent 15-year commercial warranty.
Priced at $2.59 – $3.99 per square foot, AquaGuard Laminate sits in the higher end of the laminate flooring price range. The brand is more expensive than brands such as Pergo, Mohawk, or Lifeproof. But, AquaGuard is more affordable than Shaw, Mannington, and Quick-Step.
Overall, we must say AquaGuard laminate is good value considering its excellent water resistance and durability.
Brand Cost per Square Foot Overall Thickness Warranty
AC Rating TrafficMaster Laminate $1.09 – $2.19 SFT 7 – 12mm 30year/none AC3 Home Decorators Laminate $1.69 – $2.49 SFT 10 – 12mm lifetime/7year AC4 LifeProof Laminate $1.99 – $2.45 SFT 12mm lifetime/7year AC4 Pergo Laminate $1.99 – $2.99 SFT 10 – 12mm lifetime/10year AC4 Evoke Laminate $2.09 – $3.29 SFT 8 – 14mm 20/3year AC3 & AC4 Mohawk Laminate $2.29 – $3.29 8 – 12mm lifetime/5year AC4 AquaGuard Laminate $2.59 – $3.99 SFT 12mm lifetime/15 year AC5 Quick-Step Laminate $2.89 – $4.59 SFT 8 – 12mm lifetime/none AC4 Republic Laminate $3.09 – $3.39 SFT 8 – 12mm lifetime/5year AC4 Shaw Repel Laminate $3.59 – $3.89 SFT 12mm 30year/none AC4 Mannington Laminate $3.99 SFT 12mm 25 / 5year AC4
AquaGuard Laminate can be bought exclusively at Floor & Decor stores Nationwide and on the Floor & Decor website.
Durability & Thickness
Aquaguard has a reputation for being one of the most durable laminate flooring options on the market. This is mainly due to their high water resistance and AC5 top layer, which is responsible for protecting the floor from scuffs and scratches. Aquaguard Laminate is rated AC5, meaning it’s suitable for heavy commercial use, unlike most other laminate brands, which are AC3 or AC4.
AC Rating Suitable for AC1 Light Traffic Residential Use AC2 Moderate Traffic Residential Use AC3 Heavy Traffic Residential Use AC4 Moderate Traffic Commercial Use AC5 Heavy Traffic Commercial Use
This is all backed by excellent warranties; these are;
- Lifetime Residential Warranty
- Market-Leading 15-year Commercial Warranty
- 30-Hour Water-Resistance Warranty
Aquaquard has a high-density hardwood core. The brand’s laminate overall thickness is also great, measuring 12mm thick. 12mm is pretty much a must for a long-lasting laminate floor. Generally speaking, the thicker the laminate floor, the longer it should last.
What makes AquaGuard stand out the most in the laminate market is in their name, their water resistance. The brand’s laminate is almost like a vinyl plank in terms of being water-resistant. AquaGuard comes with a 30-hour water-resistance warranty, meaning if you spill something, the laminate will withstand this for at least 30 hours.
However, you should always remember that AquaGuard is water-resistant, NOT waterproof. No Laminate is truly waterproof.
Aquaguard Laminate Reviews
After researching the web, we found there are not many AquaGuard Laminate Reviews online. Unfortunately, Floor&Decor doesn’t do reviews on their website. The only source we found is a houzz.com post about AquaGuard flooring.
The Houzz post has over 460 comments from unique reviewers. Most of the reviewers seem happy, many of them complementing AquaGuard on their looks. However, we did also find a few negative reviews, but that is the case with all flooring brands.
One of the featured reviewers stated:
We installed Aquaguard Amstel in our whole downstairs in 2019. 2years later and it is still beautiful and I have 3 children under 7, a pit bull and a husband. We installed on a concrete floor with the middle grade underlayment. We don’t have any squawking issues, our only problem is now we want to do the stairs and there aren’t any coordinating pieces.
Overall, AquaGuard Laminate has a fairly good online reputation; however, that is only from a small number of reviews.
Installation is simple with AquaGuard. Like most other Laminate floors, AquaGuard can be installed using the Float method, which is the most common and easiest. This includes using an angle-tap locking mechanism to lock the planks together with no need for glue or nails.
AquaGuard can be installed over most structurally solid and level sub-floors that are free from moisture. This includes Wood, Concrete, and Tile. AquaGuard Laminate requires underlayment to be laid before installation. The underlayment should be at least 3mm thick. Laminate flooring should NOT be installed over Carpet.
When installing AquaGuard Laminate, you should leave at least a 1/4 inch gap to allow for expansion over time. This gap can be covered with Finish Trim.
As for acclimation, Floor&Decor states, “In most cases, AquaGuard requires zero acclimation and can be installed immediately.”
Need an Installation Quote?
Lots of our readers often complain that they can’t find flooring installers in their area. We recommend you try our free estimation tool to get at least 3 free quotes from qualified & approved installers in your area within 24 hours.
The tool is powered by Networx, who have been helping people find qualified flooring installers for over 20 years.
Proper care & maintenance is essential for a long-lasting hard-surface floor. Regular cleaning combined with the right protection methods helps your floor keep its shine for longer. Below are some key instructions to follow for a proper care and maintenance routine.
Rules of Cleaning
- Vacuum your floor regularly, perhaps even every day. Dirt and dust are abrasive to hard-surface flooring and can cause scratches and scuffs.
- Use a hard-surface-approved vacuum. Most vacuums are not suited for hard floors and can potentially do more bad than good. We recommend the Dyson V15 Cordless Stick Vacuum.
- Mop your floors at least once a week to remove dust. When mopping, it’s crucial not to over-saturate your floor, hence why you should use a damp mop that is not dripping with water.
- Alternatively, you can use a spray mop. Spray mops release a fine mist of cleaning solution with the touch of a button, which prevents over-saturation.
- Speaking of cleaning solutions, make sure you use a PH-neutral one. Dish soap and vinegar are acceptable as long as you don’t use too much of them. You can add a few drops of essential oils for a pleasant room odor.
- If you want to take a professional approach, use a cleaning solution specifically designed for flooring. We recommend Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Avoid vacuuming too fast. Take it slowly. If you go too fast, you may end up scratching your floor and even damaging furniture corners.
- Don’t use scouring pads or steel wool for cleaning. These two will certainly scratch your floor.
- Do not use a steam mop. Although some brands allow it, we found that using a steam mop causes your floor to lose its shine faster than usual due to the high steam temperature.
- Don’t use vacuums with beater bars.
- Don’t use all-purpose or multi-purpose cleaning solutions.
- It’s well known that furniture legs can damage the flooring. Attach large-diameter felt pads to them so they can glide smoothly when moved around and don’t cause dents.
- Place walk-off doormats at house entrances to prevent bringing in dirt from the outdoors.
- Avoid wearing shoes indoors, as these can bring in a lot of dirt and debris. Wear socks instead.
- Office chair casters are notorious for scratching floors. Invest in a protective chair mat or rubber blade casters to prevent this problem.
- Maintain a room temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents moisture problems.
- If you have a dog, nail trimming will prevent them from scratching the floor. Plus, most dogs like their nails to be trimmed now and then.
- Place rugs in high-traffic areas, such as the living room couch area.
Pros & Cons
Like all flooring brands, AquaGuard Laminate flooring has its Pros & Cons; let’s start by going through all the Pros.
AquaGuard Laminate Pros
- AC5 Rated – Aquaguard Laminate is rated AC5, meaning it’s suitable for heavy commercial use. Not many Laminate floors have this feature; most are AC4.
- Good Thickness – The brand’s laminate is 12mm thick. 12mm is a must if you are looking to buy a durable Laminate floor.
- Water-Resistant – AquaGuard Laminate is highly water-resistant; it can withstand 30 hours of contact with water.
- Quite Affordable – Starting at $2.59 per square foot, AquaGuard is actually quite affordable. Especially if you consider its AC rating and thickness.
- Good Warranties – The brand offers a lifetime residential warranty as well as a market-leading 15-year Commercial Use Warranty.
AquaGuard Laminate Cons
- Not Fully Waterproof – Although Aquaguard Laminate is water-resistant, it is not fully waterproof.
- Requires Underlayment – Aquaguard laminate does not have pre-attached underlayment. Therefore an underlayment sheet of at least 3mm thickness is required.
Style – 8 out of 10 points
The brand does offer some great-looking laminate reminiscent of hardwood, also available in herringbone and mixed plank styles.
Durability – 8.5 out of 10 points
Rated AC5, AquaGuard is one of the most durable laminate options. It is suitable for Heavy Commercial Traffic.
Affordability – 7 out of 10 points
Starting at $2.59 per square foot, AquaGuard is priced well compared to other brands, keeping in mind the brands’ excellent durability.
Online Reviews – 5 out of 10 points
Floor&Decor doesn’t have a reviews section on their website, and you generally can’t find many AquaGuard reviews on the web.
Overall Score – 6.5 out of 10 points
In our AquaGuard Laminate Review, the brand scored 7.5 out of 10 points overall, a pretty solid score. Rated AC5, the brand shines in durability aspects and offers many styles, and is quite affordable. The only downside of the brand is the lack of online customer reviews.
What do you think of AquaGuard Laminate flooring? Have you had any experiences with the brand? Feel free to share your thought in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
Good Alternatives to AquaGuard Laminate
Newton Laminate Flooring – Newton is an up-and-coming US flooring brand that came to the market recently and has already gained many trusted customers and excellent reviews. The brand has an extensive range of water-resistant laminate flooring with ten collections and over 45 unique laminate products in total. Newtons laminate is very stylish; they offer unique options such as mixed-size plank and stone tile look styles. Newton is a pocket-friendly yet good-quality option with budget prices starting at $1.59 and an AC4 rating. In addition, many of their lines are rated as Zero VOC, meaning they don’t release any harmful substances over time.
Mohawk RevWood Laminate – Mohawk is probably the most well-known flooring brand in the US; the company has been around for over a hundred years, since 1920, to be exact. Mohawk offers a wide range of stylish laminate products in their Mohawk RevWood collections. RevWood planks are built for the ultimate scratch resistance. Most lines are completely waterproof, are rated AC4, and are 12mm thick. Simply speaking, RevWood has the performance of vinyl plank flooring. Most flooring experts, including us, consider it the most durable laminate product on the market. Additionally, RevWood is relatively affordable, with prices starting at $3.69 per square foot.
Is Waterproof Laminate Really Waterproof?
Although some Laminate flooring is water-resistant, No laminate is truly waterproof. You will find that laminate flooring will dent, shrink or expand when in contact with water for too long. Some brands do offer warranties with 30-hour water protection.
Does AquaGuard Laminate Flooring Need Underlayment?
AquaGuard Laminate does require underlayment of at least 3mm thick to be correctly installed. Almost all laminate floors need Underlayment. It helps with the sound of the floor, moisture control, and also levels out the subfloor.
Is AquaGuard Laminate Flooring a Good Choice?
Aquaguard Laminate seems like a good choice if you’re shopping for laminate flooring. The brand is rated AC5 (suitable for heavy commercial use), which means it should be very durable. Aquaguard is one of only a few brands that offer AC5 laminate. Additionally, it’s also quite affordable.
Is AquaGuard Flooring Safe?
All laminate flooring release VOC’s which are toxic gasses, for a certain amount of time due to the adhesives used in the manufacturing process. AquaGuard Laminate is GreenGuard Gold certified, which means that it releases a very low amount of toxic VOCs. Low-VOC laminate is considered safe for residential scenarios.
Where Can I Buy AquaGuard Flooring?
AquaGuard Laminate can be bought exclusively at Floor & Decor in-stores Nationwide and on the Floor & Decor website online.