Rigid Core Flooring – Built for Everyday Life

April 2, 2024 | By Bruce Product Expert

As our homes evolve, so do our demands for durability and style in home interiors. This especially holds for flooring – the very foundation of our living spaces. Enter rigid core flooring, a solution built to withstand the challenges of everyday modern life.

Rigid core delivers one of the most complete performance packages of all the flooring options available. It’s 100% waterproof, durable, scratch and dent-resistant, easy to maintain and install.

And it’s beautiful — you’ll be amazed at how closely it approximates hardwood flooring and other natural materials.

The Anatomy of Rigid Core Flooring

As an engineered product, rigid core vinyl flooring strengthens thanks to the manufacturing process. That process involves a multi-layered approach, typically including four layers:

Wear Layer
The topmost layer is transparent and resistant against scratches, stains, and daily wear. This is the barrier that protects your floor to withstand high foot traffic, pets, and more.

Decorative Layer
Just beneath the wear layer, this provides the aesthetic appeal. It uses a high-resolution image to mimic natural materials. And today’s digital photography can capture realistic looks to a tee.

Core Layer
This is where rigid core vinyl plank flooring gets its superpowers. The core uses a stone plastic composite (SPC) or wood plastic composite (WPC).

SPC vinyl flooring uses limestone mixed with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and stabilizers. That core makes the floor incredibly durable and helps retain the floor’s form even on uneven surfaces.

WPC vinyl flooring uses recycled wood pulp and plastic composites for its core. The wood core helps with soundproofing and makes the flooring more comfortable underfoot.

Base Layer
This forms the foundation and often includes an underlayment with added sound insulation and cushioning.

Add all the layers up, and you get flooring that can tackle almost anything your family can throw at it.
Unsurprisingly, flooring manufacturers like Bruce®, with its LifeSeal Classic Plus rigid core flooring, include solid residential warranties of 35 years.

Here’s a closer look at how rigid core luxury vinyl flooring tackles modern life.

Rigid Core is 100% Waterproof

Who doesn’t like hardwood flooring? But who isn’t afraid of its potential damage from water? Wood flooring expands and contracts with moisture, even at high humidity levels.

Rigid core flooring is virtually impervious to water. Unlike hardwood, it doesn’t expand and contract, eliminating water concerns.

As a result, rigid core is waterproof flooring you can use anywhere — bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, etc. At the same time, traditional wood flooring buckles and warps. Rigid core vinyl plank flooring remains unchanged.

Flooring That’s Kid and Pet-Friendly

Children are a blessing. But if you have one or more running around your house, you know what they can do to your floors. This flooring can take a beating from toy trucks to art projects. Thankfully, rigid core flooring resists dents, scratches, and stains.

Rigid core is the ultimate solution for pet-friendly flooring. Pet claws, especially from larger dogs, can leave scratches and gouges on wood flooring. But rigid core vinyl flooring offers substantial protection from even the largest of your canine friends.

Rigid Core Adapts to the Dynamics of Everyday Living

Beyond the energy of children, life throws plenty of challenges your way. Have you ever had a clumsy moment and dropped a pot or some other heavy object onto the floor?

With wood flooring, you might see a dent or, worse, a crack in the floor. Rigid core flooring is better suited to absorb such impacts without a blink.

You understand the challenge if you’ve bathed your kids or dog. Your floors must handle the inevitable splashing no matter how hard you try. You’ll have no worries with this flooring.

Dinner parties with lots of guests coming and going? It’s not a problem with rigid-core vinyl plank flooring. It’s perfect for high-traffic areas thanks to its performance properties.

Easy to Install, Easy to Maintain

Some homeowners shy away from renovations, fearing messy installations. Rigid core flooring uses a tongue-and-groove framework that locks together. You can float the flooring versus using fasteners or glues. So, the flooring is perfect for DIY installation.

Although a level subfloor is typically a requirement, rigid core is more forgiving than other flooring options like sheet vinyl.

Because most rigid core floors have an underlayment, you don’t have to worry about that. However, you can include one for more substantial soundproofing.

Rigid Core Vinyl Flooring vs. Other Options

Every flooring type has strengths, so how does rigid core stack up?

Hardwood: While hardwood is timeless and beautiful, it’s susceptible to scratches, dents, and moisture. Rigid core offers a similar aesthetic without these concerns, typically at a fraction of the cost.

Laminate: Laminate was once the go-to for a durable wood-look alternative. However, it doesn’t fare well with moisture, even worse than hardwood. Rigid core’s waterproof nature outshines laminate in such scenarios.

Tile: Traditional tile is hard and cold underfoot. Rigid core can mimic the look of tile, but it’s warmer and has a softer feel. Plus, installation is much easier without grouting concerns.

Carpets: Carpets are soft and comfortable but can trap allergens and dust. Moreover, carpets stain easily. Rigid core is hypoallergenic, easy to clean, and still provides a comfortable underfoot experience.

Traditional Vinyl: Both floors are part of the vinyl family. But rigid core flooring delivers enhanced durability and structure versus vinyl counterparts like LVT flooring. So you’ll enjoy a more stable and longer-lasting floor.

What About the Cost?

With all these upsides, you probably expect the costs to exceed your budget. However, rigid core flooring is affordable, especially compared to hardwood, stone, or ceramic tile alternatives.

Standard rigid vinyl plank flooring costs between $1 and $4 per square foot. Installation costs $3 and as high as $11 per square foot.

But remember, you can install rigid core flooring as a DIY project and avoid installation costs. So, this flooring option is friendly to kids, pets, and your pocketbook.

Bruce® is a Leading Source for Wood and Wood-Look Flooring

You’ve always counted on Bruce for quality wood flooring solutions. But even we understand hardwood isn’t the best option for every circumstance. That’s why we now offer flooring options like rigid core to fit homeowner’s needs.

You get the same great looks of traditional hardwoods but with greater flexibility for less.

Check out our latest wood-look options on our website, and use our floor visualizer to see them in your room.
You can shop for Bruce flooring using our retail locator.

where to buy phone and destop

Ready to shop for rigid core flooring near you?

Use our retail locator to find where you can buy Bruce flooring. 

Find a Store