AquaGuard Laminate Flooring: Reviews, Prices, Pros & Cons VS Other Brands 2020

AquaGuard laminate is sold exclusively online at Floor & Decor. The large selection is categorized by finish – Handscraped, smooth, textured and more.

AquaGuard laminate cost is $2.69 to $3.99 per square foot based on cost factors discussed below.

This AquaGuard laminate review includes a discussion of each laminate category, cost, features, warranties and more.

We've compared similar reviews for all the leading brands for easy comparison. See our laminate reviews of Mohawk, Armstrong, Tarkett, TrafficMaster, Shaw and other top brands.

AquaGuard Laminate Flooring Overview

Here's a summary table of AquaGuard laminate, cost and features.

Line

Look

Warranty

Cost/sq. ft.

Thickness

Authentic Texture (EIR)

Traditional

Lifetime/15

$2.69 - $3.79

12mm

Standard Texture

Various

Lifetime/15

$2.69 - $3.29

12mm

High Gloss

Various

Lifetime/15

$2.79 - $2.99

12mm

Hand Scraped

Old World

Lifetime/15

$2.79 - $3.99

12mm

Smooth

Contemporary

Lifetime/15

$2.79 - $3.29

12mm

Price Notes: The prices are for the flooring only. Your installation might require underlayment, transition strips, molding and other "extras." Those installation supplies add $.50 to $1.00 per square foot to the project cost.

AquaGuard laminate installation cost is $1.75-$2.50 if you hire a professional floorer for the work.

AquaGuard Laminate Reviews

All AquaGuard laminate is double-coated on the perimeter of each plank to create a flooring that is waterproof up to 30 hours. Most waterproof laminate warranties are for 24 hours.

There are five categories of AquaGuard laminate. Let's review them one at a time.

AquaGuard Authentic Texture Laminate Flooring

The Authentic Texture line is also known as Embossed in Register (EIR) finish. This means that a form is made from real wood planks with prominent wood grain. The molds pick up that graining. Shaw, Armstrong and Mohawk are among the brands that also use EIR technology.

When the planks are made, they have the exact same texturing as the authentic hardwood planks. You can see it and feel it.

AquaGuard Authentic Texture

The Authentic Texturing category is the largest from AquaGuard – more than 40 styles and colors in a range of quality levels. Prices range from $2.69 to $3.79.

All AquaGuard EIR laminate is 12mm thick. The wear rating is AC5 – among the highest for laminate flooring.

The warranties are impressive: Lifetime residential warranty and 15-year commercial warranty.

Here is a breakdown of the many options in this group:

  • Styles: Your options are mostly traditional wood floor looks with rich, full texture. There are a few distressed, warn wood options too.
  • Colors: The entire spectrum is covered – Dark, Medium, Gray and Light.
  • Wood species: Oak (20+) dominates. You also have options in Maple, Hickory, Birch and Ashwood. Many colors don't have a specific wood species name.
  • Gloss: Matte finishes are most common, but there are satin and semi-gloss finishes too.
  • Plank width: Planks begin at about 5". The widest are more than 9". Most are 6" to 8" wide. This gives you looks from contemporary (thinner planks) to traditional (wider planks). AquaGuard also makes random-width and multi-length styles with planks three different widths or lengths. This creates a different visual appeal than a floor with planks all the same width or length.
AquaGuard Authentic Texture Laminate Flooring

AquaGuard Authentic Texture Laminate Flooring

Best used: The style of the AquaGuard Authentic Textured laminate is traditional to contemporary. There are a few rustic, country and Old World designs, but you'll find more in the Handscraped section if that's your preference.

This flooring in general is a good fit for homes with large, active households. If water on the floor happens a lot, this laminate can take it. You can also damp-mop it without fear. Because of the stout AC5 commercial wear rating, it's popular for all commercial settings including retail, offices, schools, restaurants and hotel guest rooms and common areas.

AquaGuard Standard Texture Laminate Flooring

This flooring has lighter texturing than the EIR lines, but it's still enough to provide the look of genuine wood flooring.

AquaGuard Standard Texture Laminate Flooring

AquaGuard Standard Texture Laminate Flooring

The AquaGuard Textured floor styles include a good mix of traditional, neat and clean wood looks with those showing more character – mineral staining in the wood, knots, weathered appearance or the look of reclaimed wood. About half are Oak. The rest are a variety of wood species and colors. A few of the styles have mixed plank widths to add visual interest.

Like most AquaGuard laminate, the planks are 12mm. They have an AC5 residential/commercial wear rating and are backed by the Lifetime/15 warranties.

Best used: This AquaGuard laminate with standard woodgrain texturing is more understated than the Embossed in Register texturing. If you want your flooring to really pop, go with the Authentic Texture EIR floor. If your decorating calls for balance, then the standard Textured AquaGuard laminate is a better selection.

This material stands up to the traffic in a busy home or commercial building.

AquaGuard High Gloss Laminate Flooring

High-gloss flooring has a sparkle, but it shows imperfections more readily than matte and satin finishes: water spots, scratches, wear and dirt. The gloss might also make the floor more slippery than other finishes.

There are more than 10 styles in the AquaGuard High Gloss laminate category, and they're very attractive.

This collection includes a nice mix of cool, neutral and warm colors in all hues. For example, Ivory is a washed white cool color. St. Lucia Oak is a neutral gray-brown, and Catalina is a honey-brown that is very warm. There are dark tones too.

AquaGuard High Gloss Laminate Flooring

AquaGuard High Gloss Laminate Flooring

The specs are the same as the other lines: 12mm, AC5 rating, Lifetime residential warranty and 15-year commercial warranty. The edges are sealed for 30-hour protection against water damage and pet accidents.

Best used: The glossy finish shows scratches and wear more easily than other finishes. For that reason, we do not recommend it for heavy traffic areas like entryways, hallways and similar space. On the other hand, its beauty will be maintained in homes with a "shoes off" policy or in commercial areas where soft shoes are typically worn, such as a gym or yoga facility.

A high-gloss finish means cleaning the floor more often. You want the shine without it showing off dirt and debris. And if that dirt gets walked on, it wears on the surface.

If you're willing to sweep it more often and you have found a cleaner that doesn't leave water streaks, the AquaGuard High Gloss laminate is one to consider.

AquaGuard Handscraped Laminate Flooring

Handscraped (hand-scraped) wood planks have an Old World look, dating to a time when each plank was worked by hand to the right thickness. The handscraping also helps to expose the richness of the wood grain.

AquaGuard handscraped laminate cost starts at $2.69 per square foot. There are various price levels to the most expensive AquaGuard laminate at $3.99 per square foot. The pricey styles have three plank widths and three plank lengths for enhanced beauty and the real look of an Old World wood floor.

Colors are mostly medium grays and browns. You have neutral options like Latte Walnut and Estate Oak Greige. Warmer colors include Cerise with ruddy highlights and Estate Oak Cocoa.

AquaGuard Handscraped Laminate Flooring

AquaGuard Handscraped Laminate Flooring

The specs are what you expect from AquaGuard laminate: 12mm, AC5 rating and the Lifetime residential and 15-year commercial warranties.

Best used: When your home or commercial setting has a classic, vintage or Old World vibe, this is the best AquaGuard floor to choose. It's right at home in vacation homes and cabins in the woods or by the water, workshops and man caves.

AquaGuard Smooth Laminate Flooring

There is no texturing in this style. It's a small collection that includes wood-look options and tile-look flooring too.

Wood colors are medium-dark brown and quite warm. Their smooth surface is a contemporary/modern style.

Each tile style show a collection of colorful tile designs rather than being uniform.

AquaGuard Smooth Laminate Flooring

AquaGuard Smooth Laminate Flooring

The specs are the same as the other AquaGuard laminate lines.

Best used: The tile-look planks are popular in bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements and entryways.

Smooth AquaGuard laminate is a good fit for homes and commercial settings with a modern, contemporary or eclectic aesthetic.

Special Features of AquaGuard Laminate Flooring

These are the features worth comparing with features from other brands you're considering.

Waterproof construction: This flooring has the best waterproofing technology in the industry. All perimeter edges are coated twice with sealer to keep out moisture. As a result, AquaGuard laminate has the best water warranty too. As noted often, it is guaranteed against water damage for 30 hours compared with the 24 hours of Shaw Repel, Mohawk RevWood Plus, Pergo WetProtect and Harmonics SplashDefense.

Longer warranties: Several brands offer a Lifetime warranty, but few offer a 15-year commercial warranty. AquaGuard also offers a Pet warranty against stains.

AquaGuard Pros, Cons and Ratings

How does AquaGuard laminate flooring stack up to Mohawk, Armstrong, Tarkett, Pergo and other top brands?

Pros:

This is quality flooring, and all of it is water-resistant. The wear rating AC5 is among the best.

Style is covered well with EIR, handscraped, smooth, etc.

The warranty coverage is excellent, including the 15-year commercial warranty.

Cons:

If you're looking for affordability, you'll have to find it in another brand. The quality is good to premium, so cost is higher. For cheaper laminate, try TrafficMaster, the low-cost Tarkett at Menards or the most affordable Armstrong laminate.

AquaGuard is only sold online, so if you like to see large samples before you buy, this brand isn't a good option.

Here are our ratings:

  • Range of color/style options: 4
  • Overall Quality: 5
  • Ease of installation: 4
  • Green/Low-VOC: 4
  • Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Looking for Qualified Installer for AquaGuard Flooring?

Some readers complained that they cound't find the local installers or overpaid the installation. Then we developed an online free estimate tool to help you get at least 3 local bids in 24 hours. 

This tool is powered by our partner Networx which has been specializing in collecting, vetting and rating laminate flooring contractors for more than 20 years.

Comparing the 3 bids can help you get the reasonable installation cost and avoid getting ripped.

Feel free to leave a comment to share your reviews of AquaGuard flooring below.

FAQs

Q: Is AquaGuard Laminate waterproof or water-resistant?

A: Water-resistant. While some companies use the terms interchangeably, no laminate flooring is 100% waterproof, although you’ll get up to 30 hours of water resistance from AquaGuard products.

Q: Do I need to use an underlayment with AquaGuard laminate?

A: Yes. There are a number of options depending on your needs and budget, but the company recommends using Eco Ultra.

Q: Is it possible to install AquaGuard laminate flooring on the walls of my home?

A: Most of the styles we checked are suitable for wall installation, although you’ll want to look into the literature for each style beforehand.

Q: Can I use a steam mop on AquaGuard, considering it is rated as water-resistant?

A: While a steam mop is usually not recommended for any flooring made from wood or organic materials, AquaGuard is an exception. According to the company, you can use a residential steam mop on the lowest setting as long as the mop stays in motion and doesn’t rest in one spot.

Q: How long does AquaGuard need to acclimate before installation?

A: No acclimation is required for AquaGuard flooring.

Q: How many square feet can I install without breaking up my flooring with transitions?

A: Unless you need to transition into another style of flooring, you are able to install up to 4,300 square feet of flooring without using transitional moldings with AquaGuard laminate.

Q: Can I use AquaGuard flooring in high-traffic areas of my home or business?

A: AquaGuard is capable of handling damage from daily wear and tear in a residential setting, but there are better alternatives for commercial settings if you’re dealing with heavy traffic.

Q: Does AquaGuard produce VOCs? Is it safe to use in my home?

A: AquaGuard laminate flooring sold by Floor & Décor is UL GREENGUARD Certified.

Q: What sizes is AquaGuard available in?

A: It depends on the style you choose. There are boards from 3” to 8” wide in varying lengths, but all of their flooring is 12 millimeters thick.

Q: What’s the abrasion classification for AquaGuard?

A: AquaGuard laminate flooring has an AC-5 rating.

Q: Can I get a micro-beveled edge with AquaGuard laminate flooring?

A: Yes, but only on a handful of styles. Most of the company’s collections contain products that have a beveled edge, although there are some pressed edge and straight edge options are available as well.

2 thoughts on “AquaGuard Laminate Flooring: Reviews, Prices, Pros & Cons VS Other Brands 2020”

  1. If you live in an area where Floor&Decor has stores, then you can walk in to the store and check out the Aquaguard flooring for yourself. They allow you to buy samples out of their stock packages (for $5 per plank) of any of the styles they have in stock, which is about 15-20 styles in our local store. As mentioned in the article above, it’s solid quality flooring which also means it takes a little longer to install since it requires a little more effort to click the planks together than thinner material.

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