28 April 2022

What is Rigid Core Flooring?

Karndean Van Gogh Rigid Core Golden Brushed Oak

Waterproof, durable, and easy to maintain; rigid core is undoubtedly an impressive addition to the flooring world. But what is it?

We like to think of it as a hybrid flooring. Rigid core has all the properties you would find in an LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) flooring but with the rigidity and install method of a laminate.

This type of flooring is relatively new to the market and is becoming increasingly popular with DIY enthusiasts.

Rigid Core – The science.

Rigid core is made from a variety of layers:

  1. The wear layer. This protects the design of the flooring from everyday wear and tear and scratches.
  2. The design of the flooring (wood or tile)
  3. A layer of PVC.
  4. Composite centre. This is what gives the flooring a rigid quality.
  5. Protective backing.

An additional layer of underlayment, such as cork or acoustic protection can also feature with some brands, providing even more functionality.

How is it installed?

One of the many benefits in choosing this type of flooring is the ease of installation.

A good quality of rigid, will fit together with a 5G click locking system. This means the flooring will click together without the need for tools to tap the planks together. Rigid is a floating floor and requires no adhesive.

This type of flooring requires an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room. Removing the skirting boards before installing your flooring will ensure the expansion gap is hidden. Once the install is complete the skirting boards can be refit. We appreciate this isn’t always an option, especially if you have just finished decorating! If this is the case, you may prefer to hide this gap beneath some beading or scotia. Most manufacturers provide all the relevant colour match accessories you will need to do this, ensuring the beading will blend in with your chosen flooring.

If your subfloor imperfections are minor you can install directly onto your subfloor without the need for any additional preparation. The thickness of rigid means that it can be laid over any clean, sound floor provided the unevenness isn’t more than 5mm over a 3m2 area.


Whether you’re looking for wood plank, herringbone, stone or tile, there is an abundance of different colours and textures to choose from.

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