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Inhaus SONO Product Review

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

Inhaus SONO Product Review

Inhauss is part of the Classen Group of Companies, a global leader in flooring, based in Germany. The SONO Collection is an Inhaus hybrid plank and tile flooring product, available in multiple patterns and colors. These products are sold on a global basis, as well as through various retail floor covering stores across the United States.

Inhaus SONO Product Review

About The SONO Product Collection

What is SONO hybrid flooring? The SONO Collection fits somewhere between a luxury vinyl tile/plank and a laminate flooring product. The core of the product is a waterproof mineral composite core, while the finish coat has all of the benefits of a laminate vinyl plank.

Is SONO flooring a "green product?" During the manufacturing process, SONO comes out in 10'x5' sheets. The sheets are then broken up to produce many planks/cartons of the product. Any leftover material is put back into the beginning stages of the production process. All of the production waste is recycled, making this a zero waste factor production.

Have there been any installation issues? SONO is a very dimensionally stable product. Installation can be done without any transition pieces. Homeowners do not need transition pieces in doorways, large areas, etc.. In commercial applications, SONO can be installed up to a room size of 100'x100' without transitions.

Is SONO flooring waterproof? SONO when installed any a residential environment, will not be affected by water being tracked in from the outside. Busy families tracking in snow or rain from the outside, don't have to worry about floor damage. The moisture will evaporate before affecting the SONO floor.

What about product durability? SONO comes with an AC 5 Rating (more on this later), and has proven to be a very durable product. SOO is a dent and scratch-resistant product, that also claims to be pet friendly and stain and fade resistant. While all flooring types have the potential to scratch, SONO product testing shows this product to be very durable and hard to damage.

How many products are in the SONO Collection? There are 23 SKUs in the SONO Collection, ranging from 12x24 tile looks to concrete and wood-looking plank looks. The wood look planks are a combination of browns, greys, and natural colors.

I see internet articles that say "SONO" and also SONO Eclipse," what's the difference? SONO was the name of the product without the attached underlayment. This product is no longer available. SONO Eclipse is the new product name, that comes with updated colors and the attached pad.

SONO Collection - AC Rating

We mention the SONO Collection has an AC 5 Rating. What is an "AC Rating?" Why is it important?

Each type of flooring has a rating scale that helps determine its durability. For laminate products, this rating system is called "The AC Rating." This rating can be 1-6, with the higher the number, the more durable the product. The rating is given by an unbiased third party and is comprised of multiple types of durability testing (rubbing sandpaper on the floor, moving furniture back and forth, exposure to sunlight, and exposure to moisture).

An AC5 rating indicates a product that tested extremely well and is very durable. Here is a brief breakdown of AC ratings, as offered by Floor Covering Weekly:

AC1: Light residential traffic/suitable for bedrooms.

AC2: General residential traffic/suitable for living rooms and dining rooms.

AC3: Heavy residential traffic/suitable for all areas of the home; moderate commercial traffic/suitable for hotel rooms and small offices.

AC4: General commercial traffic/ suitable for offices, boutiques, and cafés.

AC5: Heavy commercial traffic/suitable for public buildings and department stores.

While AC 5 products tend to have a "rough" finish layer and typically are more suited for commercial applications, SONO is made differently than typical laminate products and has developed a production process that creates a very durable, yet residential product design.

SONO features a composite core that is made of ceramic materials. This is much different than the traditional WPC and SPC type cores.

A unique feature of SONO is the HD Printing, which is done directly to the core of the product. This helps offer customers a product that is very life-like and extremely durable.

“This is our largest initiative for 2017 by far,” Welbourn said. “We have invested [nearly $84 million] on our unique version of a waterproof composite product and it will be our first offering to North America.” Floor Covering News

Inhaus SONO Product Collection

Wood Pattern Specifications

Shade Varied

Variation Heavy

Edge Profile 4 Sided Bevel

Number of Unique Planks 18

Plank Width 7.99 in

Plank Length 50.79 in

Thickness 4.5 +1mm

Carton size 25.37 s/ft

Wear Rating AC 5

Warranty Lifetime

Country Made Germany

Certification GreenGuard Gold & Blue Angel

Attached underlay Yes. 1mm

Airborne Sound Loss ASTM E90 & ASTM E413

w/drop ceiling STC 53 dB

without drop ceiling STC 50 dB

Tile Pattern Specifications

Shade Light

Variation Light

Edge Profile 4 Sided Bevel

Number of Unique Planks 16

Plank Width 12.2 in

Plank Length 25.12 in

Thickness 4.5+1mm

Carton size 25.55 s/ft

Wear Rating AC 5

Warranty Lifetime

Country Made Germany

Certification GreenGuard Gold & Blue Angel

Attached underlay Yes, 1mm

Airborne Sound Loss ASTM E90 & ASTM E413

w/drop ceiling STC 53 dB

without drop ceiling STC 50 dB

Features of Collection:

  • Waterproof

  • Family & Pet Friendly

  • Stain and Fade Resistant

  • Easy To Clean

  • Scratch Resistant

  • Attached Pad

Sono not only scores high marks in terms of its performance attributes. According to Inhaus, it’s just downright good looking, too. “The most exciting thing that our new Sono product offers is exceptionally great visuals,” Welbourn said, citing decors that range from rustic to traditional, in wood grain textures or sawn-cut looks. “Our finishing technology is high-definition digital printing in combination with UV-cured acrylic lacquer. The lacquer is a clear finish that highlights the digital print and the combination resulting in amazing visuals. Furthermore, the digital process allows us to be flexible with design as there are very few repeats in the printing process—or approximately four and half fewer repeats than standard LVT.” Floor Covering News

SONO Collection - Warranty

As with any floor covering product, customers can't look at the back of a sample to see what is covered on the product warranty. In order to know for sure what is covered, as well as what is not covered, a customer needs to look at the entire product brochure.

Product warranties, in general, are full of "exclusions." These are events or actions, that if occur, the warranty becomes void, and any claim will be denied. While Inhaus promotes SONO to be a waterproof product, one of the first statements in their product warranty is:

This Warranty excludes damage to SONO caused by, but not limited to damage from hydrostatic pressure, flooding, or other conditions that result in moisture in contact with SONO for periods or quantities in excess of normal use.

The warranty has no definition of what they mean by "excess of normal use." So, this exclusion makes the waterproof feature of this product somewhat unclear.

Other exclusions of this warranty include:

  • Only for interior use

  • Damage from improper installation

  • Damage from improper sub-floor

  • Indentation damage

To get a complete list of all of the warranty exclusions, as well as all of the warranty information, we would encourage customers to download the warranty and spend a few minutes reviewing it.