Poly(methyl methacrylate-co-butyl acrylate) (PMMA-co-PBA) and poly(sytrene-co-butyl acrylate) (PSt-co-PBA) latexes in which solid content (SC) varied from 20% up to 40 wt % armored with laponite clay have been successfully synthesized using a simple method, which does not require modification of the clay particles prior to polymerization. Incorporation of quite high amounts of laponite nanoparticles into PMMA-co-PBA and PSt-co-PBA latexes with a certain amount of solids content was achieved. The nanocomposite latexes and polymer samples were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in attenuated total reflectance (ATR) mode, dynamic light scattering (DLS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), contact angle, zeta potential, viscosimetry and analytical ultracentrifuge (AUC). Zeta potential values showed that stable latex was obtained and precipitation problem of the nanoparticles in the latex was not seen during the storage. Obtained nanocomposite latex showed fine particle size between 88 and 160 nm. TEM images and XRD results pointed out that the exfoliated nanocomposite structure for latexes was obtained. DSC analyzes showed that the glass-transition temperature (T-g) values of nanocomposite films decreased slightly compared with those of pure (PMMA-co-PBA) films. Mechanical properties of laponite clay armored PMMA-co-PBA were tested and compared with those of pure PMMA-co-PBA, indicating that incorporated the Young's modulus and tensile strength are also improved to a noticeable extent after the incorporation of laponite. (c) 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2019, 136, 47423.