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Best waterproof flooring options

03/06/2019

In some areas of the home, moisture and water are big concerns. Bathrooms, mudrooms, entryways, basements, and even kitchens are often the site of spills, humidity, and tracked-in water or mud. And depending on where you live, the possibility of flooding from storms or other natural disasters can be a major concern.

In these situations, choosing a floor that can stand up to water is pretty important. If waterproof flooring is a priority for you, here are some great options.

Tile

waterproof-tile
Daltile

There’s a reason tile is such a popular choice when it comes to bathroom floors – it stands up to lots of water and humidity. Porcelain tile is a great choice, as it’s required to have an extremely low absorption rate – 0.5 percent or lower. Ceramic tile is also a fine choice for moisture-prone rooms, even though it isn’t required to have such a low absorption rate.

Look for unglazed tile, which tends to be thicker and denser than glazed tile. It’s also more slip-resistant, which is critical when it comes to bathroom flooring.

If you go with tile, you certainly have a lot of design options. With such a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, you’re bound to find a product that fits your personal preferences and style.

The only concern with tile is the grout – make sure you maintain your grout, because water can seep through cracked grout lines and cause problems underneath your tile.

Luxury vinyl

waterproof-lvt
Shaw

LVT, especially rigid LVT, is another great choice for moisture-prone areas. Products with a rigid core are going to be dimensionally stable, so shifts in humidity, like you might see in a bathroom or three-season porch, won’t affect the planks.

When LVT – especially rigid LVT – is installed using a click or locking system, its seams are designed to provide a tight, waterproof seal. The vinyl top layer will keep water from seeping into the subfloor, and as an added bonus, the core is waterproof as well. As long as your floors are properly installed – and we definitely recommend calling in the professionals – you shouldn’t have any issues with water!

Like tile, luxury vinyl is available in a wide range of design option. The most popular visuals you’re going to find mimic the look of hardwood, but there are plenty of beautiful stone, concrete, metallic, or fabric-inspired finishes available as well.

Sheet vinyl

waterproof-sheet-vinyl
Mannington

Part of LVT’s rise in popularity has to do with its waterproof properties, but sheet vinyl is waterproof, too. And because it comes in 6 or 12-foot rolls, there are fewer seams, giving water fewer opportunities to seep into the subfloor.

You can easily find sheet vinyl that looks like wood or stone. There’s also been a resurgence of patterned sheet vinyl that can add a fun, funky flair to any space. It also tends to be pretty reasonably priced – even the premium stuff – so it’s a great pick if you’re renovating on a budget.

What about waterproof laminate?

While some manufacturers offer waterproof and water-resistant laminate, it’s not standard in laminate flooring. If any water gets past the planks’ seams, laminate’s fiberboard core will warp, and your gorgeous laminate floors will be destroyed. Nobody wants that! While waterproof laminate will probably fare fine against a spilled cup of water or pet accident, it’s no match for a flooding dishwasher. Be sure to check your warranty before opting for waterproof or water-resistant laminate.

About The Author

Lauren Moore

Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).

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