If you’re looking into different types of floor tiles, you’re probably in on the secret already. But if not, you should know: tile is cool now! And we mean cool. Like, hipster-fabulous, Brooklyn-bound, ultra-chic cool. Let’s put it this way: tile is so cool, the Washington Post even wrote an article about just how cool it is.
The 6 Best Waterproof Laminate Flooring Brands of 2022
This post may contain references or links to products from one or more partners of our parent company and/or subsidiaries of our parent company. For more information, visit this page.
Updated 16-Sep, 2022
If you’re looking into waterproof laminate flooring, you probably have some questions. First among them: is there waterproof laminate flooring? As in, does it even really exist?
As it turns out, waterproof laminate flooring is real—and some of the best laminate flooring brands make it.
Below, we’re covering everything there is to know about waterproof laminate flooring. How it works, its pros and cons, how it compares to vinyl plank, and most importantly, the best waterproof laminate flooring brands and products.
👉PS: to skip straight to the best brands section, click here!👈
Table of Contents
- 1 First of All: What Is Laminate Flooring?
- 2 AC Rating: How to Tell Good Laminate From Bad Laminate
- 3 In General, Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?
- 4 Ok, But Just How Waterproof is It?
- 5 How Does Waterproof Laminate Flooring Work?
- 6 How to You Install Waterproof Laminate Flooring?
- 7 Advantages of Waterproof Laminate Flooring
- 8 Disadvantages of Waterproof Laminate Flooring
- 8.1 Wood-Look Styles and Color Options Dominate (& There are Very Few Tile-Look Options)
- 8.2 The Cost of Waterproof Laminate Is Usually Higher Than the Cost of Regular Laminate
- 8.3 Waterproof Laminate Warranties Often Have a Lot of Restrictions
- 8.4 Some Waterproof Laminate Floors Don’t Look as Authentic as Ordinary Laminate
- 8.5 You Can’t Put Waterproof Laminate Outdoors
- 8.6 Most Waterproof Laminate Flooring Can’t Survive Standing Water
- 9 What Are the Best Waterproof Laminate Flooring Brands?
- 10 #1: Newton
- 11 #2: Repel by Shaw
- 12 #3: Restoration by Mannington
- 13 #4: AquaGuard by Floor & Decor
- 14 Other Top Waterproof Laminate Flooring Brands
- 15 Quick Aside: Waterproof Laminate vs. Waterproof Vinyl Flooring
- 16 Waterproof Laminate Flooring FAQs
- 16.1 Can Waterproof Laminate Flooring Be Mopped?
- 16.2 How Long Do Waterproof Laminate Floors Last?
- 16.3 Will Laminate Flooring Add Value to Your Home?
- 16.4 Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over Existing Floors?
- 16.5 How Do I Get Stains Out of Laminate Floors?
- 16.6 How Long Can Water Be on Waterproof Laminate Flooring?
- 16.7 What Happens if Regular Laminate Flooring Gets Wet?
- 16.8 How Do You Install Laminate Floors?
- 16.9 Can You Refinish Waterproof Laminate Flooring?
- 16.10 Is Laminate Eco-Friendly?
- 17 Can You Make Water-Resistant Laminate Waterproof?
- 18 Final Thoughts
First of All: What Is Laminate Flooring?
Fake wood flooring is super popular these days, and for good reason. Vinyl, cork, and even concrete flooring that look like wood can all give you the appearance of hardwood with tons of added benefits. So: what is laminate flooring? Where does it fit in the mix?
Laminate is a multi-layer flooring made of both natural and synthetic materials. From the bottom, those materials are:
- A high-density fiberboard base layer
- A photo-realistic image layer
- A heavy-duty wear layer
This construction makes laminate both durable and affordable. And best of all, it does a stand-up job of mimicking hardwood. If you compare the appearance of high-quality laminate vs. hardwood flooring, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
The History of Laminate
Laminate has been around since the 1970s, when it became popular thanks to a boom in the US housing market. Since it was cheaper than hardwood (and quite durable), it ended up being used everywhere.
While it wasn’t one of the worst types of flooring, it did have a reputation for looking a bit cheap and plastic-y.
But that perception changed once laminate was forced to compete with high-quality luxury vinyl flooring. The best luxury vinyl flooring options also offer beautiful, inexpensive, and durable alternatives to hardwood—but with the added benefit of being waterproof. To survive, laminate flooring had to improve as well.
Nowadays, laminate is commonly confused with engineered hardwood (and if you’re wondering “what is engineered hardwood?”, click that link). In other words, modern laminates look really good.
Plus—laminate can mimic any number of hardwood species and withstand a good amount of abuse.
AC Rating: How to Tell Good Laminate From Bad Laminate
An AC rating is given to all laminate floors to measure how well they stand up to daily wear and tear. The rating is on a scale of 1–5, with 1 being the least durable.
Think of it this way: a laminate floor with an AC rating of 1 is only meant for use in closets and other very light-traffic areas. A floor with an AC rating of 5, on the other hand, can handle heavy commercial use.
An AC rating of 3 is probably okay to use if you don’t expect tons of foot traffic, but the best laminate flooring products generally score 4 or higher.
In General, Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?
Now we get back to the big question: in general, is laminate flooring waterproof?
The answer: no.
While waterproof laminate flooring does exist, it is only a specialty product.
Most Laminate Flooring Is Ruined by Water…
If you pour water on a typical laminate floor, it might spontaneously combust. Kidding, kidding! The floor won’t explode or anything—but it won’t be happy, either.
Liquids don’t just ruin the wear layer of a laminate plank. If they get into the core, the plank will swell and warp. In turn, this can the plank to pop out of place, crumble, and so on.
…But Fully Waterproof Laminates Do Exist
Again: some laminate floors are, in fact, fully waterproof.
The best waterproof laminate flooring makes use of special coatings, materials, and installation techniques to better survive spills, pet accidents, and in some cases, even standing water (for a time).
Ok, But Just How Waterproof is It?
We get it. There are a lot of conflicting claims out there about the actual waterproof qualities of waterproof laminate floors.
Here’s the real scoop. Some products marketed as waterproof laminate floors will only survive casual exposure to liquids: spills, accidents, etc. These are really just water-resistant laminate. Water resistant laminate is made to handle those small messes that you can get to rather quickly, not the big ones that need backup.
A few, however, can survive some level of standing water. And those are fully waterproof laminate floors. We’ll be super clear about which are which in our brand breakdown below.
Waterproof Laminate vs. Water-Resistant Laminate
We’ve spent hours upon hours going through warranty information for different products, and found that many waterproof laminate flooring brands will dot their catalogs with the word “waterproof”—only to say the flooring is “water-resistant” in the accompanying warranty.
Again: we’ll be super clear about which is which.
Fun Fact: Many Floors Marketed as Waterproof Hardwood are Actually Waterproof Laminate Flooring!
How Does Waterproof Laminate Flooring Work?
We’ll try not to bore you with the technical details, but the best waterproof laminate flooring works on two levels: top and sides/bottom.
Fully Waterproof Laminate is Protected on All Sides
If you only apply waterproof flooring coatings to the surface layer of a floor, it’s going to fail the moment water worms its way around that single defense.
That’s why the best waterproof laminate flooring is protected on all sides with specialty sealants. Waterproof vinyl flooring is super popular because it does this so well. Laminate manufacturers have caught on.
Remember: Unless Your Laminate is Protected on All Sides, It’s Only Water-Resistant Laminate
We know we’re hitting you over the head with this, but it’s for a reason. Even the best laminate flooring brands are only waterproof if they are protected on all sides (and sometimes within the fibers of a plank).
Water-resistant laminate floors, on the other hand, only have surface-level protection. That’s why prefinished hardwood flooring—even with a factory-fresh water-resistant finish—isn’t fully waterproof flooring. Water can just get below the plank and soak in from there!
How to You Install Waterproof Laminate Flooring?
Most waterproof laminate is sold as snap-together flooring. These planks click together like puzzle pieces, making a seamless surface. That way, water has a harder time penetrating between planks.
That doesn’t mean you’re limited to just basic patterns, though. Waterproof laminate can stand in for hardwood in most wood floor designs, like herringbone or mixed-width patterns.
Advantages of Waterproof Laminate Flooring
Ok! Now that we know all about the ins and outs of how waterproof laminate flooring works, let’s talk about the material’s pros and cons.
Waterproof Laminate Is Generally More Durable
Most laminate brands only waterproof their high-end products. It’s rare to find a waterproof laminate product with an AC rating lower than 4 (and if you do, we’d seriously question its waterproofing).
So what does this mean? Virtually all waterproof laminate is considered dent- and scratch-resistant flooring. Its durability, water resistance, and overall high quality make it perfect for difficult applications like mudroom flooring. Being dent-and-scratch-resistent makes it better for high traffic areas in your home.
Waterproof Laminate Can Go Anywhere Indoors
Since waterproof laminate is so hardy, you can put it just about anywhere inside your home.
It should even be fine to use some high-end brands for sunroom flooring, which is normally tricky because of rapid environmental changes. Check the warranty to be safe, though.
It’s Easy to Care For and Maintain
You should be able to clean most waterproof laminate flooring with a regular mop if you choose. Though we’d still check the care instructions to be on the safe side.
It’s Relatively Comfortable to Walk On
Laminate flooring is made with a fiberboard base that gives it an almost springy feel underfoot (despite its super-hard wear layer). If you know anything about WPC flooring, the two materials feel vaguely similar.
Now, laminate probably isn’t the most comfortable flooring—if you compare carpet vs. laminate, for example, you’ll probably choose carpet as the comfier floor. That said, laminate is about equal to many types of wood flooring when it comes to underfoot feel, and you can always add an underlayment to increase comfort.
And Of Course, Waterproof Laminate is Waterproof!
This one might be self-explanatory, but it’s still worth mentioning. Waterproof laminate flooring is just that—waterproof flooring! And that might be the biggest advantage there is.
Don’t want to shell out the big bucks for the best engineered wood flooring? Get laminate instead. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference! None of the best hardwood floor brands have what you’re looking for in terms of appearance? Laminate’s a great alternative. The best wood flooring for dogs not quite durable enough for your destructive Doberman? You already know the answer—laminate!
Disadvantages of Waterproof Laminate Flooring
There are some cons of waterproof laminate, but to be entirely fair, they’re not particularly significant. Here are some of the most common issues.
Wood-Look Styles and Color Options Dominate (& There are Very Few Tile-Look Options)
Okay, there’s a case to be made that this is a good thing—most people looking for laminate want wood floor colors and textures, anyway—but it’s pretty hard to find waterproof laminate flooring that doesn’t look like wood (i.e. products that mimic different types of tile and stone).
The cool thing: you can find waterproof laminate in virtually any wood style. Laminate that mimics dark or light wood floors, thin or wide plank wood flooring, even intricate wood floor patterns like parquet flooring—all are doable.
The Cost of Waterproof Laminate Is Usually Higher Than the Cost of Regular Laminate
This isn’t always the case, but waterproof laminate flooring tends to be a little pricier than ordinary laminate.
- Traditional laminate costs between $1 and $6 per square foot (cheaper than most hardwood).
- Waterproof laminate tends to be closer to $3 to $7 per square foot (about the same as domestic hardwoods like ash flooring).
Waterproof laminate still sells for less than what most wood flooring costs, especially when you factor in installation. The cost to install engineered hardwood floors, for example, generally falls between $3 and $8 per square foot. Laminate installation costs are notably lower.
Waterproof Laminate Warranties Often Have a Lot of Restrictions
This is important: a lot of waterproof laminate flooring options have restrictive warranties—even some of the high-end products.
Most likely, brands are trying to cover their ahem, “backsides”, in the event that too much water hits their product—which can be a situation-by-situation issue. For example, a floor in a high-humidity environment may be more susceptible to standing water than one in a dryer environment.
The point: read a laminate product’s warranty before you buy it (noticing a theme, yet?).
Some Waterproof Laminate Floors Don’t Look as Authentic as Ordinary Laminate
Again, this goes back to low-end products, but you’ll notice that some laminate products have weirdly glossy finishes that look, well, fake.
As it turns out, the technology used to waterproof laminate flooring (or almost anything, really) has actually been around for a long time. The problem was that it made these floors look like plastic.
The best waterproof laminate flooring should look authentic, but watch out for low-quality options. This can be tough when you order floors online, which is why we recommend visiting a local flooring store or ordering samples to verify that the floor you want has a nice, authentic-looking finish.
You Can’t Put Waterproof Laminate Outdoors
Laminate rarely (if ever) qualifies as an outdoor flooring option, and that goes for the waterproof variety as well. While the floors are very resistant to water damage, swinging temperatures, humidity levels, and even pressure changes can all wreak havoc on floors that are meant for indoor use.
Most Waterproof Laminate Flooring Can’t Survive Standing Water
It’s probably not fair to list this as a “con” because the reality is, standing water ruins just about anything. But, many waterproof laminate flooring brands state that their floors are actually water-resistant in their warranties.
Should you be worried, though? Probably not. So long as you’re not literally flooding your floor, most waterproof laminates should have no problem surviving ordinary accidents.
What Are the Best Waterproof Laminate Flooring Brands?
The main event! Which of the best laminate flooring brands make waterproof laminate flooring, and which products should you look into?
The Best Value in Waterproof Laminate
- AC Rating: AC4
- Durability: High
- Water Resistance: 24 Hours
- Price: $
If you want the most bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong with Newton waterproof laminate flooring.
While the company’s catalog isn’t huge, they do offer all the most popular hardwood looks—and despite their price, these floors look fantastic. Exceptionally little pattern repetition, wonderful finishes, you name it.
The value these products bring to the table—in addition to their excellent construction, environmentally-friendly credibility, and great customer service—have put Newton at the top of our best laminate flooring brands list for a reason. And as you might imagine, Newton reviews are similarly stellar.
Newton’s Waterproof Laminate Offerings
Newton offers 5 collections of water-resistant and fully waterproof laminate flooring, and 11 laminate collections total.
All your popular wood looks are available here—but what really sets Newton apart are the varied and realistic textures these floors offer.
While yesterday’s laminate might have appeared overly glossy and artificial, it’s really hard to tell Newton and real hardwood floors apart: a point that’s made better by the fact that Newton waterproof laminate can be bought and sold for less than half of the cost of mid-to-high quality hardwood floors.
Lastly, all of Newton’s laminate is GreenGuard Gold-certified as low-VOC flooring.
Newton Waterproof Laminate’s Price
All Newton laminates cost between $2.50 and $3.00 per square foot, and the company’s waterproof products are no exception. However, as we note in our Newton review, this price can vary based on the retailer you purchase from.
Newton Waterproof Laminate’s Durability
Newton waterproof laminate flooring is engineered to last at least 20 years, and all of Newton’s waterproof laminate collections boast an AC4 wear rating (meaning it’s rated for commercial-level foot traffic).
These floors are completely resistant to general wear and tear, and so long as they’re maintained (we’re talking minimal upkeep, by the way), they’ll continue to excel for a long time.
Plus, all Newton laminate is made in the USA and Europe, where manufacturers face strict production regulations (meaning you can trust that these floors are well made and don’t contain harmful chemicals).
Newton Waterproof Laminate’s Warranty
Given its AC4 rating, Newton waterproof laminate flooring is designed to handle above-residential-level use. As a result, all products offer either a robust 20-year or limited lifetime residential warranty.
Additionally, most of these floors also carry a 5-year commercial warranty—which is pretty impressive at the price point.
Which Newton Waterproof Laminate Product Offers the Best Value?
That’s the thing! All Newton floors offer an incredible cost-per-performance ratio! Newton is known for offering features typical of the best laminate brands at a fraction of the price.
#2: Repel by Shaw
Very Durable With a Strong Warranty
- AC Rating: Not Specified
- Durability: High
- Water Resistance: Not Specified
- Price: $$$$
Shaw’s Repel laminate line is pricier than the previous options on this list, but its lifetime residential warranty also promises that it will not stain, warp, wear through, or succumb to “everyday household spills.”
We should also note that Shaw Floors is the second-largest flooring company on Earth. So, you can probably expect their products to maintain a certain level of quality.
Shaw Repel’s Waterproof Laminate Offerings
Shaw Repel offers a surprisingly slim selection of styles (fewer than 20 altogether). But these styles do hit all the staples, like oak and maple looks. There are even a few darker looks like walnut, but nothing as dark as ebony flooring.
Here’s something ironic though: Shaw makes almost 200 non-water-resistant laminate options. So if you’re looking for flooring ideas and want to use Shaw laminate flooring, you might have to go with an option that’s not in the Repel collection.
Shaw Repel Waterproof Laminate’s Price
You can expect to pay between $5.40 and $5.90/sq. ft. for Shaw Repel, on average. This certainly makes it much more expensive than the other options on this list, but its warranty is very strong.
Shaw Repel’s Durability
Shaw doesn’t actually say its Repel line is waterproof, but since its warranty makes many of the same guarantees that other brands make (and then some), we think Repel is good enough to include here as well.
While other brands say their floors will resist stains and so on, Shaw Repel’s warranty guarantees it. Again: it’s unclear if the stronger wording means there’s a difference, but given the lifetime warranty, we’re inclined to think there might be.
That said, Shaw doesn’t specify the AC rating of their laminate products, which is unusual. Considering the warranty, though, it’s probably safe to assume that Repel is reasonably durable.
Shaw Repel’s Warranty
Aside from the features we already mentioned, Shaw Repel’s warranty is pretty solid. The one thing that’s a little concerning: Shaw recommends that the floor be installed in rooms where the humidity is between 35% and 65% throughout the year. However, that’s within the average of American households.
Which Shaw Repel Product Offers the Best Value?
Shaw Repel is the company’s only waterproof laminate flooring line, though there is some variety in its pricing.
#3: Restoration by Mannington
Sustainable and Beautiful, But Only Water-Resistant
- AC Rating: 4
- Durability: High
- Water Resistance: Medium
- Price: $$
Right off the bat, Mannington highlights that its laminate products are made from 70% recycled content with low-VOC materials (read about low-VOC flooring here). Good, right?
Its pricing is also similar to other options, but there’s one key exception: the only residential warranty only lasts 25 years (as opposed to “for life”, or “20-year or lifetime”).
Mannington’s Waterproof Laminate Offerings
Mannington’s Restoration Collection is the company’s only laminate line. There are more than 60 style choices, all of which are wood-look.
Mannington’s Wateproof Laminate Price
The Restoration Collection is priced at a reasonable $3.40–$3.70/sq. ft.
Mannington Waterproof Laminate’s Durability
Mannington’s Restoration Collection uses a technology that’s similar to some bigger brands’, and Mannington’s Restoration Collection also boasts a robust AC4 rating.
Mannington Waterproof Laminate’s Warranty
Unlike the other floors on this list that offer lifetime residential warranties, the Restoration Collection’s residential warranty only lasts 25 years—and there are no lifetime warranties available with other products.
Still, Mannington Mills says you can mop the floor without issue so long as the water is “promptly removed.” This makes us think that it’s at least somewhat comparable to RevWood, Pergo, and Repel in terms of waterproofing.
Which Mannington Waterproof Laminate Product Offers the Best Value?
Again, the Restoration Collection is the only laminate product Mannington sells.
#4: AquaGuard by Floor & Decor
Approved for Standing Water (aka Super Waterproof)
- AC Rating: 5
- Durability: Very High
- Water Resistance: 30 Hours
- Price: $$$
AquaGuard is a Floor & Decor exclusive that, if the reviews are to be believed, is surprisingly great.
Why “surprisingly”? Floor & Decor is a big box store, which doesn’t always bode well for product quality. Key example: NuCore flooring. This is Floor & Decor’s flagship vinyl plank product—and let’s just say it’s budget-friendly for a reason.
AquaGuard’s Waterproof Laminate Offerings
AquaGuard only offers a single collection, but there are 85 total styles available, including popular wood looks.
AquaGuard Waterproof Laminate’s Price
Despite being a box store purchase, AquaGuard is priced at $2.50–$4.00/sq. ft.—a bit higher than some might expect. Still, its waterproofing (and AC5 rating) are impressive.
AquaGuard Waterproof Laminate’s Durability
Behold: the coveted AC5 rating. AquaGuard is the first and only product on this list that has an AC5 rating. More importantly: AquaGuard has a 30-hour window for dealing with water spills and accidents.
So, why is it the sixth choice on our list? Well, despite that 30-hour window, AquaGuard’s warranty very clearly states, “This product is water-resistant.” Despite the, again 30-hour window, Floor & Decor says that standing water will ruin the flooring, most likely via mold or mildew.
Additionally, we’ve found that national-retailer-chain products are often a roll of the dice as far as individual performance is concerned. From Home Depot’s TrafficMaster laminate flooring to Lumber Liquidators’ CoreLuxe, let’s just say…we’ve been jaded.
AquaGuard Waterproof Laminate’s Warranty
AquaGuard’s strong warranty makes up for the confusing rhetoric on its water-protection: limited lifetime for residential use; 15 years for commercial applications (which is pretty high for laminate).
Just be sure that the floor is installed correctly or the warranty may be voided.
Note: to access AquaGuard’s warranty, select any product on their site and scroll down to the “Install & Product Documents” section.
Which AquaGuard Waterproof Laminate Product Offers the Best Value?
While AquaGaurd’s products do vary in price, there’s only one collection to choose from.
Other Top Waterproof Laminate Flooring Brands
To round out our list, here are a few more products. These products aren’t necessarily lesser, but we’re not sure any qualify as the best waterproof laminate flooring.
#5: AquaFlor by Tarkett
Budget Water-Resistant Laminate | $1.00–$3.25/sq. ft.
Tarkett was a popular brand in Europe before it entered the American flooring market, where it’s still securing a foothold. AquaFlor, the company’s lone laminate flooring brand, offers 24-hour protection from spills and splashes in the same general manner as Floor & Decor’s AquaGuard—but mixed reviews about the floor’s quality keep it out of the top tier.
#6: AquaSeal by LL Flooring
Decent Laminate Made by a Troubled Brand | $1.00–$4.00/sq. ft.
Most of AquaSeal’s offerings meet the definition of “budget” flooring, but the lifetime residential warranty and 10-year commercial warranty suggest the floor is at least decent. It also has an AC4 rating.
Still, a casual glance at LL Flooring’s website reveals more than a few negative AquaSeal flooring reviews, many of which seem to focus on the durability of the floor.
Quick Aside: Waterproof Laminate vs. Waterproof Vinyl Flooring
Moving on from the pros and cons of waterproof laminate flooring, there’s one thing we have to add: a comparison between luxury vinyl plank vs. laminate flooring.
Before waterproof laminate floors, there was a strong case to be made that vinyl plank (a type of PVC flooring) was the superior floor. Why? The best luxury vinyl flooring brands offer high-quality, long-lasting products that were equally affordable, but waterproof.
Plus, the cost to install vinyl plank flooring is about the same as it is for a laminate floor, and both floors offer realistic looks and textures. So, the argument basically came down to this: vinyl plank was waterproof, but laminate flooring was a more environmentally-friendly flooring choice because it wasn’t 100% synthetic.
Waterproof laminate flooring evens the gap, minimizing vinyl plank’s biggest advantage. Though, there’s still no waterproof laminate flooring equivalent for loose lay vinyl plank flooring—yet.
The Best Waterproof Laminate Flooring Absolutely Compares to High-End LVP
Even though there are few problems with luxury vinyl tile (and plank), it’s an all-around fantastic flooring option and its waterproofing is arguably more waterproof (yes…we know how that sounds).
Still, waterproof laminate flooring offers a similar degree of performance in the same price range.
Waterproof Laminate Flooring FAQs
Still have questions about choosing and maintaining the best waterproof laminate flooring? Let’s go over some common FAQs to see if we can answer them.
Can Waterproof Laminate Flooring Be Mopped?
Again: we’re going back to the “remember to double-check your warranty info and care instructions” recommendation. But yes, in general, you should be able to.
How Long Do Waterproof Laminate Floors Last?
Quality waterproof laminate floors should last around 25 years, but a lot of factors can go into this (upkeep, brand, product, etc.).
However, many high-end brands offer lifetime residential warranties. So: it’s possible that these products could last much longer.
That said, if you want something that’s going to last for generations, maybe think about buying hardwood floors instead. Some of the most durable wood flooring options aren’t that much different from laminate floors in terms of hardness, and they can be refinished indefinitely.
Will Laminate Flooring Add Value to Your Home?
This is a subjective question through and through. Some buyers love the idea of laminate floors because they’re durable and easier to maintain; others prefer the real thing.
Generally speaking, we’d probably say that laminate floors are more valuable than other “budget” floors. If you’re comparing laminate vs. linoleum (or laminate vs. sheet vinyl), laminate probably offers more resale value.
Can I Install Laminate Flooring Over Existing Floors?
This is another one of those “check the warranty first” questions, but in general, you should be able to install laminate waterproof flooring over existing floors. It really depends on the product, though.
Of course, the standard option would be to install it over the subflooring (and what is subflooring?) rather than an existing surface.
How Do I Get Stains Out of Laminate Floors?
If you have true laminate waterproof flooring, stains shouldn’t be a problem. However, if they do occur, we would recommend looking to your product’s warranty and/or care instructions.
We would not recommend trying to remove stains from laminate the same way you might bleach wooden floors. Bleach is a potent chemical that will ruin a laminate floor’s protective layer. And the sad truth is that getting stains out of laminate is really not all that possible.
How Long Can Water Be on Waterproof Laminate Flooring?
It completely depends on the product. True waterproof laminate flooring will give you a this-floor-will-survive-standing-water-for-X-amount-of-hours number, but most laminate floors should be dried ASAP.
If you need something that can survive standing water indefinitely, like for a shower or pool, you might want to compare the perks of buying tile vs. laminate. Tile’s definitely the better option for wetter applications.
What Happens if Regular Laminate Flooring Gets Wet?
Even the best hardwood floors can’t stand up to liquids, and laminate is no different. Ordinary laminate flooring is absolutely ruined by water. Basically, liquids penetrate the finish or wear layers of the floor, seeping into the core layers where those fibers expand. Eventually, this will lead to warping and cracks.
How Do You Install Laminate Floors?
As we mentioned above, waterproof laminates are almost always installed as click- or snap-together floors. This installation style creates a surface seal, making it harder for water to seep between planks.
If that sounds odd to you, don’t worry—click-together or “floating” setups are some of the most common installation styles these days. And as an added bonus, floating floors make for some of the easiest flooring to install—either for professionals or do-it-yourself flooring aficionados.
And what is a floating floor, exactly? It’s simply a floor that rests on top of the subfloor without being attached. Again: if you haven’t looked into buying a floor before, we know this sounds weird, but really—the disadvantages of floating floors are minimal. After all, it’s 2022—even magnetic flooring is a thing now!
Can You Refinish Waterproof Laminate Flooring?
Sadly, you can’t refinish any kind of laminate flooring like you might refinish bamboo flooring (or hardwood, of course). And speaking of which: for a full breakdown of how bamboo stacks up against laminate, check out bamboo flooring vs. laminate.
Is Laminate Eco-Friendly?
This is a tricky question. Composite products aren’t generally considered the most eco-friendly flooring. But as we mentioned before, laminate is greener than vinyl plank. If you want super green flooring, though, something like sustainable wood flooring or hemp flooring might be the better option.
Silver lining: you can find completely non-toxic laminate flooring products that are waterproof.
Can You Make Water-Resistant Laminate Waterproof?
In theory, yes—but in actuality, no. Or rather, not unless you have an entire flooring factory at your disposal.
While it can be a little more expensive than ordinary laminate, there’s no question that waterproof laminate flooring offers a huge upside. You can put it anywhere in your home and there’s little reason to worry. Plus, more and more of the best laminate flooring brands are starting to make it, which is always a good sign.
And, of course, it compares favorably with other waterproof hardwood floor alternatives like luxury vinyl flooring. At the end of the day, you can always count on luxury vinyl flooring to offer a completely waterproof alternative to laminate flooring made from synthetic materials. So if you are someone looking for waterproof (not water-resistant) flooring for a basement or similarly high-moisture area, then luxury vinyl flooring might be a better choice. It really comes down to preference and budget. Whatever flooring you choose, remember to include a vapor barrier beneath to reduce the amount of moisture reaching your flooring from your subfloor..
Our big advice here: check warranties before you purchase. Remember: there’s a big difference between water-resistant laminate and waterproof laminate, and it’s important to know which is which. When in doubt, see what the product you’re interested in is guaranteed to cover.
We know that can be a hassle, though, which is why we also recommend shopping somewhere people actually know the products—i.e. an actual well-reviewed flooring store rather than a big box store.
Whatever you choose, thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful, and as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
In the meanwhile, good luck on your flooring search and, for more info on all things floors, check out:
- Engineered Hardwood vs. Laminate: Side-by-Side Comparison
- Peel and Stick Vinyl Plank Flooring 101
- COREtec Flooring Reviews: Plus, Pro Plus, & More
- Carpet or Hardwood in Bedrooms: Which is Better?
- SmartCore Flooring Reviews: Is it Worth it?
- Outdoor Vinyl Flooring: Guide & Brands
- Glue-Down Vinyl Plank Flooring 101
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring
- LifeProof Vinyl Flooring Reviews: Is It Worth It?
- How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Flooring?
- Wood-Look Tile: Your Complete Guide
- Hickory Flooring Pros and Cons: The Guide
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Cork Flooring
- Your Guide to the Best Bamboo Flooring
- A Guide to Peel-and-Stick Carpet Tiles (& 9 Reasons They’re Amazing)
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Floors
- 9 Reasons The “Carpet vs. Hardwood” Debate is Silly
- How Much Does it Cost to Replace Carpet With Hardwood?
- How to Install Carpet Tiles in 7 Easy Steps
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Hickory vs. Oak Flooring
- The Pros and Cons of Cork Flooring
- Heating Wood Floors 101: Everything You Need to Know
- Stainmaster Luxury Vinyl Reviews: Is it Worth It?
- Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring: Your Total Guide
- The Best Cork Flooring Options & 11 Reasons They’re Awesome
PEOPLE ALSO LOVED
This post may contain references or links to products from one or more partners of our parent company and/or subsidiaries of our parent company. For more information, visit this page. September 16, 2022 SPC flooring is marketed as an upgrade to ordinary luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring, but what is SPC flooring? Is it actually […]
Let’s talk about SmartCore flooring. Is Lowes’ in-house brand of LVP worth purchasing? Or is it simply another product in the already-crowded world of vinyl plank? We’ve discussed a lot of types of flooring here, including many of the best vinyl plank flooring brands. And below, we’re going to take an in-depth look at SmartCore Pro and SmartCore Ultra to see how they stack up.