Waterproof and water-resistant flooring, have become very popular in recent years. Today we’ll go over how they differ from one another and why it is important to understand the differences between the tow. Knowing the benefits of each type and what rooms they are best suited for will save you time and money in the long run.
How They Differ
Let’s define what these two terms mean. Both types of flooring are made of materials that repel water and prevent water damage. However, they are not created equal.
Waterproof: A permanent material that water will not penetrate.
Water-Resistant: A flooring material that protects flooring substrate from water infiltration.
Waterproof flooring will not deteriorate when exposed to water for an extended period of time. No need to worry about edges curling or the composition of the flooring breaking down. The colour will not fade either.
Waterproof flooring can also prevent moisture in the air. This can be important if you live somewhere humid environment or prone to flooding.
It can be installed in any area of your home: Kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and basements.
While many types of luxury vinyl flooring and a few new engineered hardwoods are waterproof, don’t assume that all are. Look for ones that are labeled 100% waterproof. Also, keep in mind that while your flooring is waterproof your subfloor may not be, therefore you will want to keep water from getting underneath to prevent damaging the subfloor.
Waterproof flooring is typically more expensive. However, it carries many benefits that water-resistant flooring does not. The cost can definitely be worth it, and it can save you time and money in the long run. For instance, if water is absorbed into certain types of flooring, such as hardwood, the flooring will swell and eventually crack. Instead of ruining your flooring and having to replace it, it would be easier to just install waterproof flooring to begin with.
Water does absorb into or pass through water-resistant flooring nearly as quickly as it would with non-water resistant flooring. If you mop up spills fairly quickly, your floor will be able to handle the occasional small spill, since moisture will not have time to absorb into the floor and impact the material underneath. If you are considering installing a water-resistant flooring in the kitchen, be mindful of water collecting or pooling and causing potential damage.
The seams between planks, expose the floor and leaves it vulnerable to any water leaking through. With some products a roll-on moisture barrier can be applied to help protect the subfloor. If you are installing laminate, make sure it has a water-resistant core as well as a protective top layer.
While you may love the look of hardwood, it is natural and will absorb water that sits on it. This makes hardwood a less viable option for some areas of your home. However, technological advancements have improved the quality and beauty of water-resistant flooring. It closely mimics the look of real hardwood, stone, and many other textures, shades and styles.
Water-resistant flooring such as laminate or vinyl tile is less expensive than a waterproof engineered hardwood or luxury vinyl plank. It is also an easier DIY option as it is easier to install.
Final Factors to Consider
- Where will the flooring being installed? Is there a high chance of water ending up on the floor?
- Waterproof flooring can be installed anywhere. Whereas you may want to avoid installing water-resistant flooring in areas where water frequently collects.
- What is your overall budget for the project? If you try to save money by going with water-resistant flooring in an area where frequent spills occur, you risk water damage and could end up spending more by having to replace or repair the flooring in the near future.
Find Everything You Need at Nufloors
Visit any one of our locations and shop our wide selection of the latest in vinyl flooring, hardwood, carpet and more. Looking for advice on choosing the right flooring for your space? Speak with one of our Nufloors flooring or design experts.