Water Resistant Laminate vs. Waterproof Laminate Floors
Traditional laminate wood floors are not waterproof, they are water resistant. There is however a protective layer on the surface and again on the underside of most laminate floor brands. Waterproof laminate is an upgraded version of the popular wood-look synthetic floor that can now resist water damage. A proven game-changer in laminate flooring installation.
Let’s look at the difference, brands and costs of laminate flooring.
Waterproof and water-resistant are not the same thing with flooring.
Water resistance means that they designed a certain element of the flooring to withstand water better than normal. This typically means that you can have some water on the surface for a while before it soaks through. If you can’t get to a spill right away, water-resistant laminate floors will buy you some time.
Waterproof on the other hand, means that the water can never penetrate the flooring, no matter how much time has passed.
Water resistant laminate floors typically have four different layers:
- Backing Layer – The backing layer is the bottom-layer that touches the floor. It acts as a moisture barrier.
- Core Layer – On top of the backing is the core layer. This forms the primary structure of each board. It’s usually made of a composite wood material called HDF or high-density fiberboard.
- Design Layer – Next is the design layer, which gives the floorboard its pattern or design. A printed image is put on thin paper or a resin layer and glued to the base layer.
- Wear Layer – Finally, they coat the board in several layers of clear resin. This helps protect the board against scratches and everyday wear. It also serves as a moisture barrier to keep out water.
Traditional Laminate Floor Construction
The way they make laminate wood floors, is they sandwich wood fibers between two coatings. The wood is in the middle. If this wood gets wet, it can cause warping, swelling, and mold growth if not treated.
Water causes damage to laminate flooring by soaking into the layers. Once inside the boards, it causes them to swell and warp. It weakens the glue that holds them together and they can eventually fall apart.
But this should not stop you from installing wood plank flooring in other parts of that house that should not get wet or even finished basements when properly installed.
Best Rooms For Standard or Water Resistant Laminate Flooring
- Dining Rooms
- The Living Room
Waterproof Laminate Flooring
The make up of waterproof laminate flooring differs from traditional laminate, as it encases the way the wood core is protected.
- Waterproof seal: First, the surface features a water-repellent seal that keeps spills and moisture from the core.
- Watertight joints: Each plank locks together tightly to prevent water from seeping through. Some waterproof laminate flooring features bevels that wrap over the plank’s edges for even better moisture protection at the joints.
- Water-resistant core: Then, waterproof laminate’s core layer is made of compressed high-density fiberboard (HDF) with resins. This makes it less susceptible to swelling and ensures better water resistance.
Things to remember are waterproof laminate cannot be fully submerged in water because it is still wood at its core.
Related Article: Benefits of Tile Flooring
Pros of Waterproof Laminate Flooring
- Better with moisture than traditional laminate
- Realistic wood looks:
- Easy to install, clean, and maintain
- More scratch resistant than vinyl
Cons of Waterproof Laminate Flooring
- Not as water-resistant as waterproof vinyl flooring:
Best Rooms for Waterproof Laminate Floors
- Laundry Rooms
Related Article: 5 Waterproof Options for Bathroom Flooring
Brands & Costs of Waterproof Laminate Flooring
$2.50–$4.00/sq. ft.per square foot.
Comes with a lifetime warranty when the flooring is installed for residential purposes.Out of the 4 brands lists AquaGuard from Floor & Decor is the best in our opinion on a waterproof laminate floor. It makes a good floor for pets that splash water.
RevWood by Mohawk:
RevWood offers one water-resistant line and two waterproof flooring lines:
- RevWood (water-resistant)
- RevWood Select
- RevWood Plus
One good thing about Pergo is you can find them in any of the big home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot.
Pergo’s Waterproof Laminate
- Pergo Outlast+SpillProtect (waterproof; sold exclusively at Home Depot)
- Pergo TimberCraft+WetProtect (waterproof; sold exclusively at Lowes)
- Pergo Portfolio+WetProtect (waterproof)
- Pergo XP (water-resistant) Note: I have Pergo XP in our bedrooms. It is five years old and for the rooms we have it in, it looks as good as new. It is easy to clean as well.
Pergo’s waterproof flooring selection comes with almost 100 options to fit any homeowners style and tastes.
Restoration by Mannington
Mannington states that its laminate products are made from 70% recycled content with low-VOC materials. There are more than 60 wood-look styles to choose.
Laminate Flooring Conclusion
If you are looking for a good-looking floor that will last for decades with care, then a waterproof laminate wood floor is a cost effective option when replacing the floor in your home. Get a FREE quote to have your new floors installed by Salem County Home Services, flooring contractors.
Related Article: Hardwood Flooring Refinish vs. Replace