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Do I Need a Waterproof Floor?

Water from a water bottle spilling onto the floor

Every homeowner in search of flooring has no doubt been encouraged to consider waterproof flooring. From claims of being easy to clean to being able to survive a natural disaster, it can seem like a no-brainer to go with a waterproof floor.

Still, many people love the look and feel of traditional options, like hardwoods and carpet. But both of those have the reputation of being anything but waterproof (and we won’t argue with that).

So it can leave you with the tough question of – do I really need a waterproof floor?

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What does “waterproof flooring” mean?

“Can laminate be 100% waterproof?”

“Do most homes need waterproof floors?”

We hear a lot of questions surrounding the waterproofness of a floor. And we get it – the hype around waterproof floors makes them very appealing. It can also make it seem like you’ll regret choosing anything but a waterproof one.

When considering the different options, it’s important to know what brands mean by “waterproof.”

For most products that claim to be waterproof, you can typically expect them to hold up well to:

  • Spills that aren’t sitting for too long (ie. less than a couple hours)
  • Humid environments
  • Consistent wet areas, like a bathroom, mudroom, or kitchen

Additionally, waterproof floors come in vinyl (sheet, plank, and tile) and laminate. Get the details about each waterproof floor type on our website here.

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From there, there’s a couple key things to keep in mind with waterproof floors:

A waterproof floor is only as good as its installation. This includes using a moisture barrier underneath the floor and installing the floor according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s also crucial to make sure that the floor is installed without gaps, so that there’s no spot for water to leak through. For our waterproof products, you can find the installation instructions here.

For waterproof LVP (luxury vinyl plank) floors, is it watertight at the seams? What we mean by this is if the floor’s locking mechanism keeps water out. If it’s not specifically designed for this, then water may seep through any seams and stay below the planks. This can cause mold or rot in the subfloor. Our Multi-Length Rigid Core floors feature a water-tight locking mechanism designed to keep spills migrating to the subfloor between seams.

Now that we know what to expect with waterproof floors, the next step is determining, “when do I need a waterproof floor?”

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Four Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Waterproof Floor

  1. Is my floor constantly wet for extended periods of time?
  2. Do I have a beachfront property?
  3. Does my home flood often? (Or certain rooms, like a bathroom, kitchen, or basement)
  4. Do I live in a house with leaky pipes or leaky roof?

If you answer yes to any of the questions above, a water-safe floor may be right for you.

Keep reading to find out why your home may need a floor that can stand up to water.


Is my floor constantly wet for extended periods of time?

Sunrooms and pool houses with hot tubs and swimming pools are examples of areas with excess water and humidity. Mudrooms and basements in areas with long snow-covered winter months can seem to never dry out from all the snowmelt. For these areas, choosing a waterproof floor can give you peace of mind that it won’t be destroyed after a pool party or a record breaking snowfall.


Do I have beachfront property?

Humidity and hurricanes wreak havoc on natural wood products. Although proper acclimation can help minimize the amount of damage, if you’ve had flooding before, a water-safe floor may survive another one.


Does my home flood often?

Homes located in a flood plain can experience flooding more often than those living outside flood prone areas. Like we mentioned before, no floor can withstand torrential flooding. Even so, a waterproof floor may withstand minor flooding better than other options. To know if the floor can, check the manufacturer’s warranty and installation instructions.


Do I live in a house with leaky pipes or leaky roof?

It’s unfortunate that some homes seem prone to leaks. Perhaps from shoddy construction or ongoing environmental forces (like tornados, earthquakes, or floods), some homes never seem to get a break from leaks. In this case, it may be good to choose a waterproof floor in rooms that are near those leak-prone fixtures or areas.

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So, do I really need a waterproof floor?

As a rule of thumb, flooring designed to be waterproof is a great option for a home’s “wet areas,” like bathrooms, utility or wash rooms, and kitchens.

Homeowners should conclude for themselves – based on facts, not hype – why a water-safe floor is in their best interest. Rental properties, apartments, restaurants, and bars are also well suited for water-safe floors such as our Rigid Core SPC floors.

Whether your final flooring choice is based on cost, quality, or adding equity for home resale, you can trust that Portercraft is all about Flooring Made Simple.


Think a waterproof floor is right for you?

For more guidance on what to look for in a waterproof floor, get the guide to 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Waterproof Floor. We cover everything you need to know, like the 3 types of waterproof flooring to what to avoid when looking at waterproof floors.

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Waterproof Floor

Buy a new waterproof with confidence – our free e-book gives you everything you need to know when buying a waterproof floor.


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