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What are the different types of waterproof flooring?

types of waterproof floors

Waterproof flooring is the fastest growing flooring segment. Many families see the benefits of a durable and beautiful flooring surface they can trust and afford.

However, with so many waterproof floors in the market, many brands use confusing and proprietary marketing strategies.

A common misunderstanding is differentiating between types of waterproof floors. What is the difference between LVT, vinyl flooring, PVC flooring, and the other synonyms out there?

To make it simple, we classify all of these floors as waterproof floors.

The best waterproof floor options are made in vinyl or laminate. These formats can have various types of construction and installation methods.

sheet vinyl

Glue down sheet vinyl

Glue down sheet vinyl is great for large spaces and commercial applications as they can be purchased and installed at a very low cost.

Sheet vinyl usually comes in 6’ or 12’ rolls that are glued down when installed.

While sheet vinyl resists water well, it conforms to the subfloor as it is rolled out. Any imperfections or unevenness in the subfloor may show after the floor has been installed.

loose lay vinyl flooring

Loose lay vinyl flooring planks and tiles

Loose lay floors come in planks or tiles that is installed without glue. The locking system doesn’t require glue, but you may need to use adhesive around the perimeter of the floor.

These floors are usually thicker than glue down vinyl floors. Because of this, they can have better embossing and texturing which gives a more natural wood, tile, or stone look.

Installation is quick, and planks or tiles can be removed and replaced easily after installation. Some loose lay vinyl floors have a peel and stick adhesive that can be used on floors or as wall coverings.

rigid core vinyl flooring

Rigid core vinyl flooring planks and tiles

Rigid core is a broad term that can cover many different types of materials. These can include wood composite, stone composite, mineral composite and other types of dense, rigid materials that give planks and tiles better durability.

Rigidness allows these floors to be installed over subfloors or even existing floor coverings without showing imperfections. Rigid core floors usually have a click lock mechanism that requires no adhesive. Additionally, some locking mechanisms are designed to be water-tight at the seams, keeping water from seeping to the subfloor.

There are many possibilities for rich, natural textures and rigid core floors are very stable and durable. Some can even include a real wood top layer, combining the feel of real hardwood with the water resistance and easy installation of rigid core flooring.

See our rigid core SPC floors here.
waterproof laminate flooring

Waterproof Laminate Flooring

You may be surprised to see laminate on this list, but waterprooof laminate is becoming increasingly popular for a waterproof option. And for good reason!

As technology has advanced, many laminate floors are designed with dense cores that give more water protection and durability than laminate floors of the past. Like we talked about with rigid core floors, laminate floors also can feature a watertight locking mechanism, preventing water from seeping through the seams.

Another advance made in recent years is better finishes that can withstand more wear and spills.

Our waterproof laminate floors are crafted with a TriSeal Water-safe System that combines the dense EuroCor920, a water-tight REALock click system, and a 2mm waterproof seal. Get more details about these floors here. 

See our laminate flooring collections here.

Is a waterproof floor right for me?

Now that you know the three main types of waterproof floors, your next question may be, “What type of waterproof floor is right for me?” or “What is the most durable vinyl flooring?”

We’ve created a free guide that goes through everything you need to know when buying a waterproof floor. Find out the top 5 things to know before choosing a waterproof floor. We also cover the big question, “What does waterproof mean, exactly?”

Download the guide now to help you make the best decision for your space.

Download Your Free Buying Guide

Find out the top 5 things to know before choosing a waterproof floor. We also cover the big question, “What does waterproof mean, exactly?”


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