What Is Waterproof Flooring?
Mar 18, 2019
We get a lot of questions about waterproof flooring, and with good reason. It can be confusing to read between the lines of “marketing-speak” and really understand what you’re getting when you purchase a specialty waterproof product.
What is Waterproof Flooring and Where Should I Put It In My Home?
There are many waterproof flooring options out there, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for and what you’re looking at. But first, it’s important to understand what exactly makes a flooring product waterproof and what that means for your home.
What is Waterproof Flooring?
When it comes to flooring, waterproof means waterproof -- no water or moisture can penetrate the material, soaking it to its core.
With waterproof flooring, the waterproofing is “baked in”. Rather than being treated with a special coating to protect it from water, the flooring is made of a fully waterproof material. No matter how long water stands on top of the flooring, it will never soak through and the flooring will never be damaged by water.
For example, you can take a piece of waterproof vinyl or tile and fully submerge it in a tank of water for days. When you take it out, it will be as good as new.
It’s worth noting that while a flooring product may be entirely waterproof, that doesn’t mean that your subfloor is, too. Water, especially in large quantities, can still seep into cracks, whether that’s along the wall or between floorboards, and cause damage to the subfloor below. Even with the very best waterproof flooring, if you are the victim of a major flooding event, you probably will not get away without some damage.
The good news is that when the time comes to clean up and repair your home, you can take up the waterproof floorboards and tend to any damage that happened to your subfloor. You can let your carpets dry out and replace the flooring. That’s a big win over having to invest in a whole new floor.
Where Should I Install Waterproof Flooring in My Home?
From a spilled cup of coffee in the bedroom to an overturned glass of wine in the dining room, there’s endless potential for stains and liquids to permeate and ruin your carpeting or flooring. Waterproof flooring to the rescue!
Waterproof flooring is especially good for any area where there may be frequent spills. Luxury vinyl flooring in the kitchen may be just fine -- even if you accidentally drop a whole gallon of milk one morning. Waterproof stone tiles or luxury vinyl may also be an ideal choice for the bathroom where the kids regularly splash at bath time. They also provide an added layer of relief in the event of an overflowed toilet (ugh) or any leaks from the sink or other fixtures.
Top Flooring Options for High Moisture Areas
Areas that see a high degree of moisture, such as bathrooms and mudrooms, can benefit from flooring designed for wet areas, such as waterproof luxury vinyl or tiles.
If you’re installing tile flooring for a shower wet room, your flooring will need to stand up to water, condensation, and steam on a regular basis. With this in mind, there are additional waterproofing steps that must be taken to protect your subfloor -- even if you’ve chosen waterproof tiles. Using waterproof grouting and laying a waterproof membrane beneath the floor are two steps that must not be skipped if you want a truly waterproof area.
Once you understand the terms and know what you need for the different parts of your home, shopping for waterproof flooring becomes a whole lot easier. Of course, if you ever need a bit of extra help, the smart and highly trained staff at any of our locally-owned stores would be glad to give you some advice. Find your store today so we can steer you in the right direction, no matter what you need. Stay dry!
Visualize Your Flooring Dreams
Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.