Schedule now
1-877-50-FLOOR Schedule now

DON'T WAIT — Schedule your appointment today and SAVE!

Schedule Now
promo pointing
up-close photo of medium laminate floors

Water and Laminate Flooring: What You Need to Know

Laminate flooring is made up of many layers of compressed wood particles, making it resistant to water.

While this layering system provides strength and protection against everyday use, it is not completely waterproof. Exposure to water or moisture could cause the edges of the laminate planks to swell, ultimately resulting in damage to the floor.


Schedule An Appointment

Water and Laminate Flooring What You Need to Know - Featured Banner (2)

Key Features of Laminate Flooring

Four main components of laminate create durability in an attractive design:

Blue icon showing flooring planks

Decorative layer

A decorative layer consists of a detailed, in-depth photo to make the flooring look like ceramic, wood, tile or another material.

Read More
icon showing the structure of flooring

Wear layer

The top layer combines aluminum oxide and melamine for a clear, tough finish with extreme resistance to stains, fading, moisture and wear.

Read More
Blue icon with geometric woven pattern

Fiberboard core

A solid fiberboard center combined with edge sealing keeps the base of the laminate sturdy and offers durability with impact resistance.

Read More
Blue icon showing water resistant flooring

Back layer

The back layer provides structural stability and moisture resistance with melamine reinforcement.

Read More
Richard Karn

Use promo code 50FREE when scheduling.

Richard Karn


Schedule an appointment

Laminate Overview

Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring material designed to replicate the look of hardwood, stone, or other natural materials. 

It is made up of multiple layers, each serving a specific purpose. These layers are fused together through a process known as lamination, hence the name “laminate flooring.” 

The laminate floor’s composition usually consists of: 

Wear Layer

This top layer keeps your flooring looking fresh and new. It can vary in thickness, with higher quality laminates typically having a thicker wear layer. 

The wear layer is also important for maintaining a floor’s slip resistance, as well as its resistance to moisture and stains. A transparent protective layer that protects the flooring from scratches, stains, and wear.

laminate flooring in bathroom

Design Layer

A high-resolution printed layer that gives the flooring its realistic appearance.

This is what sets laminates apart from other types of flooring. Thanks to advanced printing techniques, the design layer can mimic wood, stone, and even metal. The higher the layer’s quality, the more realistic and vibrant the design will appear.

Core Layer

High-density fiberboard (HDF) or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) provides structural stability and support.

The core layer is the heart of the laminate flooring, providing its structural integrity. It determines how the floor feels underfoot, as well as its resistance to denting or buckling. A dense core layer also helps dampen sound and absorb impact.

Backing Layer

A moisture-resistant layer that helps protect the flooring from warping due to moisture.

This moisture-resistant layer is essential to the overall lifespan and function of your laminate floor. It protects the core from moisture damage, which can lead to warping, delamination, or other issues.

laminate in living room in front of fireplace
distressed wood laminate flooring

Laminate vs. Water

Laminate flooring is not completely waterproof, but it does offer a level of water resistance. 

  • Spills: Laminate flooring can usually handle small spills quite well, as long as you deal with them immediately. Removing the moisture will help prevent it from penetrating the floor’s seams.
  • Prolonged Moisture: Areas with high humidity or constant moisture, such as bathrooms or basements, can be detrimental to the laminate floor (swell, warp, or even separate).
  • Flooding:  Water can seep into the seams and cause the flooring to expand, warp, or separate. In such cases, the affected areas will likely need replacement.

Types of Waterproof Laminate

Fully Waterproof Laminate

Fully waterproof laminate is designed to withstand water exposure without incurring damage. It is ideal for areas in your home where water spills or moisture are common, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or basements

Some popular features of fully waterproof laminate include:

  • Hydrophobic coating: This special surface treatment repels water and prevents it from penetrating the material.
  • Tight locking system: The planks interlock tightly, minimizing the gaps where water can seep through.
  • High-quality core: A dense, water-resistant core enhances the overall durability and water resistance of the laminate.
dark laminate floor in bedroom

Water-Resistant Laminate

Water-resistant laminate can handle small amounts of water exposure without significant damage. However, it is not recommended for rooms where prolonged or heavy water exposure is expected

Here are some features of water-resistant laminate:

  • Treated top layer: A water-resistant surface treatment helps protect the laminate from minor spills and splashes.
  • Resistant core: The core of water-resistant laminate is designed to withstand limited moisture exposure.
  • Moisture barrier underlay: Installing an additional moisture barrier under the laminate can further enhance its water-resistant properties.
waterproof laminate in living room with fireplace

Maintenance and Care

Regular Cleaning

  • Sweep regularly: Use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner (without a beater bar) to remove dirt and dust.
  • Clean spills immediately: Wipe up spills to avoid water damage. Never use a wet mop, as this can cause the laminate to swell.
  • Use proper cleaning products: Avoid using abrasive cleaners, wax, or polish. Use a cleaner made for laminate flooring instead.  
laminate floor in modern kitchen

Preventive Measures

To further protect your laminate floors and prolong their lifespan, consider these preventive measures:

  • Place mats at entrances to collect dirt and moisture before they make it to your floors.
  • Add felt pads or rubber cups under furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents.
  • Keep humidity levels in your home between 35-55% to minimize the risk of water damage.
  • If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed and clean up any accidents.
Wood floors under table and chairs
white icon with flooring options and a check mark

Find Your Flooring Style

Take our short quiz to find out which flooring style fits your style preference.

How to Choose the Right Laminate Floor

Choose Which Room to Install the Floor In

Choose which room(s) you plan to install laminate flooring in. This helps narrow down your options, as some types are built for specific purposes (e.g., waterproof laminate for bathrooms).

AC Ratings

Laminate floors are categorized by their Abrasion Class (AC) ratings, which range from AC1 (light residential use) to AC5 (heavy commercial use). 

Choose a rating that aligns with your room’s foot traffic. 

AC Rating Recommended Use
AC1 Bedrooms, guest rooms
AC2 Dining rooms, living rooms
AC3 Home offices, hallway
AC4 Commercial spaces, restaurants
AC5 Heavy commercial use


  • Thickness: Thicker laminate (usually 10mm to 12mm) provides better noise reduction, insulation, and durability. Thinner laminate (6mm to 8mm) is budget-friendly and easier to install but may feel less sturdy underfoot.
  • Texture and Finish: Choose from various textures and finishes to mimic the look of real wood (smooth, hand-scraped, or embossed) or go for high shine laminate for a glossy, modern style. Don’t forget to order samples to compare against your room’s lighting and décor.
  • Budget: Laminate flooring can range in price from $1 to $12 per square foot, so factor in your budget when narrowing down your options. Keep in mind that additional costs may arise from underlayment, moldings, and installation.
White icon of a calculator

Floors Now, Pay Over Time

Our financing options can help you buy the flooring you need today, and pay over time.

walnut laminate waterproof

Choosing the Right Waterproof Laminate for Your Home with 50Floor

While laminate flooring is an attractive and affordable option, it may not be the best choice for areas that are prone to high amounts of moisture. 

If you’re still figuring out which laminate floor to get, 50Floor can help. We provide an easy, effortless way to shop for floors. Our team will come to you during a free consultation with an extensive selection of laminate flooring options and samples. 

Fill out a free in-home estimate form to get started today!

Schedule Now

Questions or Feedback
Beeswax Tracking