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Waterproof Vs Water-Resistant Flooring: Key Differences Explained

Flooring is a key aspect of any space, as it not only impacts the aesthetics of your home but also plays a significant role in the comfort and durability of the area. With a range of flooring options available, it is essential to understand your unique needs and choose the ideal flooring type that provides the best combination of function and style.

One of the factors to consider while making this choice is the level of moisture exposure your flooring will face.

Waterproof and water-resistant flooring differ in their abilities to protect against moisture, spills, and water-related damage. While both types offer a level of moisture protection, they differ in performance, durability, and application, depending on your specific requirements.

Understanding the differences between waterproof and water-resistant flooring can help you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect floor for your home, office, or commercial space.

In the following sections, we will go into the details of waterproof and water-resistant flooring, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and explore the key differences between the two.

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Key Features of Laminate Flooring

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

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Decorative layer

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

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Wear layer

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

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Fiberboard core

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

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Back layer

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

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What Is Waterproof Flooring?

Waterproof flooring is a type of flooring specifically designed to prevent water penetration and withstand prolonged exposure to water. This type of flooring provides an impenetrable barrier against liquids,which makes it ideal for high-moisture environments and protecting your floors from damage.

Advantages of Waterproof Flooring

  • Withstands spills and moisture exposure: waterproof flooring can handle spills and moisture without suffering damage, making it suitable for areas in your home with frequent water exposure.
  • Ideal for high-moisture areas: Waterproof flooring is a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas where water is frequently used.
  • Can be submerged in water for extended periods: Depending on the specific material, waterproof flooring can remain submerged in water without being damaged. 

What Is Water-Resistant Flooring?

Water-resistant flooring is a type of flooring that can handle occasional moisture and spills if it is cleaned up promptly. But it cannot withstand prolonged exposure to water like its waterproof counterpart. 

It is made from different materials, such as laminate, engineered hardwood, and certain types of luxury vinyl

Advantages of Water-Resistant Flooring

  • Can handle spills and moisture if cleaned up quickly
  • Often more budget-friendly compared to waterproof options
  • Offers a wider variety of styles and materials

Water-resistance of a flooring option varies depending on the specific material and construction. For example, some engineered hardwoods may be more resistant to moisture than others.

Think about how much moisture exposure the area will face and whether the level of protection offered by water-resistant flooring is sufficient. 

For low-moisture areas like bedrooms or living rooms, water-resistant flooring may be an excellent choice due to its affordability and style options. But, if the area is exposed to more moisture, such as a kitchen or laundry room, a waterproof flooring option may be a better choice.

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Differences Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Flooring

Feature Waterproof Flooring Water-Resistant Flooring
Water Absorption Little to no absorption Moderate absorption
Suitability for Rooms Ideal for high-moisture areas  (bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms) Suitable for low to moderate moisture (living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms)
Durability Highly durable May be more or less durable, depending on the material
Maintenance  Requires minimal maintenance  Regular maintenance is necessary

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Home

Consider the following:

Rooms to Install the Floor In

Think about the rooms where the new flooring will be installed. If you are looking to cover a high-moisture area such as a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, waterproof flooring would be the best option. On the other hand, water-resistant flooring might be suitable for spaces with occasional spills, like a living room or bedroom.


Waterproof flooring can be more expensive than water-resistant options. But investing in waterproof flooring can save you money in the long run.

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Aesthetics and Home Value

Your personal style and aesthetic preferences play a significant role in your decision-making process. 

Both waterproof and water-resistant flooring types come in a variety of materials, colors, patterns, and textures to match your desired look. You can find waterproof options that mimic the appearance of hardwood, stone, or ceramic tiles to achieve the design you envision for your home.

Here are some more recommendations:

  1. High-traffic bathroom: Go for waterproof flooring made of vinyl, porcelain, or ceramic tiles since they can handle water exposure and are easy to maintain.
  2. Budget-friendly kitchen: Choose water-resistant laminate flooring, which is more affordable than waterproof options but still durable and stylish.
  3. Low-moisture living room: You can explore a wider variety of water-resistant options, such as engineered hardwood, cork, or bamboo flooring, depending on your desired aesthetics and budget.
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The Final Verdict: Choosing Your Ideal Laminate Floor

As you’ve explored the differences between waterproof and water-resistant flooring, it’s clear that each option has its own set of advantages and applications. The ultimate choice depends on your specific needs, budget, and personal preferences.

Take the time to evaluate your needs and how factors like moisture exposure, budget, and desired style will influence your decision. Whether you end up choosing waterproof or water-resistant flooring, making an informed decision will ensure that your investment in your home is a smart one.

If you’re ready to get your laminate floor, call us at 50Floor

Upgrade your floors with confidence. We offer stunning waterproof laminate flooring, perfect for busy households and unexpected messes. Enjoy the beauty of wood with the peace-of-mind of ultimate water resistance.  

Browse our extensive selection and find your perfect waterproof laminate floor today!

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