Affordable, versatile, easy to install, durable… There are many reasons to love laminate flooring. Since its introduction to the market in the ’70s, consumers have been inspired by laminate flooring’s chameleon-like ability to portray any design – textured wood, stone, ceramic tiles – the options are plentiful. But as multipurpose as laminate may be, there’s one type our experts get a lot of questions about each year, and that’s waterproof laminate flooring. We hear one question in particular over and over again:
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The Answer: It Depends
Waterproof laminate flooring isn’t as clear-cut as the name might sound. In fact, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what waterproof laminate flooring really is. To clarify things, we’ve put together this quick guide to waterproof laminate flooring – plus everything you need to know before making your purchase.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate is constructed in a layered design that provides outstanding durability and resistance to wear. It is made by sandwiching a decorative layer between two core layers, then bonding all three layers together with a lamination process. The result is a robust and stable product that can withstand heavy foot traffic and furniture placement without denting or scratching.
Laminate is popular in busy offices or homes with active families. This type of flooring is also very hygienic, with some brands even incorporating anti-microbial resin. Being easy to clean and offering some resistance to stains, laminate floors always look outstanding and flawless.
Waterproof V.S. Water Resistant
If you’re in the market for waterproof laminate flooring, it’s essential to know that not all laminate is created equal. Many varieties of “waterproof laminate” are actually water resistant, which means that it will resist surface water damage as long as the water is dried in a timely manner (i.e., within a few hours or less).
On the other hand, waterproof laminate is designed to be impervious to water – even if it’s left for an extended period. When properly installed, the seams between laminate flooring planks are watertight, protecting the plank’s raw edges from moisture. Since the top and bottom of each plank are sealed, laminate flooring is ideal for even wet spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.
When shopping for waterproof laminate flooring, ensure that the company or brand you are buying from specifies that the laminate is 100% waterproof. If they don’t, it’s a safe bet to assume that the laminate is water resistant, not waterproof.
The Bottom Line
Waterproof laminate flooring is an excellent choice for places with high foot traffic. Waterproof laminate is a perfect option to consider if you’re looking for a floor that is easy to clean and maintain. Just be sure to research and buy from a reputable company or brand to ensure you get the real waterproof deal.
Varieties of Laminate Flooring
There are many different types of laminate flooring to choose from, each with its own unique benefits.
- Matte: A popular choice for a natural look that hides scuffs and footprints well.
- Gloss: Gives floors a shiny, polished look. Not as popular as matte, but it can make small spaces appear larger.
- Embossed: Creates a textured surface that mimics the feel of natural wood or stone.
- Wood: One of the most popular choices, wood-look laminate comes in a variety of colors and grain patterns.
- Stone: A perfect choice for kitchens or bathrooms, stone-look laminate is waterproof and highly durable.
- Tile: Another excellent option for rooms that see a lot of water or foot traffic, tile-look laminate is easy to clean and maintain.
Waterproof Laminate Flooring Care Tips
Like any other type of flooring, laminate needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it looking its best. But because waterproof laminate is designed to resist water damage, it’s much easier to care for than other types of flooring.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your waterproof laminate floors looking like new:
- Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
- Mop with a damp cloth or mop specifically designed for laminate floors.
- Avoid harsh cleaners or chemicals, as they can damage the waterproof coating.
- Use doormats or area rugs in high-traffic areas to help protect the floors from dirt and debris.
Related Reading: Why Laminate Flooring is Perfect for Your Kitchen Remodel
There you have it – waterproof laminate flooring can be truly waterproof if you buy the right brand! No matter what your design style is, there’s flooring out there for you. Our experts have everything you need to create the home of your dreams.