There is a lot of marketing these days around waterproof flooring. We thought we would share some facts and information around flooring that is “waterproof” and how it might compare to water resistant flooring. These days, most vinyl plank flooring as well as most laminate flooring is labeled as waterproof. Gone are the days of laminate being super susceptible to water. It too is now extremely water resistant. But how do you know the difference, and what do you need to look out for?
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring is made from a composite of vinyl and usually some form of stone, usually limestone. It is then bound together by stabilizers. That makes it a naturally water resistant product. It then is coated with several layers of a clear coat such as aluminum oxide to make it scratch resistant.
Water Resistant Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring was once an enemy of water, but the newer products have been manufactured to be more water resistant. Most laminate flooring today is even labeled as “waterproof” flooring. It is made from wood fibers, usually a pressed wood board with a “picture” of the wood on top. Newer laminates now come with a coating that makes it water resistant and is even covered in the joints of each plank. So spills and temporary standing water will not damage the flooring. For cut ends with exposed wood, there are now pens and caulks that can seal those areas and make the laminate floor even more water resistant. (And by the way, laminate is more scratch resistant than vinyl plank flooring).
Are these options truly “waterproof” flooring?
Regardless of which “waterproof” floors you get, it doesn’t mean that your floors are bulletproof. If you have water damage from a flood for example and the water gets underneath the flooring, you can have damage to your wood subfloor. Your waterproof floors will be very durable and do a great job for your everyday life with pets and kids. But you will always want to have the knowledge that they are not impenetrable.
Cost for both vinyl plank flooring and laminate flooring are similar. Installed, they tend to cost between $6 and $8 per foot. At Graham’s Flooring and Design we tend to prefer laminate flooring over vinyl plank flooring because of its superior scratch resistance. In addition, most laminates are made in the US, while the vinyl plank flooring is mostly made overseas.