What is the difference between waterproof and water-resistant flooring?

Waterproof vs Water Resistant Flooring: What's the Difference?

So, you're in the market for a floor that protects against water. You've heard of water-resistant and waterproof flooring types. So, what's the difference between waterproof vs water resistant flooring? Understanding this distinction is crucial for making an informed decision, especially if you’re dealing with areas prone to spills or high humidity. Waterproof flooring offers complete protection against water infiltration, while water-resistant flooring can only withstand moisture for a limited period before potential damage occurs.

waterproof vs water resistant flooring Hazel Green, AL

Waterproof vs water resistant flooring

Time: one of the most significant differences

The most significant difference between waterproof vs water-resistant flooring is time. One flooring gives you a time limit by which the spill needs to be cleaned up. Whereas the other has no time limit.

Water-resistant materials usually have a 72-hour window by which you can clean up the liquid mess, spill, or leak, and your floors will remain functional and looking great. In addition, these floors are suitable for some areas of the home. For example, foyers, children's rooms, living rooms, and kitchens are ideal for water-resistant flooring.

On the other hand, waterproof floors are impervious to water and liquids. Therefore, they are a great way to get peace of mind for your home. This is because there is no impending danger from leaks, spills, and accidents. Some homeowners use waterproof flooring for all their floor needs to ensure complete protection in the home.

Waterproof flooring options and water resistant options

  • Tile: Tile flooring offers both practicality and style, providing a durable solution that withstands moisture while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of any space. Its resilience against water damage makes it an ideal choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas prone to spills and humidity.
    • Vitreous & Impervious Tile: With tile, you have vitreous and impervious tile. Vitreous tile soaks up some water and cannot go outdoors like waterproof tile. Impervious tile, like porcelain, can be inside and outdoors because it is entirely resistant to moisture. So when looking at tile, choose the waterproof tile for your kitchen and bath, and laundry rooms. Be sure to ask our staff about impervious tile.
  • Luxury Vinyl Flooring: In luxury vinyl, you have two types of construction, Wood Plastic Composite and Stone Plastic Composite (WPC and SPC). These are core materials and will not peel, ripple, or warp when exposed to water, no matter how long the exposure. Add this to vinyl, which is also waterproof, and you have a powerful deterrent for liquids on your floors. Browse our selection of luxury vinyl flooring in Hazel Green, AL with One on One Flooring and Design. 
  • Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Water-resistant engineered hardwood flooring is constructed with multiple layers of wood. The top layer of engineered hardwood is typically finished with a water-resistant sealant, providing an added layer of protection against spills and moisture infiltration.This type of flooring is suitable for areas of the home that may experience occasional spills or increased humidity, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or basements.

Cost differences between waterproof vs water resistant flooring 

Waterproof Flooring
Waterproof and water-resistant flooring diverge significantly in cost due to variations in materials and manufacturing processes. Waterproof flooring, designed to withstand prolonged exposure to water without damage, typically commands a higher price tag. These types of flooring often utilize advanced materials like luxury vinyl planks with waterproof cores or engineered hardwood with special sealants, adding to the overall cost of production. Moreover, the stringent manufacturing standards and technologies employed to ensure complete waterproofing contribute to the elevated price point. Consumers seeking long-term protection against moisture-related issues, such as swelling or warping, may find the higher cost justifiable for the added durability and peace of mind.

Water-Resistant Flooring

Conversely, water-resistant flooring, while offering some degree of protection against water damage, tends to be more budget-friendly. These options, like laminate or certain types of engineered hardwood, feature coatings or treatments that repel water to a certain extent but may not provide the same level of impermeability as their waterproof counterparts. The manufacturing processes for water-resistant flooring are often less complex and utilize more cost-effective materials, resulting in lower overall expenses. While water-resistant flooring can offer a balance between affordability and functionality, consumers should weigh the cost savings against the potential risks of limited water protection, especially in areas prone to moisture exposure.

Waterproof flooring vs water resistant floor thickness differences

Waterproof and water-resistant flooring differ significantly in their thickness. Waterproof flooring, designed to withstand complete immersion in water without damage, tends to be thicker than its water-resistant counterpart. Typically, waterproof flooring options such as luxury vinyl planks (LVP), laminate flooring with waterproof cores, or ceramic tiles, boast thicker constructions to provide a robust barrier against moisture penetration. The added thickness enhances the flooring's durability and resilience, making it suitable for areas prone to heavy moisture exposure like bathrooms, kitchens, or basements. This thickness not only fortifies the flooring against water but also provides better insulation and soundproofing properties, enhancing the overall comfort of the space.

In contrast, water-resistant flooring, while offering some level of protection against water infiltration, generally features a thinner construction compared to waterproof alternatives. Materials like water-resistant laminate or engineered hardwood flooring typically have thinner layers, which may compromise their ability to withstand prolonged exposure to moisture or complete immersion. While still suitable for areas with occasional spills or light moisture, their thinner profiles make them less ideal for environments where water damage is a primary concern. However, their thinner build can be advantageous in spaces where height clearance is limited, or where installation over existing flooring is necessary, providing a more versatile option for certain applications.

water resistant vs waterproof flooring Hazel Green, AL

Contact One on One Floor Covering for quality waterproof flooring in Hazel Green, AL

No matter what your waterproof flooring options are, One on One Floor Covering can help you. We have been in business, family-owned and operated, for over 40 years. Our showroom is in Hazel Green, AL, and we serve Huntsville, Madison, and Fayetteville. We pride ourselves on our one on one individual service. Our staff is friendly and qualified to help you with any project you have, big or small. We will walk you through your waterproof flooring upgrade. So come in today and see how we can help you!