Skip to Main Content

Blog > Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?

Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?

February, 2024

Warm and inviting living room with laminate floors and a couch.

One thing is true for every kitchen in the world, at some time or another, things get spilled. When it’s salt, sugar, or beans, it’s no big deal but when it’s milk, juice, or soup, one of the first things to run through many homeowners’ minds is, “Is laminate flooring waterproof?” That same question can arise if the toilet or tub overflows in the bathroom.

Worrying about wear, tear, and destruction of your home is probably something that you do a good bit of. Will this storm have roof-destroying hail? Is that a termite? Why does Timmy keep flushing his toys?

While we can’t answer those questions, we can help you find out the difference between waterproof and water-resistant and the answer to your “Is laminate flooring waterproof” question. Keep reading to find out that and more.

Damage Caused By Water

Exposure to water can seriously damage floors if it's not cleaned up quickly. Imagine water as a tiny explorer that finds its way into the smallest cracks and sides of the room and once it gets under the floor, even the tough stuff that's supposed to keep water out, it can make the floor swell up, warp, or even start to lift off the ground.

If the room's edges aren't sealed tightly, water can sneak underneath and cause trouble and if the water is weirdly acidic or basic, it can wreck even floors that are supposed to be waterproof.

The Difference Between Waterproof Laminate Flooring and Resistant Laminate Flooring

  • Waterproof: Waterproof laminate flooring is designed to remain undamaged when exposed to water and this quality makes it a great choice for places such as kitchens and bathrooms but it's crucial to remember that while the flooring can withstand moisture, it can't render the entire room or space waterproof. Proper installation and maintenance are still necessary to prevent water from seeping through the flooring and causing damage to the subfloor or walls.
  • Water-resistant: Can withstand exposure to water for a short period before becoming damaged and while it's not completely impervious to water, it can protect against spills and minor water leaks.

What Makes Laminate Waterproof?

Laminate flooring is essentially an imitation of hardwood that's created by compressing multiple layers of materials. It primarily consists of finely ground softwoods bonded together with waxes and resins and flattened into sheets due to high heat. Because it's durable, affordable, easy to install, and mimics the appearance of more expensive hardwood or tile flooring but without the high maintenance or cost, it's a popular choice for homeowners.

The Difference Between Traditional, Water-Resistant, and Waterproof Laminate

Table and chairs in a dining room with traditional laminate flooring.

Traditional Laminate Floor

Traditional laminate, made mainly from high-density fiberboard, isn't designed to handle water well but it's a sturdy option, widely used and wallet-friendly, ideal for quieter homes without a lot of coming and going.

If you're in a place that stays dry, this kind of flooring could be a solid choice to consider and manufacturers usually advise that if there's a spill, it's best to wipe it up right away, and when you're mopping, keep it just barely wet. You can find some excellent traditional laminate options that will serve you well without costing too much.

A room with a white wall and wooden floor, featuring water-resistant laminate flooring.

Water-Resistant Laminate Floor

Water-resistant is kind of like a raincoat—it can handle some water, but it's not going to keep you completely dry in a downpour because it's built to deal with messes and little accidents briefly.

If you spill something, you've got a window of time—like up to 48 hours according to some warranties—before that spill starts to mess with the planks' insides. So while it's tough against a quick splash or dribble, don't let water hang out on your floor for too long, or it'll start causing problems.

Inviting living room and kitchen featuring waterproof laminate floor, combining style and durability.

Waterproof Laminate Floor

Imagine waterproof laminate flooring like a superhero version of regular flooring. It's got layers that work together to fight off water and the bottom layer (the sidekick) is tough and, combined with a super-strong core with a mix of heavy-duty stone and plastic, it stands up to moisture better.

This makes the flooring feel more like genuine hardwood and you can kind of float it over your subfloor without needing nails or glue. If water gets underneath it, say goodbye to that warranty protection, so keep a close eye on leaky appliances and your furry friends' accidents, because those aren't covered either.

So, Is Laminate Flooring Really Waterproof?

While both water-resistant and waterproof options are sturdy against dampness, they can't keep out water indefinitely. In serious cases of flooding or long-standing water, most flooring types would need to be tossed out. Not just because of the surface damage but also due to potential harm to the deeper layers like your trim, the foundation beneath the floors, or the walls.

In homes bustling with kids or pets, messes are bound to happen, but today's laminate floors are up to the challenge, holding their ground when confronted with the usual household spills. To make sure your laminate keeps looking great for the long haul, pick the type that fits your lifestyle the best and stick to good care practices. If your home is lively and full of activity, going with waterproof laminate is probably your best bet.

Are You Floored?

See, now you know the answer to the whole, "Is laminate flooring waterproof?" question. It may not be completely waterproof, but it's one of the best choices available.

When it comes to your flooring options and what you need to know, we've always got exactly what you need. Whether it's laminate flooring or carpet tile, Bridgeport Carpet, Hardwood, and Tile is the one to contact in the North Metro Atlanta area. Call or visit our website for an estimate today.