One common question that pops up constantly in the flooring world is whether laminate is waterproof or water-resistant. There is a difference between being waterproof and being water-resistant. To understand the concepts better, you need to know what a waterproof floor and a water-resistant floor is. A waterproof floor is one that prevents water or any liquid from penetrating the under layers of the floor. A waterproof floor prevents rot, mold, and mildew from building up underneath the floor.
On the other hand, for a water-resistant floor, water or liquid can touch and seep into the floor. But the floor will hold the liquid from completely penetrating underneath.
Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?
No, laminate flooring isn’t waterproof. This is because the flooring is made from recycled hardwood which is not a waterproof material. Although from merely looking at it, laminate flooring looks waterproof but it is not.
Is laminate Flooring Water Resistant?
The answer is No and Yes. No, the traditional laminate flooring is not water-resistant. But the new laminate flooring produced in recent times is made to be water-resistant to some extent. As long as the water is just a spill and not a flood. This means that the new laminate flooring can hold off liquid from penetrating for a short while. If you clean up liquid spills quickly, it won’t penetrate the floor.
What Happens When You Spill Water on a Laminate Floor
When you spill water on a laminate floor, the liquid seeps into the joint of the laminate and causes the floor to buckle. And it will turn into a breeding place for mold, rot, and mildew. Unlike other floor types, you can’t sand laminate flooring. The only option when there is damage to laminate flooring is to replace it. And this is an expensive option. The best bet is to ensure you don’t use the flooring on wet areas in your home.
Best Water Resistant Laminate Flooring To Consider
It was mentioned earlier that there are new laminate flooring products that are water-resistant. Since these products won’t waterproof your floor completely, but it gives some protection to some extent against water spills. These are some of the water-resistant laminate flooring products to consider
This is one of the best products out there. It comes in different styles to pick from. The water-resistant feature comes from the sealed melamine balance back layer that is placed under the wood-based core. It comes with a 10 years warranty and can withstand spills left for over 30 hours. The product can be gotten for $3.50 or less per square foot.
This product comes with an inbuilt underlayment and can resist liquid spill on the floor for long hours. It is made by a PVC laminate manufacturing Company based in Europe.
Tarkett is an inexpensive but quality product to consider. It provides solid protection against water and liquid spills and can resist for up to 24 hours. You can clean the floor with a damp cloth but steam cleaning is not advisable. The product comes with a 10-year warranty and is sold for $2.50 or less per square foot.
Audacity Laminate by Armstrong
The manufacturers of this product claim it can hold liquid spills for up to 72 hours. The water-resistant feature is based on the non-absorbent core covered by a multilayer sealer which prevents water from soaking in. It comes with a 15-year warranty and is sold for $3.50 and less per square foot.
How to Waterproof A Laminate Flooring
If you don’t have the budget to purchase a water-resistant laminate flooring, your other option is to waterproof an existing laminate flooring. There are three options available for you. The process is not as complicated as it sounds.
Caulk Between the Board
Laminate floorings tend to damage when water seeps through the crack. So the solution is to caulk the gaps with silicone to prevent liquid from getting into the cracks. Why silicone is recommended for the caulking process is because it is flexible and doesn’t interfere with the expansion and contraction of the laminate flooring.
Coat With Polyurethane
Another option to waterproof your laminate flooring is to coat it with polyurethane. It will protect your floor from moisture damage. Use a mop to apply polyurethane on your floor. Allow the floor to dry and then apply another coating. You may need to apply up to two or more coats to get the desired result. Note that polyurethane won’t adhere to the top layer on your laminate floor.
Seal with Hydro-Seal
If you have an old or traditional laminate flooring, the best option to seal the flooring is to apply a hydro-seal. Apply hydro-seal around the floor side groves and the surface to make them waterproof. This process can keep your laminate flooring waterproof for five years or more.
How to Maintain Laminate Flooring
Maintaining laminate flooring is important for it to last long. There are easy things you can do to maintain your laminate flooring.
- Consider using luxury vinyl planks instead of the traditional laminate flooring. The LVP is 100% waterproof, affordable, has a natural wood texture, and can withstand moisture damage.
- Apply two or three coats of floor sealant to cover the edges on your laminate floor.
- Ensure you clean the debris on the floor and the edges before you install your flooring.
- Seal the edges of your laminate floor with epoxy glue.
Why You Should Consider Using Laminate Flooring
The fact that laminate can’t withstand moisture doesn’t make it a bad flooring option. It is still one of the flooring options out there. These are some of the reasons why you should consider installing laminate flooring
Easy to Maintain
Laminate flooring is very easy to maintain. You don’t need to hire a professional cleaning company to handle the maintenance. Since laminate flooring is made with hardwood, you clean it the same way you clean hardwood. When buying a cleaner for your laminate floor, avoid products with oil in them because it may end up harming your laminate.
Easy to Install
The installation process of laminate flooring is easy. It is easier to install laminate flooring than hardwood floors. Also, laminate can be placed on top of an existing floor as long as the existing floor is straight and secure. Laminate flooring can be installed on a hardwood floor or vinyl floor. Remember that you can’t install it in an area prone to moisture like the bathroom.
It is Affordable
You don’t have to break the bank to afford the laminate flooring. When compared to other floor types like hardwood, the laminate flooring is quite affordable. Also, most laminate flooring products come with at least a 10 years warranty. So you don’t have to worry about changing it soon. In the long term, laminate flooring is budget-friendly.
Pet and Kids Friendly
Don’t worry if you have pet(s) because laminate flooring is pet and kid-friendly. The flooring is scratch resilient because of its melamine layer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you Mop Laminate Flooring?
You can use a wet mop on laminate flooring. But it is not advisable to use a steam mop on laminate flooring. This is because steam mop can introduce excess moisture on the floor that will damage the floor.
Does Laminate flooring add value to your home?
A quality laminate flooring does not necessarily add value to your home. It doesn’t have the same durability and desirability as hardwood flooring or tile.
How Long Does Waterproof Laminate Flooring Last?
This depends entirely on the product. But on average, most waterproof laminate flooring lasts for 10 to 25 years.