There’s no doubt that water plays an important role in our homes, but when it comes to your flooring, it’s the enemy.
Water is lazy and takes the path of least resistance. That means seeping into any crack or pore in your flooring. That can lead to swelling, rot, and total ruination.
It’s not the 1970s anymore, though, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for function. Modern waterproof flooring can fit the aesthetic of your room, while also providing the strong level of waterproofing your wettest and dampest rooms demand.
Some floors in your home, like your bathroom and your kitchen, will unavoidably come into contact with water at some point. Other rooms may only meet water once in a blue moon. Check out the waterproof flooring options below and keep your home dry with the right floor for the right space in your home.
Waterproof Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring has come a long way. There are a ton of pros when it comes to installing vinyl flooring as your waterproof floor of choice. It’s made of durable material, is 100 percent waterproof, looks great (modern vinyl mimics wood and stone incredibly well), is comfortable to stand on, and is low maintenance.
These great features come at a cost, though. Vinyl is one of the more expensive flooring choices out there, so expect to pay if you want all these benefits.
Where it looks great: Because it can mimic wood and stone in appearance, vinyl flooring is good for just about any room in the house.
Waterproof Ceramic and Tile Flooring
Ceramic and tile have been the ultimate waterproof flooring choice for the wettest rooms in your home for a reason. They can withstand a ridiculous amount of water, they’re incredibly durable, and they have a great appearance.
They do require a little bit of maintenance (make sure to clean out your grout occasionally). Ceramic and tile are cold underfoot, which can be an issue in the winter. They’re also hard, which makes it uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time. It can be slippery if you go with an unglazed style, so make sure you get the safest kind for your space.
Where it looks great: The bathroom is the obvious choice for ceramic and tile flooring, but the kitchen is a close second.
Waterproof Laminate Flooring
When it comes to laminate flooring, waterproof isn’t the standard. There are waterproof and water-resistant types available to buy, so make sure you know which you’re buying. Of all the flooring choices on this list, laminate is the least waterproof – it’s more accurately water resistant and stands up to small spills.
Laminate has a fantastic look, which most folks can’t distinguish between genuine hardwood floors. It’s also incredibly easy to install (it’s one you can put down on your own with minimal experience), and it’s forgiving to uneven subfloors. While laminate flooring is traditionally inexpensive, the waterproof style tends to cost more. Waterproof laminate is also relatively new, so don’t expect a great variety to choose from.
Where it looks great: Laminate looks great in any room, but because it’s not 100 percent waterproof, be cautious about putting it in a room that has the potential for large water spills like bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Waterproof Rubber Flooring
It’s not a traditional flooring choice, but it’s tough to beat rubber flooring when it comes to being waterproof.
Rubber flooring comes in a huge variety of colors, styles, and sizes, which means the odds you’ll find one you like are pretty good. It’s naturally waterproof, and it gives you better slip resistance when it gets wet compared to other flooring types. It’s tough material and is comfortable to stand on for long periods of time. Rubber flooring is also naturally mold- and mildew-resistant, which makes it ideal for damp areas of your home.
It can be heavy, though, so you may need a few accommodations to get it installed properly. It does have the rubber aroma to it, too, but a proper cleaning and airing out (1 to 2 weeks) and the smell all but dissipates. It’s a nontraditional look, so it’s unlikely you’re going to line your house wall-to-wall with it, but it certainly has its place.
Where it looks great: Rubber flooring is a great option for basements, rec rooms, or areas strictly for pets.