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Waterproof vs. Water Resistant Flooring – What’s The Difference?

When it comes to selecting flooring for your home or office, it’s essential to understand the distinction between waterproof and water-resistant options

This post offers an informative guide to help you make an informed decision. 

The Battle of Waterproof and Water-Resistant Flooring

When it comes to dealing with water and moisture, both waterproof and water-resistant flooring options offer valuable benefits. However, they differ in their ability to withstand water damage and provide protection.

Waterproof Flooring: Defying Water’s Challenge

Waterproof flooring is designed to create an impermeable barrier that prevents water from penetrating the material. It is typically made of materials like vinyl, luxury vinyl planks (LVP), or ceramic and porcelain tiles. These flooring options are constructed with layers that are tightly sealed, ensuring that water cannot seep through. Waterproof flooring is highly resistant to spills, leaks, and even flooding, making it an excellent choice for areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

Water-resistant Flooring: Guarding Against Moisture

While water-resistant flooring is not entirely impervious to water, it is designed to withstand limited exposure and minimize water damage. This type of flooring, often made from materials like laminate, engineered hardwood, or luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), has a protective layer that acts as a barrier against water. Water-resistant flooring can withstand spills and dampness to a certain extent, but prolonged exposure or significant water intrusion can still cause damage. It is suitable for areas with moderate moisture levels, such as living rooms, bedrooms, or dining areas.

Understanding the Key Differences

Waterproof Flooring: Unyielding Protection

The key differentiating factor of waterproof flooring is its ability to provide unyielding protection against water damage. Its tightly sealed construction prevents any water from seeping into the underlying layers, ensuring that the flooring remains unaffected. This makes it an excellent choice for areas where moisture is prevalent or where frequent spills are expected.

Water-resistant Flooring: Limitations and Precautions

Water-resistant flooring, while offering a degree of protection against water, has its limitations. Although it can resist water to some extent, it is not entirely impervious. Prolonged exposure to water, such as standing water or excessive moisture, can still seep through the protective layer and cause damage to the flooring material. It is important to exercise caution and promptly clean up any spills or standing water to prevent long-term damage.

Application Areas

Waterproof Flooring: Ideal for High-Moisture Spaces

Thanks to its superior ability to resist water damage, waterproof flooring is the ideal choice for high-moisture areas. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements are prime examples of spaces where waterproof flooring can provide peace of mind against potential water-related issues. Whether it’s accidental spills, moisture accumulation, or leaks, waterproof flooring can withstand these challenges without compromising its integrity.

Water-resistant Flooring: Suitable for Moderate Moisture

Water-resistant flooring is well-suited for areas with moderate moisture levels. Spaces like living rooms, bedrooms, dining areas, or home offices often benefit from the water-resistant properties of this flooring type. It can handle occasional spills or moisture without immediate damage, but it is essential to clean up any water promptly and not expose the flooring to excessive water for extended periods.

Making the Right Choice


Assess your budget and determine your investment level. Waterproof flooring materials are generally more expensive than water-resistant options.


Evaluate the space where the flooring will be installed. Consider the level of moisture or water exposure it may encounter. This will help determine if waterproof flooring is necessary or if water-resistant options will suffice.


Consider the maintenance requirements of each type of flooring. Waterproof flooring, with its sealed construction, is generally easier to clean and maintain. Water-resistant flooring may require regular cleaning and periodic maintenance to ensure its longevity.

The difference between waterproof and water-resistant flooring lies in their ability to resist water damage. Waterproof flooring provides superior protection against moisture, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to spills, leaks, or high humidity. Meanwhile, water-resistant flooring offers a degree of protection but may not withstand prolonged exposure or significant water damage.

Publisher’s Details:

Elite Living Construction
28062 Forbes Rd D, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
(866) 451-1995

If you’re in need of the best home remodeling services in Laguna Niguel, California, Elite Living Construction should be your premier choice. With our experienced team of designers and builders, you can trust us to turn your remodeling vision into a stunning reality. Elite Living Construction’s latest blog post, The Pros and Cons of Different Kitchen Flooring Options, provides detailed information on various flooring materials to help you make an informed decision when remodeling your home.