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Is laminate flooring waterproof?  Dark Laminate floors WestchesterIn short, the answer is NO, laminate flooring is NOT waterproof.  There is a common misperception out there that laminate is waterproof, and I believe this is due to the fact that many customers mistakenly confuse vinyl and laminate flooring.

 

Many types of vinyl flooring are waterproof and/or highly water resistant.  Laminate, on the other hand, is made out of recycled hardwood, so it is not waterproof.  Due to its melamine wear layer, it has a tough finish which resists against scratches and may have minor protection against minor water (quick spills).  But, like hardwood, laminate does not do well with standing water…regardless of whether this water is topical (on top) or seeping into the sub-floor from below.  Laminate also does not do well in areas with high humidity.

 

Floating floor laminate Westchester CountyThere are some laminates that claim to be “splash proof” (which is not an industry term) and they do still warn you not to leave any standing water on your laminate floor).  If laminate floors become really wet, they will get ruined and buckle.  Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate floors can not be sanded or refinished.  If they get wet, they can not be repaired.  (Whereas if hardwood gets wet in  a few spots, you can usually replace those planks and refinish the floors and they will look good as new.)

 

If you feel that hardwood is not a good option for an area due to water or humidity, it is also a good idea to avoid laminate.

 
The Flooring Girl 914-937-2950

Is laminate flooring waterproof?

TheFlooringGirl

My name is Debbie Gartner, and I'm known as "The Flooring Girl." I own my own flooring store called Floor Coverings International, and we serve Westchester NY and Fairfield CT counties.We install hardwood flooring, carpet, tile flooring, laminate, bamboo and cork flooring. We also refinish hardwood floors. We are a shop at home flooring store. You can call us at 914-937-2950 to schedule a free flooring consultation or email us at debbie@TheFlooringGirl.com. Let us "bring the store to your door."If you are calling outside of Westchester/Fairfield Counties, please contact us at 914-407-3899.

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25 Response Comments

  • Jane Peters  June 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

    You certainly know your flooring, Debbie. I wouldn’t think of making a move without consulting you.

    Reply
  • Cameron Harter  June 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I came over from Tammy’s suggestion that you had a pretty nice word press blog here. It’s obvious you know just about everything there is to know about flooring as well. Wish we had somebody like you up here.

    Reply
  • Delilah James  June 13, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    My husband is an installer and we have laminate flooring so I’m already aware that it is not waterproof. He explained to me that because it is a floating floor, the surface underneath it is not protected. He also will not let me use a steam mop on it but I’m not convinced that it would hurt it. What is your opinion on that Flooring Girl?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  June 15, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Delilah – The fact that laminate is floating has nothing to do with the fact that it is not waterproof. It’s the material that isn’t waterproof. Hardwood can be nailed, glued and floated…it’s not waterproof in any of those scenarios. Vinyl is usually waterproof or very water resistant and sometimes is floated too…again, the installation method has very effect on whether it is resilient to water. (although some adhesives do not do well with water). I think using a steam mop on wood or laminate is a bit risky, but I would encourage you to call the manufacturer to check.

      Reply
  • Marcus Brown  June 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    We learned this the hard way when our dishwasher flooded the kitchen and the laminate swelled in spots. We eventually had to replace the whole thing.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  June 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Marcus – Yes, unfortunately, many learn after it’s too late.

      Reply
  • Bruce Baithwaith  September 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Great post and something people need to know. I found you on AR and heard you are the go-girl for flooring. Although I’m not in your area I can certainly use your tips when the time comes. Thanks Debbie.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  September 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Bruce – Thank you so much. You are so sweet. Thx for stopping by and I love Active Rain.

      Reply
  • Ruth Lerner  October 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    So, Debbie, what would you recommend in an area of high humidity?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  October 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Ruth – When it’s humid, I would try to stick to a product that is either waterproof or extremely water resilient. Usually, the best choices are either tile or some sort of vinyl (or lineoleum). The selection among these depend on the space, budget and how even the floor is. Tile will cost more than vinyl (usually), but often requires a lot of floor prep/leveling, especially if the floor is uneven. Vinyl comes in a variety of forms – some less expensive and some nicer (such as luxury vinyl). Linoleum is also a good option, but often costs more than vinyl as it is a green product (and thicker).

      Reply
  • bob  February 27, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    traffic master allure laminate is waterproof so your info in not accurate..there are waterproof laminates and have been for a couple of years now

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  March 1, 2013 at 6:54 am

      Thanks for you comment Bob. Actually, no that’s not correct. Most of Traffic Master Allure is VINYL (not laminate). The vinyl is water resistant (the adhesive in it is not waterproof). The laminate is not.

      Reply
  • Karen  April 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I put down laminate flooring thinking I could SEAL it afterwards. Tell me it is possible! I have a leaky elderly dog.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  April 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Karen – No, you can not seal laminate flooring. And, laminate is definitely not waterproof.

      I’m sorry about your dog. Maybe try some of those dog pads. I’ve had a few customers that have used those.

      Reply
  • Terri  May 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Hi,
    Great info!
    Regarding your comment about the product Allure–since it’s vinyl, not laminate, and therefore waterproof (tho the adhesive is not), do you think it would be OK to install it in a Hybrid camper that lives in southern New England and is used June through Labor Day?

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  May 4, 2013 at 7:05 am

      Terri – It would be okay to use the Home Depot product, but I don’t think it’s a good product. The edges peel up. Alternatively, try Armstrong’s Luxe floating planks. They are much better.

      Reply
  • Julie  May 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Can we put in hardwood floors on a concrete slab in Houston, Texas? If not, what flooring would you suggest, barring vinyl and tile, for a large dog household.

    Reply
    • TheFlooringGirl  May 31, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Yes, you can put hardwood on concrete, as long as there is not a moisture issue. You will want to make sure the floor is smooth and level (if not you should smooth it before installing hardwood.

      If you do have a moisture issue, I would suggest luxury vinyl that looks like hardwood. Luxury vinyl really does look and feel real. You could check out US floors Coretec Plus (which is a floating floor and looks like engineered hardwood). Or, try Karndean which is glue down. Many don’t realize that these are vinyl as they do look very real.

      Reply

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