4 DIY floors that can get wet (and a few floors that can’t)

4 DIY floors that can get wet (and a few floors that can’t)

Waterproof and water-resistant floors are an important part of any room that’s bound to get wet. There are a number of rooms in this category, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms and any space that’s close to a pool or lake. Even kitchens can be the location of a good spill every now and then (sometimes more often than that!)

These spaces require water-resistant flooring that gets wet without any worry about water damage. Unfortunately, hardwoods are not good flooring options for moisture-prone rooms. Wood floors and laminate floors are notorious for staining, warping, and cupping when water sits on them for a long period of time. (They can also be damaged by the moisture of a basement concrete slab and should not be installed in basements. There is another basement wood flooring that can withstand the moisture.) Likewise, carpet is not a top choice for rooms with high humidity and frequent spills.

Fortunately for homeowners who love the look of wood, floors are available that add the look of wood without worrying about water damage. As an added bonus, many of these floors are fairly easy to install by a handy do-it-yourselfer.

Tips for choosing DIY water-resistant floors

  • In an area prone to spills or in a home with pets, choose a floor without seams because it prevent liquid from seeping through and damaging the flooring and sub-flooring.
  • If worried about dirt and spills, choose a darker-colored grout for flooring because the grout hides stains.
  • For an easier install, consider a floating floor. Floating floors aren’t glued down (but should be installed with an expansion gap). (Ask a flooring professional for a recommendation.)
  • Always bringing flooring into the room at least 48 hours before installation. This allows the flooring to adapt to the room conditions and prevents damage.

Water resistant flooring

Porcelain tile

Porcelain tile is one of the toughest floors on the market, making it an obvious choice for a room that gets wet. These water-resistant floors are fairly easy-to-install and available in a variety of colors and styles. Similarly, ceramic tile and some stone tiles can also hold up in a moisture-prone or damp room. (Ask a flooring professional whether the tile needs regular sealing to maintain water-resistance.)

Pros: Water-resistant, durable, easy-to-install, easy-to-clean, naturally conducts heat from radiant floor heating

Cons: Hard underfoot

Porcelain tile installation instructions

Luxury vinyl plank

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) floors are a popular choice for rooms that get wet because they look great and wear well. Some LVP products resemble wood so closely that it’s hard to tell that they are not! These floors are top choices for bathrooms and rooms near a lake or pool because they are not damaged by puddles and are easy-to-clean and maintain. Some luxury vinyl plank floors come in interlocking products that are easy to install.

Pros: Water-resistant, durable, easy-to-clean, easy-to-install

Cons: May fade

Luxury vinyl plank installation instructions

Sheet vinyl

Sheet vinyl floors are durable with a capital D and are perfect for a busy home and a moisture-prone room. These water-resistant floors are installed without seams, making them ideal for rooms that are prone to spills and high humidity. Sheet vinyl is not grandma’s linoleum; modern sheet vinyl flooring is soft underfoot and is available in a variety of styles. These floors fit with almost any décor, adding charm with a patterned tile look, warm tones with a wood look, or a modern vibe with neutral tones and tile lengths.

Pros: Water-resistant, durable, easy-to-clean, soft underfoot

Cons: May scratch

Sheet vinyl installation instructions

Luxury vinyl tile

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) are a great flooring option for homeowners who want the look of stone or wood in a room without any worry about water damage. LVT is available in modern tones and styles or in retro looks that add charm and character.

Pros: Water-resistant, durable, easy-to-clean

Cons: May be prone to scratching

Luxury Vinyl Tile Installation Instructions