It’s hard to believe that wood floors can get more durable, but modern wood flooring that is waterproof is the logical next step. But first, it’s important to understand the differences between water-resistant and waterproof wood flooring.
The most notable difference is tolerance to water. Typically, wood flooring is prone to staining, warping, cracking, and other damage from standing water or humidity. Water-resistant wood flooring is more tolerant to water, but may still stain or warp from standing water. Simply, it can take short periods of water, but may damage from long periods. Waterproof wood flooring can take long and short periods of water without being damaged by water.
Another perk of waterproof wood flooring is the availability. Many manufacturers produce wood flooring that is waterproof, such as Shaw Floorte and Mohawk RevWood. (Ask a flooring professional to see specific Shaw Floorte and Mohawk RevWood styles that are waterproof.) It is important to note, though, that while waterproof wood flooring is not prone to water damage, the subflooring under wood flooring still is. Wood flooring that is waterproof is also not a good fit outdoor flooring.
Another difference is price. Wood flooring that is waterproof tends to be more expensive than water-resistant wood flooring. Waterproof wood flooring typically holds up better in rooms with high-humidity, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. The good news is both floors come in styles that are absolutely gorgeous and fit with almost any decor.
Tips for choosing waterproof or water-resistant wood flooring
Waterproof and water-resistant wood flooring is available in styles that are gorgeous and add warmth to a home. Some wood floors even add value to the home. However, there are several factors to consider when choosing between a waterproof or water-resistant wood floor.
• Consider the amount of spills in the room. Think about the frequency of spills, and how quickly they are wiped up. In a home with older occupants who wipe up after themselves, water-resistant floors are a better fit. If the household is busy with young children, waterproof floors may be a better solution.
• Choose the right floor for pets. Unfortunately, accidents are a normal occurrence in homes with pets, along with wet paw prints and water spills. Wood flooring that is waterproof is a good fit for homes with furry friends because it doesn’t damage easily from accidents and spills.
• Be conscious of rooms with humidity. Bathrooms and laundry rooms are spaces with high-humidity. In these rooms, wood flooring that is waterproof is a better fit because they can withstand moisture in the air. In these cases, it’s best to ask a flooring professional to see wood floors that are waterproof.
Other water-resistant and waterproof flooring that looks like wood
Fortunately, there are other durable water-resistant and waterproof floors available for busy households who want the look of wood. Many of these flooring options are typically more affordable than wood flooring as well.
Luxury vinyl plank
Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring looks just like wood and is incredibly durable. These floors come in styles that are waterproof and water-resistant. Luxury vinyl plank floors hold up well in busy households with pets and children. Some LVP floors come in click-and-lock styles that are ideal for do-it-yourselfers. Luxury vinyl plank floors are also fairly easy to maintain, and require only a regular sweep or vacuum and occasional dry mopping.
Luxury vinyl tile
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is available in waterproof and water-resistant products. Though the term “tile” is in the name, these floors come in styles that look just like wood. LVT flooring is low-maintenance and durable. It is a good fit for busy households and rooms with high moisture.
Modern ceramic and porcelain tiles are a wonderful solution in households who want the affordability and durability of tile and the look of hardwood flooring. Tiles are available in products that look just like wood. This flooring can also be easily paired with radiant underfloor heating because it naturally conducts heat. Tiles are a fairly easy install for experienced do-it-yourselfers, minimizing installation costs and resulting a beautiful DIY project. In addition to attractive, tile is also durable and easy-to-clean.