When choosing the best flooring type for your home, the possibilities may feel endless. One of the most popular flooring types on the market is waterproof laminate flooring because it comes in various wood-look styles, grain patterns, and colors. Best of all, you can install laminate flooring in rooms prone to high moisture and heavy foot traffic.
However, depending on your goals, laminate flooring may not be ideal for your home. This blog breaks down the pros and cons of laminate flooring and compares it to other sought-after wood-look residential flooring options on the market.
- Flooring Composition
- Flooring Durability
- Water Resistance
- Flooring Installation
What is Waterproof Laminate Flooring?
Firstly, waterproof laminate flooring is an upgraded version of laminate designed to resist water contact, not water damage. As with most flooring types, water pooling for an extended period can cause damage to the floor and subfloor beneath it.
Like other flooring types, regular laminate flooring can swell when it absorbs water. However, waterproof laminate features a water-repellent seal that keeps moisture from its core.
Additionally, some luxury laminate flooring features bevels that wrap over the plank’s edges to protect against water contact at the joints. Should water seep through both of those features, the waterproof laminate’s high-density fiberboard core layer will resist moisture better than regular laminate.
Laminate Flooring vs. Vinyl Flooring
Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring Water Resistance
Your location plays a significant factor in determining the best type of flooring for your home. Expert Flooring Solutions is in Las Vegas, NV, where the climate is hot and dry with occasional humidity. For these reasons, solid hardwood flooring is not a wise choice, but engineered hardwood, laminate, and vinyl flooring are as they withstand different moisture levels.
If you are considering installing new floors in a kitchen or bathroom, which are susceptible to daily water spills, vinyl flooring is better as it is 100% waterproof. While waterproof laminate flooring is on the market, understand that “waterproof” may be used loosely in terms of protection. Most laminate can handle water spills that are quickly cleaned up but not standing water. If you decide to use laminate in your kitchen or bathroom, be sure to obtain testing guarantees and product warranties from the manufacturers that back up their water-resistant claims.
Laminate Flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Laminate vs. Engineered Hardwood Composition
Since we covered laminate flooring’s composition above, we will focus on the distinct characteristics of engineered hardwood flooring to those of laminate. Engineered hardwood comes in various colors, textures, grain patterns, and wood-look species like laminate.
The distinct difference between the two is the core and top layers. Laminate has a fiberboard core layer and features a printed image of wood as its top layer, while engineered hardwood has a plywood core layer and veneer top with natural hardwood, which gives it its distinct real-wood look.
Laminate vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring Water Resistance
The silver lining here is whichever you end up going with, both will be more water–resistant than traditional hardwood. However, laminate flooring’s man-made materials resist water much better than engineered hardwood’s real wood veneer top layer.
Laminate vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installation
As shared above, laminate flooring can click and lock into place. Engineered hardwood flooring installation is more involved, with some engineered hardwood flooring requiring nailed or glue-down installation methods. The exception to this would be modern EHF options, which have a similar installation process to laminate via a click-lock installation method that does not require the need to be attached to the subfloor below.