Laminate flooring in Spindale, NC from BPS Southeast

Is laminate waterproof flooring really waterproof?

As I shop around for flooring the term waterproof gets used a lot when talking about luxury vinyl and laminate. Everyone seems to want something that can handle spills, weather, and pets. The display shows water sitting on the top of the flooring in the kitchen or by the front door by a wet dog. They don't tell you that what they are advertising is different than what is on the warranty. When talking about a laminate floor, there may be some fine print somewhere explaining what the warranty really means.

I had a customer that found a color of laminate cheaper than the luxury vinyl that they liked. He purchased it at a box store and he was sure it said waterproof on it. He showed me the online picture and it said it was waterproof. When I had him pull up the product warranty information, it said resistant to water. The resistance was against spills, steam mopping, and daily mopping. That does include most situations, but not plumbing problems. If a product like this was installed in a kitchen or bathroom, there is no guarantee that it won't fail. The water resistance is really for only surface issues. Many plumbing leaks are slow and go under the flooring.

When I looked at the luxury vinyl products at the box store, it said "100% Waterproof" on the sign. The laminate had waterproof, but the luxury vinyl was 100% waterproof. That means that the laminate is only waterproof on the surface and doesn't include everything. This is not honest advertising and can easily mislead a customer. The term waterproof is being used the same if it is water resistant. They are two different things. Waterproof should be able to be submerged in water without damage to the flooring.

There are some laminates that have a wax coating on the edges and bottom to make them more water resistant. Other manufacturers have created wood cores that will hold up against water for extremely long periods of time. Even those companies will still use the term water resistant if they are honest. They can't say waterproof because it can't be submerged under water and keep its integrity. A newer product that is coming out into the market is LSPC (Laminate Stone Polymer Core). This product is a laminate surfaces on a waterproof rigid core used for luxury vinyl. This floor will be waterproof and have the durability of laminate.

If you are looking at a label that says waterproof flooring, read the fine print. Box store labels can be misleading and they don't have to stand by what they sell. The manufacturer is responsible if something goes wrong. If something does go wrong, the manufacturer will refer back to the warranty information that is with the material when it is purchased. It is that piece of paper that they will refer back to and not the big advertisement label on the display. If you look at those displays, many times there is some small lettering that will inform you that it is only waterproof in certain situations.
If you're looking to figure out the best flooring for you in the Rutherfordton, NC area, contact us today at BPS Southeast.