Best Waterproof Flooring Options (2024 Guide)

When choosing new flooring, waterproofness is often a top concern. Bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and other damp areas of a home demand durable flooring that stands up to moisture without warping, growing mold, or deteriorating over time.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best waterproof flooring options for a wide range of lifestyles, design schemes, and budgets.

Types of Waterproof Flooring

Many flooring materials resist water to some degree, but a few rise above as truly waterproof options. 

Let’s take a look at the most water-resistant flooring types on the market today:

  • Ceramic and porcelain
  • Poured resin
  • Waterproof vinyl

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Tile floors are naturally water-resistant due to their dense construction. Meanwhile, porcelain tiles resist water penetration better than ceramic in general.

Large format tiles have only thin grout lines that leave little space for water intrusion. Using waterproof grout further helps keep all moisture on the surface. With proper installation and sealing, tile floors can last a lifetime. Porcelain tiles also resist scratches well. Just keep in mind that dropped objects may crack or chip the surface.

Impervious to water with proper grout and sealing
Withstands scratches and surface damage
Extremely durable for decades of use
Grout lines prone to discoloration and mildew
Dropped objects can crack or chip tiles

Poured Resin Floors

Poured resin floors like epoxy or polyurethane transform into durable, waterproof plastic surfaces. Multi-coat applications result in an impermeable barrier that prevents moisture absorption or passage to the substrate. Leveling compounds allow installation over uneven concrete for a seamless look.

Besides industrial-grade water resistance, poured resin floors offer custom color blends and artistic designs using veins, metallic flecks, 3D effects, and more. However, improper mixing or application compromises durability and moisture protection. Costs are also higher for these specialty custom floors.

Flows evenly over irregular subfloors
Industrial-grade moisture protection
Completely custom artistic effects available
Higher cost than vinyl or tile
Requires expert installation for best results

Waterproof Vinyl Flooring

High-end waterproof vinyl flooring comes in two formats: vinyl plank and vinyl tile. The flooring’s surface layer resists water damage even when exposed to standing water for hours, and the flooring’s complex design keeps moisture from seeping through seams and reaching the subfloor. Scratch-resistant urethane topcoats provide added protection against surface damage.

With realistic hardwood and stone veneers, waterproof vinyl plank is a popular choice for basement and kitchen flooring. Easy DIY installation enhances its appeal — just note that waterproof vinyl flooring comes at a premium, costing around $6 more per square foot than luxury vinyl flooring that is not waterproof. 

100% waterproof vinyl construction
Slip-resistant and low-maintenance
Durable, scratch-resistant wear layer
Higher cost than typical luxury vinyl flooring
Vulnerable to dents and scratches

Comparing Waterproof Flooring Costs

The cost of waterproof flooring can vary greatly depending on the price of the material, method of installation, and degree of prep work involved.

With those variables in mind, here are the approximate installed costs per square foot, according to our research:

  • Ceramic tile: $5–$30
  • Porcelain tile: $10–$50
  • Poured resin epoxy: $8–$20
  • Waterproof vinyl: $5–$15

For example, installing ceramic tile in a 10 x 12-foot room could cost between $600 and $3,600 at the above price ranges. Vinyl plank for the same space would run between $600 and $1,800.

Labor expenses also vary based on flooring type. Poured floors require professional installation, while many tile and vinyl options are DIY-friendly.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

Request free estimates from local flooring contractors to get exact pricing for your specific project scope and home layout.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Waterproof Flooring

With all the options available, selecting the optimal waterproof flooring for your home takes careful consideration. Our research and experience have taught us to weigh the following factors when shopping for flooring.

If longevity is most important to you, we recommend porcelain tiles and poured resin floors. With proper installation and care, both options offer exceptional, decades-long durability — even in high-traffic areas,

For a long-lasting but slightly more economical option, well-maintained luxury vinyl floors can last 15–25 years on average.

Bathrooms do best with poured resin or porcelain tile floors. Vinyl works but may show gouges around tub areas over time.

Basements, laundry rooms, and kitchens can utilize luxury vinyl planks thanks to their moisture protection and comfortable feel.

Garages and mudrooms lend themselves well to the ruggedness of poured resin floors.

If you’d like to keep the cost of future repairs at a minimum, vinyl plank and vinyl tiles are your best options. In the event of heavy dings or other damage, luxury vinyl flooring allows for spot repairs or plank replacement, which can save you the extreme expense and inconvenience of replacing the entire floor. 

Conversely, ceramic and porcelain tile, while amenable to spot replacement, require you to match the existing tiles and grout if you want to achieve unblemished results. 

Seamless poured resin is the least repair-friendly flooring material, as it’s extremely difficult to patch. In most cases of resin damage, you’ll need to re-coat the entire floor. 

For those looking to add value to a home with waterproof floors, upgraded ceramic, porcelain, and wood-look luxury vinyl all boost resale value.

Conversely, cheap sheet vinyl and stick-on vinyl tiles don’t appeal to buyers as much a harder-wearing, traditional floors. 

Hiring a flooring contractor to install your floors using top-tier materials can also help your home’s resale value down the road. Just follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidance to keep them looking like new.

As for sound dampening, choose waterproof flooring that is compatible with cork underlayments. A highly renewable material, cork’s spongy quality reduces sound transmission nicely. Most LVP features a cushion-like built-in underlayment that’s similarly adept at absorbing sound.

Avoid unpadded tile and cheaper vinyl options, as neither can insulate against noise effectively.

For contemporary aesthetic, glossy porcelain tiles or artistic poured floors create sleek appearances.

Luxury vinyl plank replicating natural wood visuals promotes cozy traditional or farmhouse themes.

Concrete-look tile and resin floors complement modern industrial decors.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

No matter which type you choose, always have a professional installer assess your subflooring to ensure it meets the specifications of your chosen flooring. Doing so prevents premature damage and expensive failures.

So, Is Waterproof Flooring Worth It?

If your home is in a high-moisture region or if you’re an active family with kids or pets, waterproof flooring provides worthwhile benefits. Flooring products like tile, resin, and waterproof vinyl are the most durable, withstanding messes, flooding, and heavy use that could ruin other products.

The investment might seem all the more worthwhile when you consider waterproof flooring’s longer life span, a factor that can greatly minimize unplanned repair or replacement costs.

However, waterproof floors simply provide necessary protection in wet areas. Don’t feel compelled to swap out serviceable floors elsewhere in your home solely to gain water resistance. Evaluate your unique situation to decide if you require this feature or not.

FAQs About Waterproof Flooring

What is the difference between waterproof flooring and water-resistant flooring?

Waterproof flooring can resist any damage from water, even when exposed to it indefinitely, making it suitable for areas prone to flooding or high moisture. Water-resistant flooring can handle common liquid spills but offers limited protection from water. With a water-resistant floor, the duration of exposure is critical, and prolonged exposure to a spill or leak can cause extensive damage.

It’s important to note that while waterproof and water-resistant floors offer some level of protection against moisture, neither makes the room itself waterproof, and it’s critical that you address underlying water and seepage issues before installation.

Does waterproof flooring add value to a home?

Yes, upgraded waterproof flooring like luxury vinyl and porcelain tile adds value compared to cheap vinyl or laminates. The improved durability and life span provide buyers peace of mind.

How long does waterproof vinyl plank flooring last?

Quality vinyl plank flooring typically lasts 15–25 years on average. Following the manufacturer’s care and maintenance guidelines helps maximize the life span.

Can you install waterproof flooring over existing flooring?

In some cases, yes. Luxury vinyl planks often get installed over existing floors. Always check with the manufacturer first, as specifications vary.

Can you use vinegar to clean waterproof vinyl floors?

White distilled vinegar mixed with water works well for cleaning vinyl floors. Avoid castile soaps, bleach, ammonia, and abrasive scrubbing pads/tools to prevent scratching the protective wear layer.

Is engineered wood flooring waterproof?

Engineered wood flooring is not inherently waterproof, but many options are water-resistant. You can enhance your engineered wood’s water resistance with the correct type of finish and installation method.

Is laminate flooring waterproof?

No, laminate flooring is not universally waterproof, but many kinds of laminate flooring are resistant to water. It is important to distinguish between water-resistant laminate and waterproof laminate flooring, as the latter offers superior protection against moisture and can even withstand being submerged in water for some time.

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