Laminate flooring - Is it waterproof??

Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

Laminate floors - dark - Westchester NY

Is laminate flooring waterproof?  The answer is NO, laminate flooring is NOT waterproof.


There is a common misperception out there that laminate is waterproof, and I believe this is due to the fact that many customers mistakenly confuse vinyl and laminate flooring.  


Many types of vinyl flooring are waterproof and/or highly water resistant. Laminate, on the other hand, is made out of recycled hardwood, so it is not waterproof. Due to its melamine wear layer, it has a tough finish which resists against scratches and may have minor protection against minor water (quick spills). But, like hardwood, laminate does not do well with standing water...regardless of whether this water is topical (on top) or seeping into the sub-floor from below. Laminate also does not do well in areas with high humidity.   Westchester County Floating floor laminate


There are some laminates that claim to be "splash proof" (which is not an industry term) and they do still warn you not to leave any standing water on your laminate floor). If laminate floors become really wet, they will get ruined and buckle. Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate floors can not be sanded or refinished. If they get wet, they can not be repaired. (Whereas if hardwood gets wet in a few spots, you can usually replace those planks and refinish the floors and they will look good as new.)  


If you feel that hardwood is not a good option for an area due to water or humidity, it is also a good idea to avoid laminate. 


If you live in Westchester County and are interested in laminate flooring or waterproof options, give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950.

Laminate flooring:  Is it waterproof?


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donna Foerster 06/08/2012 09:16 AM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 06/10/2012 06:44 PM
  3. Kathy Streib 06/11/2012 12:52 AM
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Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York

Clients seem to love the look of these floors, but may not know the importance of quickly cleaning up spills. Thanks for clarifying this.

Jun 10, 2012 08:52 PM #26
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

This IS a very common I think most mothers have echoed and we can now give them your sage advice.

Jun 10, 2012 08:58 PM #27
Mike & Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Thank you for bringing up a subject that I was not clear about...


Jun 10, 2012 09:11 PM #28
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Gary - You are welcome.  Yes, too many found out too late.

Fred - Yay to Kathy..  Hardwood as well as laminate tend to do pretty well in the kitchen.  It's the basement where there are often the biggest issues.  Or, in a kitchen, if you have a dog that always gets water on the floor...then the laminate won't survive, but chances are the hardwood (if it's solid) can survive and be refinished.

Patricia - Good, I'm glad it helps.

Jan - That could be it...or it could be humidity and that whoever installed it didn't allow enough room along the edges for expansionn.

Lenn - Yes, I think hardwood or tile are better choices for the kitchen, when you can afford them.

Vanessa - Yes, that's exactly it.

Sally & David - Yes, there's a lot of confusion and thank you.

Jun 10, 2012 09:19 PM #29
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Great information Debbie.  I think I may have been a part of the group that didn't really know the difference.  Thanks for educating all of us.  

Jun 10, 2012 09:29 PM #30
K.C. McLaughlin
RE/MAX United - Cary, NC
Realtor, e-PRO, Homes for Sale - Cary, Raleigh NC

Interesting post - thanks for sharing the information - alsways helpful.

Jun 10, 2012 09:54 PM #31
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

People always confuse waterproof with water resistant....

Jun 10, 2012 10:07 PM #32
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Jared - Thx so much.  Yes, it's a large group.

KC - Thank you.

Edward - That's so true.

Jun 10, 2012 10:25 PM #33
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Debbie, I can see where this is easily misconstrued. It just looks like it would be water proof. Thanks for setting the record straight.

Jun 10, 2012 10:57 PM #34
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

I know it's not waterproof. I have seen what happens when a pipe leaks and gets under it. It was amazing how the whole floor formed a perfect arch.

Jun 11, 2012 01:19 AM #35
Lisa Orme
The Master's Key Realty LLC -Windsor, CT - HARTFORD COUNTY - Windsor, CT
Broker/Realtor, ABR, CRS,GRI, PSCS, SFR, Notary Pu

Thank you for the great explanation about the laminate flooring Deb. I love how there is always something new to learn here at AR.

Jun 11, 2012 03:26 AM #36
Iris Stuart
none - Santa Rosa, CA

Debbie, this is really valuable information for consumers.  Having installed Pergo in my kitchen, I knew it wasn't waterproof back when I had it installed but I wish the salesman had discussed my options with me.  The house has been a rental for about 5 years now during our temporary relocation.  The last time I saw it, it was not looking so good so one of the first things we'll need to do when we move back is to replace that flooring with something more durable for a kitchen.

Jun 11, 2012 03:31 AM #37
Ebrahim Suliman
Mississauga, ON
Hi Debbie, Thank you for this informative post, my wife and I have been having this conversation for a while now and she insists that laminate is water proof, and I on the other hand contend that it is not. I have a selfish reason for saying it is not waterproof, until your post, as I did not want to mop the whole house Regards Ebrahim
Jun 11, 2012 04:37 AM #38
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Debbie, thanks for clearing this up. I'm sure, by the number of homes I see laminate flooring in wet areas, that many people are under the impression that it is waterproof. Thanks for the good info. 

Jun 11, 2012 04:40 AM #39
Jerry Morse
The Morse Company - Janesville, WI

It amazes me how many kitchens you see with laminate flooring.  Probably not the best idea. 

Jun 11, 2012 04:56 AM #40
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Debbie, great information. Especially as the last home I purchased had one room with laminate flooring. Can you tell me the best way to damp mop? Just plain water?..... vinegar and water?....soap and water?....

Jun 11, 2012 05:48 AM #41
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Very informative post on laminate flooring.

Congratulations on the Gold Star.

Lou Ludwig

Jun 11, 2012 09:45 AM #42
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Michael - Yes it does look that way to some...but, if you look at the side, it is clear that it's not.

Rob - Yes, I've seen it too and it's not pretty.

Lisa - Thank you so much.  I'm so glad to hear that.

Iris - Yes, unfortunately a lot of people don't explain this.

Ebrahim - LOL, that is so funny.

Adrian - Yes, I think a lot of people think this, and they find out the hard way.

Jerry - Well many kitchens can tolerate.  I do prefer hardwood for the kitchen though.  In the long run, the hardwood will last much longer.

Sandy - the same cleaning care as hardwood.  Less water/liquid is better.  Bona is a good product.  I believe the vinegar and water can work or just a bit of water too. Any hardwood cleaner will work though.

Lou - THank you so much on both counts.


Jun 11, 2012 10:46 AM #43
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Thanks, I had a client who is closing on a new home with laminate floors aske me this exact question. 

Nov 22, 2014 01:38 AM #44
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Adrian Willanger Oh good, I'm so glad this info is so timely.

Nov 22, 2014 03:51 AM #45
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