Water from flooding or spills and moisture from natural sources can severely damage most flooring materials. Moisture can lead to mold and mildew, which will not only cause irreparable damage to flooring but can also sicken your family.
Different types of flooring stand up better to moisture and water than others. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and plank (LVP) tend to provide the best water resistance.
Carpet is probably the flooring material most susceptible to water damage. Spills and flooding can quickly soak into the carpet pad, and it’s often not possible to quickly and thoroughly dry the pad without ripping up the carpet.
The extent of carpet damage is always dependent on the volume and type of liquid. A spilled glass of water likely won’t ruin carpet, but a burst pipe can spell doom for carpeting. A pet having an accident on carpet may not destroy a whole section of carpet, but it will be nearly impossible to thoroughly clean and remove the odor if the accident saturates the pad without ripping up that section of carpet.
While carpet is frequently one of the cheaper flooring materials in comparison to alternatives, its susceptibility to moisture damage makes it one of the least desirable option for humid areas. Damp carpet that doesn’t dry can quickly become a breeding ground for mold, mildew and odors.
Moisture causes solid hardwood planks to expand and leaves them vulnerable to cracking, cupping, crowning and buckling. The inability to mop hardwood makes maintenance and keeping the flooring in pristine shape difficult. These floors are not exactly made for active families with young children or pets, and they often aren’t ideal in highly humid, damp environments unless your home’s HVAC system maintains low, stable humidity levels year-round.
Solid hardwood cannot be glued down so it cannot be installed directly onto a concrete slab subfloor. This limits where solid hardwood can be installed, particularly in southern regions where the vast majority of new homes are slab built.
Engineered hardwood is comprised of a thin natural hardwood veneer layer on top of a base that is essentially plywood. This construction offers slightly better moisture resistance than completely natural hardwood, but it’s still a wood product.
Engineered hardwood can absorb moisture from the air, resulting in swelling and expansion. This damage causes gaps to form and may cause the planks to curl and pull away from the subflooring. Water damage is irreversible in engineered hardwood flooring, which will ultimately need to be replaced.
Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood can be glued and is often installed in new home construction over a concrete slab.
Although laminate advertises as water resistant, it pales in comparison to the water resistance of luxury vinyl tile and luxury plank due to the fiberboard core under laminate’s wear and design layers. That fiberboard, like the core of engineered hardwood, is a wood product. It suffers the same weaknesses to moisture as any other wood product.
When saturated with water laminate warps very quickly and the printed design layer and wear layer will begin to bubble.
Stone and Ceramic Tile
The stone and ceramic tile materials themselves generally have good water resistance, but the grout between tiles frequently doesn’t boast the same moisture resistance. Extended exposure to moisture can cause tiles to detach from the subfloor and become loose. People with tile in bathrooms or kitchens need to be vigilant and keep up with reapplications of sealants and other waterproofing methods to prevent the growth of mold.
Many stone tiles are also porous, meaning they can absorb liquids, harbor bacteria and mold spores and absorb stains. LVT and LVP are nonporous.
Will Moisture Damage LVT/ LVP?
Non-permeable luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank floating flooring, glue down flooring and magnetic flooring can give your home an upgraded look without the drawbacks of carpet, hardwood flooring and tile.
Every type of LVT and LVP are at a minimum water-resistant, while some, like Metroflor’s Genesis WPC, Inception SPC, and magnetic LVT with Attraxion™ technology can be fairly described as waterproof. The flooring is designed to stand up to the most demanding residential applications and even many commercial environments without the worry of mold, mildew or premature wear.
What Makes Attraxion, Genesis, and Inception Waterproof?
The magnetic Attraxion technology repels water. Since there are no adhesives there’s no risk of moisture degrading glue. Because of its ease of installation and its waterproof characteristics, Attraxion has been referred to as the perfect basement floor.
Genesis WPC uses ISOCORE Technology™ to strengthen the structure of the flooring. The closed-cell rigid composite core floor is waterproof and hides minor subfloor imperfection that would be visible through thinner flexible LVP floors. ISOCORE is durable, lightweight, and with a resilient vinyl top layer, is warm and comfortable underfoot, making it a great option for a waterproof floor.
Inception SPC is also a rigid waterproof floor. The difference is that doesn’t have a resilient top layer like Genesis WPC and the SPC core is much more dense. The denser core SPC floors are much heavier than WPC floors, but it also makes them extremely dent resistant.
Looking for Waterproof or Moisture Resistant Luxury Flooring?
Metroflor’s many flexible and rigid core LVT and LVP styles feature advanced technologies and innovative features that make them both stylish and durable. They’re also some of the only luxury flooring options that can be safely installed in moist, humid areas, even basements, kitchens and bathrooms.