Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Waterproof? (Explained!)

Water damages floors and causes them to rise and separate; this is why you need a waterproof floor. So, is vinyl flooring waterproof?

Vinyl planks are waterproof, especially luxury vinyl planks. They have a rigid core made of several layers of plasticizers, wood fibers, and resins that are pressed together and sealed with waterproof sealant.

Other types, such as vinyl sheets, aren’t waterproof but water-resistant. That’s because they are thin and flexible, meaning they don’t repel water.

Things To Know

Is Vinyl Flooring Really Waterproof?

Luxury vinyl planks are waterproof because they have a rigid core and are reinforced with a waterproof sealant. They are made up of several layers of wood fibers, plasticizers, trace stabilizers, and resins that are all compressed and covered with plastic waterproof sheeting. This makes it impossible for water to penetrate vinyl planks. 

On the other hand, vinyl sheets are water-resistant only because they aren’t thick or compact enough to withstand water for too long. That’s because they are made of light vinyl sheets designed to be flexible and easy to install. So, the surface of the vinyl sheet will absorb moisture after some time.

So, if the vinyl plank gets wet, there won’t be any changes or damage to the floor. But, if the vinyl sheet gets wet, the water will penetrate the floor and cause black or dark brown water stains and might lift the floor. 

Waterproof vs Water-Resistant Floorings

Waterproof vs Water-Resistant Floorings

If a floor or material is water-resistant, it means that it can withstand moisture or water spills to a certain degree, usually about an hour. However, if the floor is waterproof, it can withstand moisture or water spills for longer without being penetrated. 

The difference between water resistance and waterproof floors is the level of resistance to water. On a waterproof floor, water will not penetrate the floor even if you leave the water on it for days. But, on a water-resistant floor, the water will penetrate after some time.

Water Underneath The Floor:

What Happens When Water Gets Underneath a Waterproof Vinyl Flooring?

If water gets underneath the flooring, the floor will gradually lose its bond to the subfloor because water will weaken the glue and adhesion. If left unchecked, the locks will also be affected, causing the floor to develop gaps and separate.

Waterproof luxury vinyl flooring won’t get damaged because they are designed to resist water from the bottom to the top. However, the water will remove the glue underneath and cause the planks to move. It can also cause the planks to become raised.

Water-resistant vinyl sheets can get damaged by water because they are designed to resist moisture for a short time. If the vinyl sheet is exposed to constant water, the flooring will separate, get waterlogged, and develop bubbles. You must wait a few days for the flooring to dry to re-use it.

Different Types of Vinyl Flooring:

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is known to be waterproof due to the compact and multilayered structure of the floor. They have 6 layers of different materials and in the middle is a rigid high-density core that will not absorb water.

They are also designed with a waterproof protective top layer that prevents water from penetrating their surface. You can use it in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

Composite Vinyl Flooring

Composite vinyl flooring is waterproof because it contains wood fibers, stone plastic, and other substances. Also, the floor isn’t 100% vinyl, as it contains some plastic particles. You can use this floor on outdoor surfaces because it’s tough and weather-resistant.

Luxury Tile Vinyl Flooring

Luxury tile vinyl flooring is also waterproof. 

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet vinyl flooring is not waterproof. Instead, it’s designed with flexible sheets to make the floor flexible and easy to install. Sheet vinyl is also referred to as roll-on vinyl because you can easily roll the sheet on the subfloor like a carpet.

The core of this floor isn’t as rigid as other floors, meaning water will eventually penetrate its surface.

Unsealed Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl floors that aren’t sealed with a sealant aren’t waterproof. That’s because they don’t have a top layer that will prevent water from penetrating their surface. 

Final Words

In summary, some types of vinyl flooring are waterproof, and some are water-resistant only. For instance, luxury vinyl planks are waterproof, while vinyl sheets are water-resistant only. 

However, you can make a floor waterproof by applying a sealant.

Tony Adams
Tony Adams

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about,

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