The Great Debate: Waterproof vs. Water Resistant Flooring

Flooring | Flowers Flooring

When looking to choose flooring for areas of the home that are more prone to get wet or exposure to moisture, such as bathrooms, mudrooms, the kitchen, the garage, or even a home workout space, it is a good idea to look at options that are more likely to hold up to water.

Depending on the space, and even where you live regionally will determine what type of flooring–waterproof vs. water resistant–you will want to use. When looking for affordable flooring material, most homeowners narrow it down between vinyl plank and carpet.

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Waterproof vs Water Resistant Flooring

Waterproof floor and water-resistant flooring have key differences that are important to consider when choosing flooring for your home. Waterproof flooring is more durable and can withstand any amount of water, from spills to moisture in the air that can cause damage to your floors.


Water resistant floors on the other hand, can’t hold up against large spills, flooding, or heavy moisture and are designed to only withstand small amounts of water such as small spills that are dealt with quickly and entirely.


More importantly, no matter if the flooring itself is waterproof or water resistant, the subfloor is usually not and can cause irrevocable damage causing a mess and costly repair. For areas that are susceptible to water damage, especially in the case of bathrooms, garages, basements, and mudrooms, waterproof flooring will be the better option to keep the subfloor protected. While water resistant flooring may be sufficient for kitchens and home gyms where water damage is less likely to occur.


Affordable Waterproof & Water Resistant Flooring Options

There are a number of waterproof and water resistant flooring materials to choose from. Among the most popular are vinyl and laminate flooring. Below, we outline the benefits and key differences between the two.


Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank is a very affordable option that is both durable and stylish. Luxury vinyl plank flooring is surging in popularity, for its resemblance to hardwood, making it an appealing option that works well with various decors. Vinyl flooring is much more durable for high traffic areas than real hardwood standing up against kids, pets, stains, scratches, and dents. It is also waterproof, which makes vinyl an ideal flooring for below-grade rooms and rooms where moisture accumulates without fear of warping or cracks.


Vinyl flooring is resistant to moisture buildup caused by steamy showers, leaks, spills and splashes from sinks and tubs. This makes vinyl paramount in warding off mold and mildew which can lead to a raft of health issues. Waterproof vinyl flooring is especially recommended for homeowners that are sensitive to respiratory difficulties, allergies, and of course the elderly, sick people, and children.


Waterproof Vinyl vs. Carpet

While carpet is a premier choice of flooring, it is not the best choice for rooms that require water resistance or waterproof materials. Carpet is neither water resistant nor waterproof, in fact, when carpet gets wet it is prone to mold. In the event mold does occur, the entire flooring would need to be restored properly or completely replaced.


Carpet is best used for rooms where a warm, cozy, plush flooring is desired underfoot. Spaces best suited for carpet are bedrooms, living rooms, and recreational living spaces, really any space where moisture exposure is not a concern. Carpet is also an extremely affordable choice, that is durable and long-lasting when used in the appropriate areas.



When it comes to flooring for bathrooms, basements, and other high moisture rooms, when it comes to carpet vs. vinyl there is no contest. Waterproof and water resistant vinyl is the premier choice for both durability and beauty.


Carpet is a prime choice in its own right, but better suited for spaces where there is little chance of flooding, spills and splashes, or moisture buildup.


If you’re looking to select water resistant or completely waterproof flooring, the specialists at Flowers Flooring can assist you with choosing the right vinyl product and look for your project. Contact our experts today for a consultation.


About Flowers Flooring

Flowers Flooring is your family flooring specialists with two locations – Cornelius, NC and Winston-Salem, NC. Both locations service a 100-mile radius from the showroom. Both locations specialize in flooring sales and installation including carpet, laminate, hardwood, sand & finish, hardwood restoration, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, rubber flooring, tile floors, tile showers, tile backsplash, area rugs, interior painting and more. To reach the Cornelius, NC location please call (704) 445-7750 and to reach our Winston-Salem location, please call (336) 660-0977. Please be sure to inquire about our current promotion and financing offers.