Waterproof vs. Water-resistant Flooring

Waterproof vs. Water-resistant flooring

Water is a blessing for every living being, but that same water can also destroy if given a chance. Water can be one of the most damaging things if let into the house without any precautions. With the uncertainty in climate, it is now time to take care of your houses like never before. The first step is to protect certain parts of your house against water. Too much rain can lead to flooding, which can invade your houses with water. One of the things that get most affected by water damage is floors. The path toward preventing damage is to protect your floors against water.

How to protect your floors against water?

With the advancements in technology, there have been many improvements in construction. This has led to an increase in the ways your house can be protected. To start protecting your house, you must change your floors. Making your house water-resistant or waterproof is the way to go. Now the question arises whether it should be water-resistant or waterproof. To answer this question, we have first to understand what water-resistant and waterproof are and how these two differ from each other.


Water-resistant is the lowest level of waterproofing out of the two. If a device is labeled as water-resistant, the construction of the material likely makes it difficult for water to enter, or it’s coated with a very light substance that helps make the device more likely to withstand contact with water. Water-resistant grades are ideal for products such as watches, as they can withstand light rain and hand washing. This does not mean the material becomes waterproof, preventing any water from going through. This only means that water is prevented from penetrating to some certain extent.


Defining waterproofing can be relatively easy, but the concept is more complex. There is currently no established industry standard to classify devices as waterproof. The Intrusion Protection Rating Scale (or IP Code) is the closest available rating scale. The IP Code assigns

items a rating from 0 to 8 about the device’s effectiveness in preventing water ingress. Water ingress refers to the phenomenon of water leaking into buildings. This rating system is a known one but still has its flaws. Regardless of these complexities, waterproofing prevents any water from going through materials. This is the definition. This, again, does not mean that water is avoided in all situations. Certain situations can still mean that water will get through. Figuring out what waterproofing is and is not can be a bit challenging. This can be especially complicated for companies as one cannot claim that something is waterproof. Still, some things are waterproof and can be lifesavers when installed correctly.

Water-resistant vs. Waterproof flooring

Now that we have understood the two terms, it is time to see which is best to keep your floors safe and protected. There is an important difference between waterproof and water-resistant flooring. Waterproof floors are highly durable and can withstand spills and catastrophic events like floods. Water-resistant flooring is designed to withstand only minor spills that need to be cleaned immediately. Waterproofing is a material that is durable and does not allow water to seep into the floor over time. For example, waterproof flooring can be installed in any room, but it is more expensive than water-resistant flooring. Water-resistant flooring is how the floor covering protects the floor from water ingress.

Choosing between water-resistant and waterproof can be challenging, but some evident differences can help us choose between the two. These differences are;

·   Costs

Water-resistant flooring is usually cheaper than waterproof flooring. These floors are also easy to install, so you won’t need to hire an installation professional. This makes the initial cost of water-resistant floors lower.

Waterproof flooring is more expensive but has advantages that water-resistant flooring does not. Waterproof flooring will initially cost more than waterproof flooring, but depending on your location, it may be worth the cost. When water intrudes into certain types of flooring, the flooring can swell and eventually crack, ruining the floor completely. When such damage occurs, the floor covering must be replaced. For this reason, it may be easier to install a waterproof floor from the beginning to avoid costs in the future.

·   Durability

Water-resistant flooring is durable but cannot withstand water contact for a long time. They are good for areas with a lesser chance of a water spill, but they are only suitable for spills that can be cleaned slowly.

Waterproof flooring is comparatively more durable. Waterproof floors can prevent atmospheric moisture from climate and flooding from penetrating the flooring. Neither of these events damages the soil. This is important to consider if you live in an area prone to dampness or flooding.

·   Versatility

Waterproof and water-resistant flooring is a versatile solution for the environments in which it can be applied. Various industries use waterproof flooring. It can be used in aircraft hangars, car factories, restaurants, and factories. These industries require floors with high hygiene and quality standards.

On the other hand, water-resistant flooring is popular in residential areas. It can be used as a cheaper alternative as it gives a similar look when installed correctly. It is also available in various textures and designs, depending on your preference.

Which one to choose?

Both water-resistant and waterproof floors have their advantages. It is best to figure out your situation and decide which one to choose. If you are in a situation where you do not need to protect against large and frequent spills, water-resistant spills will work for you just fine. On the other hand, if you live in an area where flooding can occur, and there is a higher chance of spilling, waterproof flooring is the way to go.

All in all, both these options are great and can work. It all depends on what you want and how well you can protect your houses from water ingress with the help of these two options. 

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