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February 26th, 2024

The answer to whether you can buy hardwood floors that are entirely waterproof is: No.

This article will look at ways to make your hardwood floors as waterproof and spill-proof as possible. We will also talk about actual waterproof alternatives to hardwood floors.

Wood And Water

There are many ways to protect and finish your hardwood floors, but at the end of the day, wood will always absorb water. Unfortunately, this holds true in the case of hardwood floors. Even when applying professional-grade finishes on hardwood floors, making hardwood floors 100% waterproof is impossible.

As we discussed in a previous blog about the dangers of having dogs live on hardwood floors, the greatest threat of pets to hardwood floors is urine puddles that can stain and damage hardwood floors.

In the case of an appliance leak, or a significant spill that isn’t properly cleaned up, liquids will eventually get absorbed into the wood and cause problems.

However, people have enjoyed hardwood floors in their homes and businesses for generations. With the proper care and maintenance, most people will never experience problems with water on their hardwoods. The type of water it takes to ruin hardwood floors comes from roof leaks, major appliance malfunctions, or gross negligence. Unfortunately, the growth in the vinyl flooring industry is fueled by an exaggerated fear that genuine hardwood is a bad purchase because it is too susceptible to water damage.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is much more resistant to water than traditional hardwood. Engineered hardwood is a product that consists of pressed particle board, or vinyl planks, with an outer layer of actual hardwood. The top layer, which is what is seen and walked on, can be finished and treated like traditional hardwood. This will keep it from absorbing water and moisture directly. However, the core of the wood is much more water resistant, especially when it’s constructed of vinyl planks.

Engineered hardwood has seen many changes over the years in quality and ruggedness. The engineered hardwood floors available today are the most waterproof hardwood floors that actually contain hardwood. Most of what is marketed as “Waterproof Hardwood” is vinyl or laminate flooring.

Vinyl & Laminate Flooring

Vinyl and laminate flooring are the only 100% waterproof solutions that still resemble hardwood flooring. However, vinyl and laminate flooring are not made of wood.

Instead, the textures and the visual presentation are designed to mimic natural hardwood. To the untrained, naked eye, you can’t tell the difference between high-quality vinyl flooring and some natural hardwood.

Since vinyl and laminate flooring are not made of wood, they can be soaked and submerged in water indefinitely and will come out looking brand new. This is a big selling point for vinyl and laminate flooring manufacturers.

So there you have it! We hope we have answered some of your questions about hardwood floors and waterproofness.

If you have any other questions about hardwood floors and waterproofing solutions for your next project, please don’t hesitate to ask a professional. We would love to help!