What are the different types of waterproof flooring?

Waterproof flooring is the fastest growing flooring segment as many homes and families are realizing the benefits of a durable and beautiful flooring surface they can trust and afford.

However, with so many waterproof floors competing with each other, many brands use confusing and proprietary marketing strategies. This makes it hard for homeowners to understand the differences between floors and decide what is best for their home.

A common misunderstanding about waterproof floors is about the differences between types of waterproof floors. What is the difference between LVT, vinyl flooring, PVC flooring, and the other synonyms out there?

To make it simple, we classify all of these floors as waterproof floors.

In general, waterproof floors come in three formats: Sheet, Plank, or Tile. These formats can have various types of construction and installation methods.

Glue down sheet vinyl

Glue down sheet vinyl is great for large spaces and commercial applications as they can be purchased and installed at a very low cost.

Sheet vinyl usually comes in 6’ or 12’ rolls that need to have adhesive fully spread across the subfloor when installed.

While sheet vinyl has excellent water-resistant properties, it will conform to the subfloor as it is rolled out. Any imperfections or unevenness in the subfloor may show after the floor has been installed.

Loose lay vinyl flooring planks and tiles

Loose lay floors are formatted as planks or tiles that do not need to be installed with adhesive. The locking system doesn’t require glue, but you may need to use adhesive around the perimeter of the floor.

These floors are usually thicker than glue down vinyl floors and allow for better embossing and texturing for a more natural wood, tile, or stone look.

Installation is quick, and planks or tiles can be removed and replaced easily after installation. Some loose lay vinyl floors have a peel and stick adhesive that can be used on floors or as wall coverings.

Rigid core vinyl flooring planks and tiles

Rigid core is a broad term that can cover many different types of materials. These can include wood composite, stone composite, mineral composite and other types of dense, rigid materials that give planks and tiles better durability.

Rigidness allows these floors to be installed over subfloors or even existing floor coverings without telegraphing imperfections. Rigid core floors usually have a click lock mechanism that requires no adhesive.

There are many possibilities for rich, natural textures and rigid core floors are very stable and durable. Some can even include a real wood top layer to combine the benefits of real hardwood with the water resistance and easy installation of rigid core flooring.

What type of waterproof floor is right for me?

Now that you know the three main types of waterproof floors, your next question may be, “What type of waterproof floor is right for me?” or “What is the most durable vinyl flooring?”

We’ve created a free guide that goes through everything you need to know when buying a waterproof floor. Find out the top 5 things to know before choosing a waterproof floor. We also cover the big question, “What does waterproof mean, exactly?”

Download the guide – “Five Things You Need To Consider When Buying A Waterproof Floor” – now to help you make the best decision for your space.