Updating your home can give you a new sense of pride in your living space. From renovations such as big construction projects to smaller and satisfying improvements like touching up a room with a fresh coat of paint, home improvements have been on the rise recently.
Home improvement budgets span the spectrum. One of the more affordable ways to bring a fresh look into any room is by replacing old floors. There is a slew of flooring options in a variety of finishes and colors in laminates that will help modernize your home and keep your budget in line. If you are going to spend the money on brand new floors you want a laminate product that is going to be waterproof or at least water-resistant. This article will outline the most economical waterproof laminate flooring brands available. First, read on to review what laminate flooring is all about.
What is Laminate Flooring
Laminate is a synthetic material that is used to construct multi-layered flooring planks and tiles. Constructed of 4 layers, laminate can be produced to look like real wood and natural stone. Each layer has a very important duty. From top to bottom laminate has a wear, design, core, and back layer. The layers go through a manufacturing process that heats the layers at a high temperature and compresses them together.
This is the top layer – the layer you walk upon. This surface is made from aluminum oxide, a chemical compound that invokes durability. The wear layer is hard, stable, and protects from furniture scratches, any liquid spills, UV rays, pet and kid stains, and walking traffic. This is a great option for open rooms with a lot of natural light.
This sits below the top layer. Here is where the design of the flooring lies. Constructed of thick paper, this layer features a printed high-resolution digital photograph of the chosen wood or stone design. Designs include all types of realistic textures and grains such as distressed, weathered, knotted, and hand-scraped woods to the real thing. Hardwood-like styles are versatile and available in every type like oak, walnut, chestnut, cherry and so many more. Stone replications are chic in bathrooms, and you can choose from marble, granite, and slate.
The next layer is the core layer or also known as the base core layer. This is the essential layer of the laminate plank or tile that gives the floor stability and strength. It measures ½ inch and is the thickest layer. Made of high-density compressed wood fibers or chips, this is the layer of fiberboard that works to withhold the weight and impact that is put upon the floor.
Some flooring manufacturers refer to the back layer as the bottom layer. Similar to the design layer, the back is made of thick paper. This is the place that protects the floor from moisture (for example, pet accidents, kitchen spills, and bathroom and plumbing issues. When liquid saturates laminate, the flooring can be prone to warping and buckling. It is always recommended to immediately wipe up any liquid to prevent pooling on your laminate floor. Let it dry naturally and your floor should stay in good shape.
What does waterproof actually mean?
Flooring manufacturers go to the length of guaranteeing certain aspects of waterproof qualities of their laminate flooring products. For a floor to be fully waterproofed it would mean that water or liquid can’t seep into the grooves or locking joints of a plank or tile. The floor would be damage-free.
Cheap Waterproof Laminate flooring
For most brands, waterproof warranties guarantee that their floors offer protection from 24 to 72 hours. This means you still need to mop up the liquid and let the area dry completely.
AquaSeal is known for providing 24 to 72 hours of water protection for its 50 different laminate wood-like products. Mimicking many different kinds of hardwoods including hickory, oak, chestnut, elm, and maple AquaSeal can be purchased at various home improvement and lumber specialty retailers.
Cost: $1to $4.00 per square foot
2. Pergo Portfolio WetProtect
Pergo features a line of waterproof laminate flooring that replicates the look and texture of real hardwood or stone. It is made with WetProtect technology that keeps tiles and planks safe from water and liquid spills. It features a waterproof finish on the wear layer and has tight locking joints that prevent the liquid from leaking to the subfloor. Pergo offers a lifetime residential warranty.
Cost: $1.99 to $2.79 per square foot
3. Tarkett AquaFlor
Smaller liquid spills can sit on the surface of Tarkett AquaFlor for up to 24 hours without causing damage. Created to prevent moisture from trickling down into the layers of laminate planks, Tarkett AquaFlor has a unique product design. Using an angle drop-locking system helps prevent water seepage.
Tarkett gives owners of this floor a limited lifetime warranty. You can find this flooring product at Menard’s.
Cost: $2 to $2.50 per square foot
4. Mohawk RevWood Select
Using the same WetProtect technology as Pergo because Mohawk owns Pergo, Mohawk’s RevWood Select is a laminate flooring collection sold as fully waterproof. As one of the most durable laminate brands in terms of waterproofing, RevWood Select products are built with WetProtect and HydroSeal. Mohawk stands behind the performance of these two technologies by offering a lifetime waterproof warranty for surface and subfloor. RevWood Select has water-tight joints, which keep the moisture and liquid on top of the surface.
Cost: $2.25 to $3.00
AquaGuard has laminate wood-like and stone-like products that are considered waterproof. This high-quality laminate can handle standing water for up to 30 hours without damaging the floor. AquaGuard builds its planks with a melamine coating that covers the sides and bottoms. This is a special protection that prevents water swelling and warping throughout the core layer that is comprised of wood fibers. In addition, the bottom of the planks is treated with extra coatings to prevent moisture that may arise from the subfloor. Sold through Floor & Décor, AquaGuard comes with a lifetime warranty for residential and 20-years for commercial.
Cost: $2.28 to $3.99 per square foot
Newton has a wood-like laminate flooring that is fully waterproof. Spills can sit upon the planks for up to 24 hours without causing damage. All sides of the Newton planks are protected with special sealants. This waterproof floor brand offers a 5 to 10-year product warranty.
Cost: $2.50 to $3
7. Dream Home X20
Dream Home X20 Laminate is a waterproof brand made by Lumber Liquidators. This super-economical brand is ideal for households where spills might not get cleaned up right away. Known to resist moisture two times longer than any standard water-resistant laminate, this brand claims its core is low-swell. Dream Home X20 has mixed reviews and is one of the cheapest around offering a lifetime warranty.
Cost: $1.79 to $1.99 per square foot Laminate flooring as discussed earlier in this article has a core layer made of wood particles.
Scientifically, wood is not waterproof. You have learned that flooring manufacturers have created technologies and extra protections to keep large water or liquid spills isolated to the floor’s surface. Many of these brands state spills can sit on the floor for up to 72 hours, but strongly suggest you dry the moisture as early as possible. These waterproof laminates reviewed above are some of the more economical options you can purchase in big home improvement retailers, big chains, and smaller flooring retailers.