6 Very Easy Ways to Tell if Laminate Flooring is Waterproof

how to tell if laminate flooring is waterproof

Laminate flooring, known for its aesthetic appeal and durability, becomes an even more versatile option when waterproof.

But how can you tell if your chosen laminate flooring is waterproof? This article will outline six straightforward methods to determine the waterproof integrity of your laminate flooring.

But why is it important? Waterproof laminate flooring not only withstands everyday spills and stains but also offers longevity and maintains its fresh look for years.

By choosing a waterproof option, you’re investing in the longevity of your flooring and the overall look and feel of your home. Let’s dive right in.

How To Tell if Laminate Flooring is Waterproof

1. Check the Product Label

From my experience, one of the first steps you should take when choosing laminate flooring is to read the product label thoroughly.

Just like how I do my grocery shopping, I learned to pay attention to labels. The manufacturers’ labels contain a wealth of information about the product’s features and specifications.

Look for details about the material, its durability, and most importantly, its water resistance. If the laminate flooring is waterproof, it will be explicitly stated on the product label.

Key Terms to Look For

Now, what should you look for exactly? You’ll want to note terms such as “waterproof” and “water-resistant.”

But let me tell you, these aren’t the same. I once made a mistake by assuming both terms meant the same thing.

Waterproof means the laminate can withstand any amount of water, while water-resistant means it can handle only a certain amount of water for a limited time.

So, if you’re planning for areas like bathrooms or basements, I’d say ‘waterproof’ is the word to look for!

Importance of Manufacturer’s Warranty

Lastly, always check for the manufacturer’s warranty. When I was renovating my home, I chose laminate flooring with a 10-year warranty, which was such a relief when a small section got damaged a few years in.

The warranty often attests to the product’s quality and gives you peace of mind that the company stands behind its products.

If waterproof features are part of the warranty, it indicates that the laminate flooring is designed to handle water without damage.

2. Review the Product Specifications

When choosing laminate flooring, delving into the product specifications is essential. These can give you a clearer idea of the product’s quality and suitability for your home.

Understanding the flooring’s core material, thickness, and water resistance rating can help you make an informed decision.

The Core Material

The core material of laminate flooring is the foundation on which everything else is built. It affects the durability, the feel, and even the sound of the underfoot flooring.

When I first learned about this, I was amazed at the difference in feel and sound between an HDF (high-density fibreboard) core and an MDF (medium-density fibreboard) core. When shopping for flooring, it’s always a good idea to ask about the core material.

Thickness and Protective Layers

The thickness of laminate flooring can vary. I’ve come across options ranging from 6mm up to 12mm. You might think thicker is always better, but that’s not always true.

From my experience, I can tell you that thicker flooring can feel more stable underfoot, but it also requires a perfectly level subfloor.

The protective layer is another critical component to consider. This layer protects your flooring from scratches and stains, so it’s worth paying attention to.

Specifications Available on Manufacturer Websites

Don’t overlook the manufacturer’s website. In my experience, these websites often provide more detailed specifications than on product labels or in-store.

From installation instructions to maintenance guidelines, these can be invaluable resources. When installing my flooring, the manufacturer’s website saved me a lot of headaches!

So, take the time to dig into the details on manufacturer websites. It’s a step that you won’t regret.

3. Investigate the AC Rating

You may not have heard of the Abrasion Class (AC) rating, but it’s important when choosing laminate flooring.

This system measures a floor’s resistance to wear and tear, and it’s ranked on a scale from AC1 (light residential use) to AC5 (heavy commercial use).

I stumbled upon this while researching for my home and found it a game-changer.

The AC (Abrasion Class) Rating System

Laminate manufacturers developed the AC system to provide consumers with an easy way to compare the durability of different products.

Basically, the higher the AC rating, the more durable the flooring. When considering options for my home, I found that floors with an AC3 rating were perfect for my living room, balancing durability and cost.

Correlation between AC rating and Water Resistance

One might think that a higher AC rating would also mean better water resistance, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Water resistance is often more about the quality of the core material and the protective layer.

I learned this the hard way when a spill on my high-rated AC4 kitchen floor caused swelling because I didn’t clean it up quickly enough.

Tips on Choosing the Right AC Rating for Your Needs

When choosing the AC rating for your needs, consider the traffic the area will receive. For places like bedrooms, an AC2 or AC3 may suffice.

But for high-traffic areas like hallways or living rooms, you might want to consider an AC4. And remember, while a higher AC rating means more resistance to wear, it doesn’t equate to better water resistance.

I’d recommend always checking for a floor’s water resistance, especially for kitchens and bathrooms. Let my kitchen mishap be a lesson to all!

4. Performing a Water Droplet Test

While understanding the AC rating is essential for assessing a laminate floor’s durability, it’s equally crucial to check its water resistance.

This might sound technical, but trust me, it’s quite simple and can be done at home. I’ve outlined a straightforward DIY water droplet test you can perform to gauge the water resistance of your floor.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Water Droplet Test

  1. Find a sample piece: You’ll need a sample piece of the laminate flooring you’re considering. I got mine from the local home improvement store.
  2. Clean the surface: Wipe the sample clean. You want to make sure there are no dust particles or any dirt that could affect the result.
  3. Perform the test: Place a tiny droplet of water on the surface of the laminate and let it sit there for roughly 2 hours. I used a medicine dropper for this to get a precise droplet.
  4. Check for changes: After the time is up, wipe off the water droplet and inspect the surface carefully for any changes.

Observations to Make During the Test

While the water droplet is sitting on the laminate, watch for any changes in the water droplet.

If the droplet seems to be getting smaller or disappearing, it could suggest that the water is seeping into the laminate.

Also, after wiping off the droplet, look for any swelling or discoloration on the surface.

I noticed a slight swelling on one of the samples I tested, which indicated that it wasn’t the best choice for my water-prone kitchen.

Interpretation of Test Results

If you see the water droplet seeping into the laminate or any swelling on the surface after wiping it off, this suggests that the laminate’s water resistance is not very good.

On the other hand, if the droplet remains intact without seeping into the laminate and there are no subsequent changes to the surface, you have a highly water-resistant laminate on your hands.

I was lucky enough to find such a laminate for my bathroom, and it’s been a lifesaver during the kids’ bath times!

5. Read Customer Reviews and Expert Opinions

Let me tell you customer reviews and expert opinions can be game-changers when it comes to making your final decision.

Importance of Reviews

Now, I can’t stress enough the value of real-world experiences. These reviews aren’t just arbitrary text on your screen.

They’re the personal experiences of people who have used the product. Remember when I chose the wrong type of laminate for my kitchen?

Had I paid more attention to the reviews about its water resistance, I could have saved myself from a retake.

Where to Find Customer Reviews and Expert Opinions

There are various platforms where you can find these reviews. Online retail sites are a good start – people often leave reviews about their purchases.

Then, there are home decor and construction forums to get expert opinions. I found mine on a DIY home improvement blog, and the feedback was invaluable.

How to Weigh Reviews and Opinions in Your Decision-Making Process

So, how should you consider these reviews? Well, look for consistency. If multiple reviews indicate the same issue, it’s probably not an isolated incident.

For instance, if several comments highlight a laminate’s lack of water resistance, it’s worth considering that in your decision.

Trust me, I learned this the hard way with my first kitchen laminate. Also, weigh expert opinions heavily – they have the technical background to understand these products at a deeper level.

Customer reviews and expert opinions can act as your compass, ensuring you navigate the sea of options to your perfect laminate. Do not underestimate their power!

6. Seek Professional Advice

In my journey, I found that sometimes, the best course of action is to seek professional advice. This decision can distinguish between a well-done, long-lasting job and a disastrous one. Here’s why:

Flooring Experts or Contractors

Flooring experts or contractors have years, sometimes decades, of experience. They have a wealth of knowledge about different types of flooring, including laminate, and they can provide invaluable advice based on your specific needs and circumstances.

I remember when I was considering a glossy finish for my laminate – it looked so classy in the showroom.

However, one conversation with a contractor made me realize it wouldn’t work with my high-traffic household. I’m glad I listened!

Questions to Ask Professionals About Laminate Flooring

When consulting with flooring experts, you should ask several key questions.

For instance, inquire about the different types of laminate, their suitability for various rooms, and the longevity of each type.

Don’t forget to touch on the maintenance and cleaning requirements, too – I recall how one contractor’s advice saved me from choosing a laminate that required more upkeep than I could provide.

Benefits of Professional Consultations

Consulting with a professional can save you time, money, and heartache in the long run. They can guide you on the right path, helping you avoid common pitfalls and make well-informed decisions.

In my case, a professional consultation helped me choose the right laminate and how to maintain it effectively so it could last longer.

Without a professional’s guidance, I might have made the same mistake with my kitchen laminate – and we all know how that turned out!


To summarize, six simple methods exist to assess if laminate flooring is waterproof. These include reviewing the product’s specifications, checking for a waterproof label, feeling the surface, observing the locking system, assessing the quality of the core, and lastly, seeking advice from a professional.

The significance of an informed decision cannot be overstated when choosing the right flooring. It’s not just about aesthetics or price; it’s about understanding your lifestyle, your space’s demands, and the durability requirements of the flooring you choose.

Waterproof laminate flooring is an excellent choice for various settings – from busy households to high-traffic commercial spaces.

It combines the stylish appearance of traditional hardwood with the low maintenance and durability of laminate.

Moreover, its waterproof nature makes it suitable for areas prone to spills or moisture, such as kitchens or bathrooms.

Ultimately, with the correct information and professional advice, you can choose that marries beauty, practicality, and longevity in your flooring.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of favoredstoneguides.com and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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