Waterproof Tile vs. Laminate Flooring: Which is Better?

which is better waterproof tile or laminate flooring

Choosing the right flooring for your home is a crucial decision that has a significant impact on both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your space.

It’s not just about picking a material that matches your style; it’s also about considering factors like durability, maintenance, cost, and resilience to moisture, especially in some regions of the home, like the kitchen or bathroom.

This brings us to a common dilemma homeowners often face – waterproof tile or laminate flooring: which is the better choice?

In this blog post, we will delve into a comprehensive comparison of these two popular flooring options, examining key aspects such as cost-effectiveness, durability, maintenance requirements, and suitability for different rooms.

This guide aims to provide you with the information needed to make an informed decision that suits your specific needs and preferences.

Waterproof Tile Flooring

Waterproof tile flooring is our first contender. As the name suggests, it is flooring made of tiles designed to be impervious to water.

Now, you might wonder, “What exactly are these tiles made of?”

Composition and Characteristics of Waterproof Tile

Waterproof tiles can be made from various materials, each providing a different look and feel.

1. Types of Waterproof Tiles

Ceramic, porcelain, and vinyl are the most common types of waterproof tiles. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are made from clay materials, while vinyl tiles are synthetic.

My kitchen is fitted with beautiful ceramic tiles, and I’ve never had to worry about the occasional spills and splashes when experimenting with new recipes. Their glossy finish gives the room a clean and polished look.

2. Durability and Lifespan

Waterproof tiles, mainly ceramic and porcelain ones, are known for their exceptional durability.

They’re resistant to wear and tear and, when cared for properly, can last for decades.

For example, the porcelain tiles in my grandmother’s home have held up wonderfully over the years.

The tiles have weathered years of family gatherings, pets, and home renovation projects, still looking as good as they did when they were first laid down.

Advantages of Waterproof Tile Flooring

1. Waterproof Properties

The primary advantage, of course, is that these tiles are completely waterproof. This makes them an excellent pick for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and other moisture-prone areas.

In my experience, I’ve found that the waterproof tiles in my bathroom have saved me countless hours of strenuous mopping and drying.

2. Resistance to Moisture-Related Issues

Waterproof tiles are also resistant to mold, mildew, and stains, making them easy to clean and maintain.

My vinyl-tiled basement proves this, as they’ve remained spotless and mold-free, even in the damp winter months.

Potential Drawbacks of Waterproof Tile

  • Cost Considerations

The downside of waterproof tiles is that they’re often more costly than other types of flooring, particularly if you opt for high-end materials like porcelain.

I remember the sticker shock when I first looked into installing porcelain tiles in my kitchen, but I quickly realized the cost was justified, given the material’s durability and longevity.

  • Installation Challenges:

Another potential drawback is the installation process, which can be quite intensive and requires professional help.

When I had my bathroom tiles installed, I decided to hire professionals to ensure that the tiles were laid perfectly.

This added to the overall cost but was worth it, saving me from potential headaches.

So there you have it, a detailed run-down of waterproof tile flooring. But remember, as with any home improvement decision, it’s always important to weigh the pros and cons in light of your home’s specific needs and conditions.

Laminate Flooring: Features and Considerations

Laminate flooring is a popular, budget-friendly option for those who desire the look of hardwood or stone without the hefty price tag.

When I was looking to update my home office, I chose laminate for its affordability and diverse design options.

Composition and Characteristics of Laminate Flooring

  • Layers in Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is composed of four distinct layers. The bottom layer, or backing, prevents moisture from seeping in, protecting the other layers from water damage.

Then comes the core layer, usually made from high-density fiberboard, which adds stability and durability.

Above the core is the image layer, which gives the laminate its desired appearance, be it hardwood, stone, or even tile.

Finally, a top wear layer seals the deal, protecting against scratches and dents.

  • Aesthetic Options and Designs

What attracted me to laminate flooring was the extensive range of aesthetic options available.

You can choose from various styles, finishes, and graphic effects, making it easy to find a design that perfectly suits your interior decor.

My home office, for instance, now boasts a rustic oak laminate that adds warmth and sophistication to the space.

Advantages of Laminate Flooring

  • Cost-effectiveness

The cost-effectiveness of laminate flooring is one of its major selling points.

Compared to hardwood, stone, or tile, laminate offers a similar aesthetic at a fraction of the cost.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I saved by opting for laminate in my home office.

  • Ease of Installation

Laminate flooring is designed for easy installation, often featuring a click-and-lock system that allows quick and hassle-free assembly.

When I installed the laminate in my office, the process was straightforward and manageable, albeit time-consuming.

Potential Drawbacks of Laminate Flooring

  • Vulnerability to Moisture

Despite the moisture-resistant backing, laminate flooring can be vulnerable to water damage.

Excessive moisture can cause the laminate to warp or swell, especially if the water seeps into the cracks.

I learned this when a leaking water bottle left a puddle on my office floor overnight.

  • Lifespan and Durability

Laminate flooring, while durable against scratches and dents, does not have the same lifespan as hardwood or tile.

I’ve noticed some wear and tear in the high-traffic areas of my office despite the flooring being relatively new.

It’s important to remember, however, that with proper care and maintenance, laminate can still serve you well for many years.

Comparing Waterproof Tile and Laminate Flooring

Waterproof Tile’s Inherent Resistance

Waterproof tile flooring is a stalwart against moisture damage thanks to its inherent resistance.

I remember installing it in my bathroom and feeling relieved, knowing that the inevitable splashes and spills would not damage my flooring.

This makes it an excellent choice for areas prone to water exposure.

Laminate Flooring’s Susceptibility to Moisture

As I mentioned, laminate flooring, while having a moisture-resistant backing, is not immune to water damage.

An incident with a leaking water bottle in my home office reminded me of laminate’s vulnerability to excessive moisture.

Evaluate the durability and lifespan

  • Longevity of Waterproof Tile

Waterproof tile flooring doesn’t just resist water; it stands the test of time. In my kitchen, where I installed this type of flooring, high foot traffic and frequent spillages make no dent in its durability. The tile still looks as good as new, even after years of use.

  • Considerations for Laminate’s Wear and Tear

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, has shown some signs of wear and tear in high-traffic situations.

I’ve started seeing some degradation in my office where I used laminate despite it being relatively new.

However, with timely and regular maintenance, it’s been serving me reliably well.

Cost differences between the two options

  • Initial Installation Costs

Waterproof tile does tend to be more expensive than laminate flooring, both in terms of material costs and installation.

I remember the sticker shock when I got a quote for my kitchen’s tile flooring.

  • Long-Term Cost of Maintenance and Replacements

But one must consider the long-term costs as well. My laminate flooring in the office, although cheaper initially, may necessitate replacement sooner than tiles. This could potentially balance out the costs over time.

Installation process

  • Ease of DIY Installation with Laminate

One of the reasons I chose laminate for my office was the simplicity of installation. The click-and-lock system seemed like a fun weekend project, and indeed it was!

  • Considerations for Professional Installation of Waterproof Tile

Installing waterproof tile, however, was another story.

It seemed too complex for a DIY project and required hiring a professional.

It’s a factor to consider if you’re considering which option to choose.

Lifestyle and Location Considerations

  • Families with Children or Pets

One of my good friends has a big family with three kids and two dogs. When she was contemplating which flooring to install, her main concern was durability and ease of maintenance.

Knowing how boisterous kids and pets can be, she opted for waterproof tile in the main living areas.

She’s been quite happy with the choice, as spills and pet messes are easily wiped up and don’t damage the floor.

  • High-Traffic Areas

In my home, I have a room that serves as a home office. It sees a lot of foot traffic, not just from me but also from my clients who come for meetings.

I decided to go with laminate flooring here. I’ve noticed that it’s started to show signs of wear and tear, but it’s held up pretty well overall.

For high-traffic rooms, it might be a good idea to consider the balance between initial cost and long-term durability.

Location as a Consideration

  • Climate and Humidity Levels

Living in a coastal city, I’ve had to think about the impact of humidity on my flooring. In my beach house, I opted for waterproof tile to help counter the salty, moist air.

It’s been a great decision and has saved me from several potential water damage issues. If you live in a humid area or one with a lot of precipitation, waterproof tile might be a better option for you.

  • Waterproof Tile in Bathrooms and Kitchens

Waterproof tile became a no-brainer for me when I was renovating my bathroom and kitchen.

Between the steam from the shower and the potential for water spills in the kitchen, I knew I needed something that could withstand moisture.

The waterproof tile has been fantastic in these spaces, and I wouldn’t consider anything else in these rooms.

If you’re renovating your bathroom or kitchen, I highly recommend waterproof tile.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Maintenance Requirements for Each Flooring Type

As someone who’s had both waterproof tile and laminate flooring in my home, I can confidently say that both require distinct maintenance procedures.

  • Cleaning Methods for Waterproof Tile

Waterproof tile is fairly low-maintenance and easy to clean. I usually sweep or vacuum my tile floors daily to keep loose dirt and dust at bay.

When it comes to deep cleaning, a damp mop or a tile cleaner does the trick. For stubborn stains, I found that a mild detergent mixed with warm water works wonders.

It’s important to remember not to use abrasive cleaners as they can scratch and dull the surface of the tile.

  • Maintenance Tips for Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring, on the other hand, needs a bit more attention. Regular sweeping or vacuuming is a must to avoid accumulation of dirt and dust that can scratch the surface.

When cleaning, I use a damp mop and a laminate floor cleaner. Water should be used sparingly, as excess water can seep into the seams and cause the laminate to swell. Also, avoid wax or polish as it can leave a dull residue on laminate.

Long-Term Care and Potential Refinishing Needs

Both flooring types have their own long-term care needs. For waterproof tile, it’s generally low maintenance.

However, the grout might need resealing over time to protect it from moisture and stains. In my beach house, I’ve had to reseal the grout every couple of years to keep it looking fresh.

Laminate flooring, unfortunately, cannot be refinished. Once it’s worn down, it needs to be replaced. In my home office, I noticed signs of wear after a few years, but the laminate held up pretty well overall.

Whether you choose waterproof tile or laminate, understanding the care and maintenance requirements will ensure your floors look great and last for years to come.


Reflecting on my experience with both waterproof tile and laminate flooring, it’s clear that each has its own strong points and challenges.

Waterproof tile, with its robustness and easy maintenance, has served me well in the high-moisture environment of my beach house.

On the other hand, laminate flooring, despite not being refinishable, has proven to be durable and visually appealing in my home office.

Remember, the key to selecting the right flooring lies in your individual needs and circumstances. Do you have pets who might scratch the surface or a high-traffic area that needs a robust flooring solution?

Are you looking for a budget-friendly option or willing to spend more for a high-end look? These are all factors to consider in your decision.

I encourage you all to weigh the pros and cons of both options. While waterproof tile is a great choice for areas prone to moisture, its grout might need occasional resealing.

Laminate flooring offers an attractive imitation of wood, but keep in mind it can’t be refinished once it wears down.

If I were to give my personal recommendation, I’d say, consider the room and the use-case. For spaces like bathrooms or kitchens where moisture is a concern, I’d lean towards waterproof tiles.

For dry areas where you want the look of hardwood without the hefty price tag, laminate flooring could be a great choice.

The bottom line is to make an informed decision that aligns with your personal needs, lifestyle, and budget. Happy 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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