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Waterproof Wood Flooring

HU-196020793
2 years ago

Hello flooring and design professionals!


We are searching for an engineered flooring. We are torn between going with a standard engineered flooring or going with one of these new waterproof engineered flooring that has a thin veneer of real wood, but has a waterproof core. Does anyone know if these waterproof wood floors are legit? We are leaning towards going with it, but worried they may not hold their color or last as long? We don't want to have to replace it if we move in 5-10 years if they can't at least be reconditioned. Any help would be sincerely appreciated!

Comments (43)

  • Design Girl
    2 years ago

    There was a thread posted a few days ago that addressed this issue. From what I remember, they didn't believe it would work as real wood has movement when temperatures rise and fall, and the core that is supposedly waterproof is static and does not expand and contract as the wood does. If it were me, I'd go with regular engineered hardwood.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the quick response! So you're saying it's not real hard wood?

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  • Design Girl
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    The top layer is real hardwood (albeit thin), but the middle section that it's glued to it is not (that's the waterproof layer). So if the real wood on the top moves (which it will with temperature fluctuation), the glue remains static. Therefore, the glue will most likely give way with time.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    2 years ago

    Do you have a specific brand you are looking at? I don't know of an engineered wood floor that is waterproof. The Luxury vinyl floors that look like wood are waterproof.

    With wood flooring - the engineered floors are dimensionally more stable than a hardwood is and can be used in applications where dampness may be an issue like a basement. There are ones that install as a floating floor, glue down or nail down. You can usually get 1 refinish out of them.

    Again - I'm not sure of the waterproof part of that - hopefully one of the flooring guys will jump in!

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Read the fine print.

    There are plenty of materials being touted as waterproof, but have caveats that state if you have water that rests on the floor for 24 hours like from a dog bowl it voids the warranty. Buyer Beware.


    My neighbor attempted to purchase Pergo waterproof laminate flooring for her home. When the guys that measures came out and found they planned to put the Pergo in the kitchen he warned against it. I called Pergo direct and they didn't disagree.

  • PRO
    okstout4
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I myself have been looking into 100% waterproof Laminate flooring by Pergo. Pergo has some that only sell at Home Depot and some only at Lowes. I have read lots of reviews and read blogs from people who have it in their homes. I have so far seen very good reviews. I also watched a youtube video where someone said they had it in their house that flooded and they were able to keep their flooring, but I don't recall exactly what he said as to if he had to do anything to it first. I also watched a video where they show the difference between water-resistant flooring and waterproof flooring and did a test w/them in water (Waterproof vs. water-resistant flooring -the aquarium test). I do plan to put the flooring in my kitchen. Pergo has a facebook presence and in a post said kitchens and bathrooms were ok to install in. Its the barrier they require to keep it protected and under warranty. I do know that if you put the waterproof flooring in a kitchen or bathroom, you have to put some kind of barrier along the baseboards/edge of the floating floors. This is one waterproofing barrier around the perimeter. As far as engineered wood, I have seen water-resistant flooring, but I don't think I've seen waterproof. Water-resistant allows you to spill and wipe up during a certain amount of time. Waterproof allows it to sit longer w/out issue. Do lots of research on water-resistant engineered wood flooring and water proof laminate flooring. Pergo doesn't use glues either. Good Luck!

    Blog post

  • Design Girl
    2 years ago

    Why all the push for what is really just plastic flooring (Pergo, LV etc). It's this decades linoleum. I've had actual hardwood floor in my kitchen for 25 years. Have I had any problems, No. I'm going to refinish it when I remodel my kitchen, but not because anything is wrong, just because I'd like a darker finish

  • PRO
    Oak & Broad
    2 years ago

    If you have a flood from a storm or washing machine the floor will likely need to be pulled up anyway to dry underneath.... What kind of water are you expecting HU-196020793

  • PRO
    Chicagoland Flooring
    2 years ago

    Before you make any decisions always read manufacturer installation instructions and warranty coverage first, very carefully. Pay real attention what is really covered, what grading level you get and what interior environmental conditions are required for that product. Engineered flooring is manufactured product so planks were designed and made by different producers with its own features. However, wood and excessive water levels or moisture do not mix very well together. For real waterproof solution you maybe better off with ceramic or stone systems like in showers.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hello all thank you for your responses! We are expecting any water, but plan to have children in next year or so, have 1 little dog and plan to get one more medium sized. We were just told by flooring company that this is the new thing where they thought things were heading thin real wood veneer with waterproof core (supposedly best of both worlds by having real wood surface, but the water proof core of Luxury vinyl).....but we don't know if it's all what it's cracked up to be?


    We are leaning towards engineered 7.5 inch plank since we like wide plank, but are also considering 5 inch solid or engineered. Any thoughts?

  • tatts
    2 years ago

    There is no such thing as "luxury vinyl"! ! ! Repeat.

    It's just a plastic, like all vinyl.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Agreed! We DON'T want to do that. However, they are telling us there is this flooring that has real hardwood layer on top(very thin about 1-2mm) and then waterproof core... Know anything about that?

  • Design Girl
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Vinyl is just this decades linoleum, stay away. I've had hardwood floors through 2 children and 3 dogs and never had any issues. This is a big purchase, and one that will significantly impact the value of your home. If you can afford solid wood, it is a wise investment that will retain it's value for many years to come. If not, go with the engineered, but know that it can only be refinished once. If it were me, I would sacrifice many other things and put in the real deal.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Design Girl,


    Thank you! Only reason we steered clear of the 5 inch solid is because they scared us about all of the finickiness of it with gapping because we live in the midwest and then the worry of dog accidents or spills. Your hardwood has been absolutely fine with all that?!

  • xand83
    2 years ago

    I'm curious about the responses too. We have a box of Bruce Hydropel sitting in our upstairs right now and we really like the color & construction of the planks (it's the hickory color). It's supposed to be waterproof. But the wear layer looks pretty thin. Curious if anyone has had good luck with something like this. It would go in 3 bedrooms and likely 2 baths. Link: Bruce Hydropel

  • Design Girl
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I've had no problems with my hardwood floors and have been in this home since 1993. The floors are original to the home built in 1974. If the installation is done properly and the wood is allowed to acclimate in your home for a few days it should not be a problem. Do we have some small gaps, I guess maybe a few, but they are not noticeable to me ( I'm really picky) and we haven't had problems with the pets. That being said, the puppies were crated at the beginning, and if they did have an accident, it was cleaned up pretty quickly. We actually rolled up our area rug with the last puppy so the accidents weren't on the carpet, but on the hardwood. I hope that helps.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Can these coretec and similar floors with a wood veneer be re-conditioned? Not refinished, but just re-conditioned. Does anyone know for sure?

  • Suki Mom
    2 years ago

    I have seen the new engineered wood floors with waterproof core. I don't see any advantage to the waterproof core because before the water gets to the core it has to be spilled on top of the wood and the wood will get damaged before the core gets damaged. We have acrylic impregnated engineered wood floors that we purchased 11 years ago. The particular brand we bought is no longer made but there are other brands. I love the floors. They have held up very well to our 2 Lhasa Apsos.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    2 years ago

    What degree of water proofing are you looking for. IMO there is no flooring that is waterproof in a flood as for kitchen flooring I have had hardwood all over , laminate all over and vinyl plank in my walk out baseemnt now I do not expect and of them to be water proof in a flood .Even tile will need to be replaced in a flood as for day to day living unless you are a complete slob you wipe up spills

  • Paula Kleiman
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Considering 5” width hardwood flooring in new construction 3 room apartment being built inside of my shop Which has a concrete floor. The shop has no water problem, is not heated nor air conditioned with the exception of a wood stove during extremely cold days. The New construction is elevated in second story of shop. The floor under the apartment has been insulated well. Apartment will have heat and air conditioning and is also well insulated. Want to put hardwood in kitchen and bedroom areas. These rooms are 10’ x 10’ respectively. My thought is that this would be no different than a first floor install in a new home with concrete basement...as far as moisture/dampness is concerned. The heat and air will be installed in the apartment before the floors are installed.


    Would you use hardwood flooring comfortably in this situation as far as any problems with expanding and contracting of hardwood flooring is concerned? Thank you for you input!!

  • wannabath
    2 years ago

    Got to love people snubbing their noses to luxury vinyl. It is the fastest growing floor market and for a good reason. iT Eliminates all of the issues of installing real wood floors.


    i was just a at a showroom and if you see todays luxury vinyl floors there is no way you would snub your nose at them. They are dead ringers in look, texture and sometimes feel to engineered an real wood. Real wood does not work in a lot of applications. What does it matter if its made on vinyl? Why does that make it a cheap product?


    So many houses are built on slab and luxury vinyl is the best product for that. If you lucky enough to live in a multilevel wood frames hoe then of course go real wood. Otherwise go to a real floor showroom and look at the new vinyl planks and you will be shocked.


    To your original question there is no product that is 100% waterproof because they arent sealed around their perimeter to keep the water on top. Once the water migrates to the back of the product that is where the failure occurs. Even LVP now have backing boards that will fail when wet over time. The best is actually real wood as long as the water is cleaned up in a couple hours it should dry right out. Real wood floors are built on subfloors that breathe and will also dry the underside.


    By the floor you want ether is no super product it doesn't exist. LVP are worth a look especially on a slab installation. Arguing about which fake wood product is superior is silly they are all fake wood.

  • Chessie
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    "wannabath

    Got to love people snubbing their noses to luxury vinyl. It is the fastest growing floor market and for a good reason. iT Eliminates all of the issues of installing real wood floors."


    I agree. Most people saying this have absolutely no idea what the products actually are now, and how fabulous they look and hold up. LVT is a term that has been used to describe so many different products now that you just cannot say "it's plastic" anymore. Do some research! Look at Supercore, for example. I have several samples of it, and it looks amazing. Some really great new patterns are available. It;s perfect for a kitchen or an entire home.


    https://www.weshipfloors.com/flooring-type/supercore-0



    "there is no product that is 100% waterproof because they arent sealed around their perimeter to keep the water on top. "

    Sheet vinyl IS waterproof. I had it in my kitchen and it was 24 years old before I replaced it. I was completely spoiled by never ever having to worry about spills in the kitchen. To me that is the number one issue - and why sheet vinyl will always rule for kitchens and wet areas. I had a lot of heartburn putting in a different product, but I could never find a pattern that I liked as well as the LVT I replaced it with.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    We have wood subfloor and want to do a wood product whether solid or engineered.

  • Chessie
    2 years ago

    Then go ahead. No wood product is going to be "waterproof". You can fahgettabout that.

  • SJ McCarthy
    2 years ago

    Chessie said it best. Go ahead with a valuable product such as solid hardwood. It can be sanded and refinished multiple times = 60-90 years worth of life.

  • jmm1837
    2 years ago

    An engineered floor with at least a 4mm layer of wood is going to give you many years service with normal care (including mopping up spills reasonably quickly) plus it can be refinished once or twice. If you're on a slab, it's a good choice. If your floor is on joists, go for real hardwood.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you guys. We have a wood subfloor. I was told by another flooring person today that it's almost impossible to even sand/refinish prefinished SOLID hardwoods?! We have been told so many different things. It's exhausting.

  • HU-196020793
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Again, this will be in our main room with kitchen, dining, living room, front door, and back door.

  • Chessie
    2 years ago

    Stop worrying about refinishing. A good engineered wood will last you many many years before you ever need to think about refinishing or replacing. Certainly longer than 10 years. I would absolutely choose engineered over solid if I was putting this in a kitchen (although I would never have wood in the kitchen but that is my personal preference).

  • jmm1837
    2 years ago

    OP - if you're on a slab, you pretty much have to go for engineered. If your floor is on joists, and you want wood, go for the real thing. Both engineered and real hardwood can be refinished, providing there's a decent wear layer, but it's not something you need to do every year. (I think site finished is easier to refinish than pre finished). We had hardwood in our previous house, including in the kitchen, and it was still in excellent condition after ten years. Certainly, it was nowhere near the refinishing stage. Hardwood in the kitchen is a personal choice, as Chessie says, but I didn't find it any more work to look after than tile or lino. If your floors are on joists, I'd be looking at site finished hardwood, myself, everywhere except the bathrooms. If you're worried about the kitchen, you could always do tile there (definitely not a wood look tile).

  • PRO
    okstout4
    2 years ago

    wannabath - The laminate wood flooring I’m considering myself requires you to place a sealing barrier around the perimeter (it’s not glue or caulk). This keeps water from migrating and keeps it under warranty. Hopefully, an owner of such flooring would clean up a spill before that happens. I’m sure if the OP found waterproof or even water resistant engineered wood floors, that mfg probably requires that barrier as well.

  • PRO
    Select Hardwood Floor Co.
    2 years ago

    There are viable choices in both engineered as well as solid PRE-finished hardwood flooring that WILL allow the option to refinish down the line, if desired or needed... the products used for finishing (typically In the imported products) are what present the "problems" with refinishing.

  • Ana Ivies
    last year

    Seems waterproof hardwood is a new 2020 trend.

  • millworkman
    last year

    It's. Still. Not. Waterproof.

  • Ana Ivies
    last year

    @millworkman is anything really?

  • SJ McCarthy
    last year

    Sure....sheet vinyl or sheet linoleum. But wood is wood. Just because it is glued to a water-impervious core material (stone) doesn't change the fact that wood swells and expands in the presence of water. The PLANK underneath is impervious to water but the seams and the wood are not.

  • Evan C
    last year

    Check out Raintree by American OEM. You like yourself some hardwood surface? Check. You like the waterproof properties of a vinyl floor? Check. You like the price of the vinyl floor and the resale value of a engineered floor? Check. This floor is incredible and will add value to any home all the while giving your floor the longevity of a vinyl and an engineered hardwood substitute. Be careful however. It is a true hardwood veneer on top! Meaning you can and will scratch it with certain dog and human breeds! But as far as waterproof and stability goes, no other floor can beat it with a hardwood surface on top! I know this might be late for you, but hoping some other folks on here can find this information handy.


    The product itself is about a year old as of October 2020, so it's relatively new to the market, but it's American made (Tennessee) and is designed by a hardwood manufacturing company. If a hardwood company designing an SPC floor doesn't get you ripped, I don't know what you're doing on this thread!!


    Just a flooring guy trying to make your spot look decent.

  • MJ Meyerson
    last year

    @HU-196020793 @Evan C I‘m looking at the Raintree flooring. Any follow up? HU - did you pick a flooring? Evan - have you had more experience installing this floor? Any negatives? Thanks

  • 2saw
    7 months ago

    Yes I was wondering if anyone did put in the Raintree?

  • acdclosgatos
    4 months ago

    I realize that hardwood is not waterproof BUT are there any waterproof coatings that can be used safely on interior hardwood floors? Many people have hardwoods and just rip them out versus sanding, staining, and sealing them.


    I think something that can stand up to about 12-15 hours of liquid from a dog accident or a spill is reasonable.


    Has anyone found a waterproof coating to seal hardwood floors that works?

  • millworkman
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Nope, still not possible with wood.

  • Chessie
    4 months ago

    "I think something that can stand up to about 12-15 hours of liquid from a dog accident or a spill is reasonable."


    Not with wood. This is why folks go with LVP types of flooring now. Or tile of course.

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