Seven of the Best Water Resistant Laminate Floors
Pergo Outlast +
Home Decorators Collection
Mannington Restoration Collection
In a Hurry?
We think these picks are your best waterproof laminate flooring options for kitchen or bathroom installation. Click here for a summary table of this information, plus prices and where to buy. Read on for a more detailed analysis…
January 23, 2023, by: Jamie Sandford
Here at Home Flooring Pros our resident experts don’t like to talk about waterproof laminate flooring as we think it’s a bit misleading. Until the day that a laminate floor is waterproof from top to bottom, and bottom to top, we prefer to talk about water-resistant laminate…a laminate floor that can handle the spills and splashes of general day to day living.
We all agree that there are several excellent water-resistant laminate flooring brands available today that are perfect for installing in your kitchen or bathroom. We’re going to recommend seven of the best water-resistant laminates, show you where to buy, how much they cost and why we rate them so highly.
IS LAMINATE FLOORING WATERPROOF?
The short answer to this question is no! As we will discuss, there are some great laminates that offer limited waterproof and water-resistant features for the surface of their flooring but not from top to bottom.
If water from flooding or hydrostatic pressure gets under your laminate flooring and stays there for any significant length of time (for the sake of argument let’s say 24 hours) then you are going to have major problems with swelling and buckling that will lead, in time, to the need for replacing your floors.
This is why you will not find a single laminate floor that has a warranty covering flooding or water damage from rising moisture in your subfloor. So if you’re looking for flooring that will stand up to any amount of water damage then we suggest you look elsewhere.
Typically, neither the flooring manufacturers nor the flooring retailers have sat down and decided on an industry standard definition of what waterproof or water-resistant laminate flooring really is. Consequently many, many products claim to be one or the other, but when you get down to the small print, they are often very similar if not exactly the same in what they offer.
Bearing all this in mind, here’s how we went about choosing our top picks…
HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST WATER-RESISTANT/ WATERPROOF LAMINATE FLOORS
Here are the criteria we used to rate each water-resistant laminate brand
- Claims – Obviously we only looked at laminate flooring that claims to be waterproof or water-resistant
- Warranties – Most importantly does the manufacturer stand by the waterproof claims for its laminate flooring? We dug into the small print to find out.
- Suitability for kitchens and bathrooms – all our picks are worry free options for rooms where splashes and spills are common place.
- Cost – Many homeowners choose laminate as a budget friendly option. We chose water-resistant laminate that was reasonably prices compared to other flooring materials.
- Choice – Finally we considered each laminate in relation to styles and colors. No point having a waterproof laminate that only comes in 5 colors!
So, let’s get to our top picks…
HOME FLOORING PROS PICKS OFR THE BEST WATER-RESISTANT LAMINATE FLOORING
Here’s an “at-a-glance” comparison table of our top picks if you’re in a hurry.
AVERAGE COST PER SQ/FT
WHERE TO BUY
|Newton Laminate||$3.00 to $5.00||Local Flooring Retailers|
|Pergo Outlast +||$2.79 to $2.89||Home Depot|
|Home Decorators Collection||$1.58 to $2.39||Home Depot|
|Mohawk RevWood||$1.90 to $3.50||Local Flooring Retailers|
|Mannington Restoration Collection||$3.50 to $3.99||Wayfair|
|Armstrong Audacity||$2.80 and $3.20||Local Flooring Retailers|
|Aquaguard Laminate||$2.30 to $3.99||Floor & Decor|
Our top choice for waterproof laminate is the fantastic range of laminate flooring from Newton. Although Newton is not as widely available (yet) as other laminate flooring, it’s very much worth seeking out as it offers both great technical specs and beautiful visuals.
There are 11 collections in the Newton laminate range, each available in several different colors, giving a total of 47 different individual floors. The aesthetics in the Newton laminate are what really sets it apart: they are all gorgeous and they have an added texture layer to make them feel beautifully authentic too.
The collections feature mostly wood-look designs—we are especially in love with the chevron parquet style Helena collection, and the weathered gray wood styles of the Trek Haven collection. There are a few equally beautiful stone-look designs.
Retailing between $3 to $6 per square foot, not all of Newton laminate flooring is as low-cost as some of its competitors. However, the devil is in the detail: along with their beautiful looks, they perform excellently.
Most of the Newton laminate collections have been proven to be 100% waterproof for up to 24 hours; and those that aren’t, have a well-performing water-resistant topcoat. All but one of the Newton laminate floor collections is rated as commercial grade for its wear layer (the one collection that isn’t commercial grade, is rated at the top level for residential laminate).
In our view, paying a bit extra for these top specs is worth it. Read or full Newton Flooring review.
NB It’s worth pointing out now that all of these water-resistant laminates require excellent, tight installation. Each plank must be really well locked together to prevent any chance of water seeping between planks.
Final Thought: Newton flooring is currently available exclusively through independent flooring retailers, so you won’t find this great laminate flooring in the big box stores. Luckily, Newton provides a handy store locator so you can find your nearest retailer easily.
Another top choice for a water-resistant laminate floor is the Outlast+ collection from Pergo sold exclusively at Home Depot.
Pergo Outlast + ticks all the boxes as far as we’re concerned. Easy to find via one of the most popular big box stores, this laminate comes in an impressive 56 color schemes, with a natural or textured finish.
It’s patented SpillProtect technology doesn’t over promise, simply put this flooring is water-resistant to wet mopping and normal household spills up to a period of 24 hours. That to us feels like a fair definition of water-resistant.
Prices-wise, at between $2.79 and $2.89, Pergo is neither cheap nor overpriced but what you would expect to pay for a quality laminate, plus underlayment is pre-attached.
Not only can you wet mop this floor but Pergo also allow for steam mop usage, although be sure to put it on a low heat laminate setting.
The only note of caution from our professionals is that if you plan to DIY installing this laminate it’s not really a one-man job or indeed for the inexperienced.
Final Thought: The ads for Pergo Outlast + are a bit over the top making the floor appear completely waterproof but as the care instructions point out “DO NOT pour liquid directly on floor or use an excessively wet mop that will puddle or leave moisture standing on the floor”.
HOME DECORATORS COLLECTION
Our third water-resistant laminate may come as a surprise to some. We’re staying with Home Depot and their in-store brand of laminate called Home Decorators Collection (previously a standalone home décor company but now owned by Home Depot).
The main reason we like this laminate is for the price and style. Not all Home Decorator Collection laminate is water-resistant so be sure to check the specs. We found over 90 water-resistant colors and styles priced between $1.58 and $2.39. You won’t find decent water-resistant laminate much cheaper than that.
We especially like the embossed surface (EIR) that many of the collections have. It gives the planks a really great realistic wood look, better in our opinion than many more expensive laminates.
Despite the fact that Pergo Outlast + sells itself as waterproof while HDC only describes its laminate as water-resistant there really isn’t much difference when you look in the small print. Both cover household spills up to 24 hours. You do need to be gentler when cleaning the HDC laminate, no steam cleaning or very wet mopping. Stick with just-damp mopping.
The quality of the planks isn’t quite as good as the Pergo and you’ll have to work a little harder to get the perfect watertight installation but this is more than made up for by the price.
Final Thought: From our tests we’ve concluded that these floors are water-resistant up to 24 hours, but we wouldn’t leave liquids puddled that long unnecessarily. So, a good, cheap choice for bathrooms or kitchens, but seek professional installation and clean up spills in a timely fashion.
Next up is the new (ish) line of laminate floors from Mohawk, a giant in the flooring industry, called RevWood.
This water-resistant laminate flooring comes in 3 flavors, RevWood, RevWood Select and RevWood Plus. You can read our full review here but for the purpose of this post what you need to know is that all the ranges are water-resistant and become sturdier and more waterproof as you more from RevWood through to top of the line RevWood Plus.
RevWood – Water-resistant to standing water up to 30 minutes under normal conditions (eg household spills etc)
RevWood Select – Will resist moisture damage from normal household spills (no time limited indicated) and can be cleaned with a damp mop.
RevWood Plus – Will also resist damage from normal household spills and can be cleaned with a steam mop on a low heat setting
We like Revwood for its large range of options, versatility and cost. Between the three lines there are a score of styles and over 100 different colors. Again these laminates are embossed (EIR) making them look super realistic.
If you just need light water-resistance for living rooms or bedrooms then you can choose the basic RevWood range but if you want to install in your bathroom or kitchen you can upgrade to Revwood Plus.
Prices start at $1.90 per sq/ft for standard Revwood and rise to $3.50 for RevWood Plus which is still reasonable for a waterproof laminate you can use for a bathroom. Our friends at Flooring Inc have a small selection of RevWood or you can order it at your local flooring retailer.
Final Thoughts: RevWood would be higher up our list if it was easier to get hold of at, say, a big box store. We’ve found a small selection online at FlooringInc, for a larger selection please contact a local flooring retailer.
MANNINGTON RESTORATION COLLECTION
Mannington’s Restoration Collection nearly didn’t make our list because of its price tag. At $3.50 and $3.99 it’s definitely among the more expensive laminate floors on the market today. However, along with this price tag comes great quality and beautiful designs.
If, along with durability and water resistance, your main objective is to find a laminate that most closely mimics the finish of real wood then we think the Mannington Restoration Collection is a great choice. It’s the attention to detail that we think sets this laminate from some other competitors.
Here are some of the features of the Restoration collection that, added together, makes their laminate so hyper realistic:
Variable Edges – Adding beveled edges to laminate planks already makes each plank look more like real engineered hardwood. Mannington goes a step further and adds a variable edge which, like natural hardwood, looks more realistic because it isn’t completely uniform.
Multi Width Planks – Multi length planks for greater realism has already been a feature of several laminate floors. A couple of Restoration Collection styles (Keystone Oak) go a step further and offer multi width planks giving the floors a really old world look.
Unique plank visuals – The more unique each plank is the more realistic the entire floor will feel (obviously every plank of real wood is completely unique). Mannington’s Anthology collection includes 26 unique planks which is twice as many as any of its competitors.
Many Different Surface Visuals – Whether you’re looking for a reclaimed or weathered wood look, a wire brushed look or a distressed look the Restoration Collection has got you covered for all things rustic.
Getting back to water-resistance, the Restoration Collection has SpillShield Plus Waterproof Technology and comes with a limited 25 year warranty that states their flooring “will not be damaged by topical, localized surface spills provided they are removed within a reasonable period of time”. You can use a steam cleaner for cleaning. Check out our full Mannington laminate review.
Finals Thoughts: Mannington’s Restoration Collection is the way to go if your top priority is to find a laminate that most closely matches a real wood floor. You can find this flooring online at Wayfair.
Armstrong Audacity laminate is mainly on our list for its water resistant properties. Thanks in part to its extra tight locking system, Audacity laminate has one of the best waterproof warranties we’ve found.
The residential lifetime limited warranty is very clear when it comes to surface water and says “the floor will not be damaged by topical, localized spills resulting from normal household use. Normal household use Includes but not limited to: wet shoes, common liquid spills, dripping water while exiting a bath tub or shower, provided the liquid is removed within 72 hours“. That’s about as close to waterproof as you’re going to find in a laminate floor.
The warranty also has cover against pet stains making this our choice for busy households with pets and children….and people who like to put cigarettes out on their floor!
Their selection of styles and collections is good although not, in our opinion, as realistic looking as other brands. Accurate pricing is harder to come by as Armstrong Audacity is sold via local independent flooring retailers. Expect to pay around $2.99 per sq/ft which is a good price for a quality waterproof laminate.
Final Thoughts: This post is about water resistant laminates and that’s the main selling point of Armstrong Audacity.
Last on our list is Aquaguard Laminate from Floor&Decor. With over 85 different plank styles and prices between $2.30 and $3.99 per sq/ft we really like Aquaguard.
On the downside this flooring is only available at Floor & Decor so if you don’t have a store nearby then you will have to buy online and have it shipped at an extra cost.
As for water resistance, the Aquaguard has a 30 hour standing water warranty which says “AquaGuard will resist damage from moisture due to wet mopping and everyday household spills removed within 30 hours” which is more than adequate for most households. Like Audacity laminate above, Aquaguard also has a warranty against pet stains.
There are some really imaginative designs amongst the Aquaguard collection, including a herringbone pattern, some seriously weathered options and some mosaic tile planks! So if you’re looking for a more adventurous flooring look this is one to consider.
Final Thoughts: With under 150 stores nationwide not everyone will be able to make in-person to look at the Aquaguard floors available. That said we think their innovative designs deserve consideration so consider ordering some samples if you’re happy to order online.
So those are the Home Flooring Pros top picks, but there are many more reputable laminate flooring brands that produce quality water-resistant flooring.
Here is a summary of some other well-known brands for you to consider with links to our reveiws.
Pergo TimberCraft & Pergo Portfolio – Very similar to Pergo Outlast + but these floors are sold exclusively at Lowes. Both have WetProtect technology which is similar Outlast’s SpillProtect. Here’s our Timbercraft laminate review and click here for our Portfolio laminate review
Shaw Repel – Repel is a solid if unspectacular water resistant laminate from the flooring giant Shaw Industries. They’re competitively priced, have favorable reviews and are manufactured by a trusted brand. You can read our Shaw laminate flooring reviews here
Tarkett AquaFlor – Tarkett is a quality laminate flooring brand and this waterproof laminate is sold exclusively at Menards.
QuickStep Studio – You can’t have an article on laminate flooring without mentioning QuickStep! QuickStep Studio is water resistant and sold exclusively at Lowes.
About the Author:
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 12 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction, followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business, he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-over complicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”