Which is Better Waterproof: Laminate or Vinyl?

Waterproof Laminate Or Vinyl

Which is Better Waterproof: Laminate or Vinyl?

Selecting the ideal flooring for your home is an important decision, one that you’ll likely live with for years to come. Among the many qualities people look for, being waterproof or water-resistant tops the list for obvious reasons—no one wants a small spill to turn into a big problem. Laminate and vinyl are two popular choices, but which one outperforms the other in the waterproof department? This guide aims to provide you with comprehensive insights.

Factors to Consider

Picking flooring isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Several variables come into play:

  • Installation Area: Think about where the floor will be installed. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are high-moisture areas.
  • Climate: If you live in a humid environment, the flooring’s resistance to moisture becomes more crucial.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Consider how easy it is to clean and maintain the flooring.
  • Budget: Price can’t be ignored. Both initial costs and long-term durability impact the overall expense.

Understanding these factors will help you make a more informed choice between laminate and vinyl, especially concerning their waterproof qualities.

Water Resistance in Laminate Flooring

Once upon a time, laminate wasn’t the best choice for water resistance. Made from wood fibres, it had a tendency to absorb moisture, leading to warping or swelling. Times have changed.

  • Modern Versions: Today’s laminate flooring often includes a water-resistant layer.
  • Surface Sealing: Many come with a top layer that can be sealed to offer added protection against small spills.
  • Cost-Effective: In general, it’s a less expensive option compared to others.
  • Not Fully Waterproof: Despite advancements, laminate floors still aren’t entirely waterproof.
  • Limited Lifespan: The exposure to water over prolonged periods can cause wear and tear.

The Waterproof Strength of Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring takes the cake when it comes to being water-resistant. Made from PVC, it’s almost as if it laughs in the face of spills.



  • Chemical Make-up: It’s not the most ‘natural’ of options, if that’s a concern for you.
  • Cost: While it’s durable, premium vinyl can put a dent in your wallet upfront.

Performance in High-Moisture Areas

For places like bathrooms and kitchens, where water makes a regular appearance, vinyl is the undisputed champion. Even though laminates have evolved to be more water-resistant, they’re still not the best fit for consistently wet or damp environments.

Aesthetics and Style Options

Both flooring types bring something to the table when it comes to visual appeal. Laminate has mastered the art of mimicking natural materials like wood or stone, adding a touch of elegance. Vinyl doesn’t lag behind either; it offers a broad array of designs and can even come in the form of sheets or tiles, granting you more freedom for customisation.

Installation and Ease

Don’t overlook the installation process. Vinyl usually offers a quicker and simpler installation, thanks to options like click-lock design. Laminate installation can be more time-consuming and may require a more experienced hand, especially if it involves sealing to improve its water resistance.

Environmental Concerns

For those concerned about the environmental footprint, it’s worth noting that laminate often scores better. Many laminate options are made using recycled materials and are easier to recycle. Vinyl, due to its chemical make-up, can be less eco-friendly.

Final Verdict

So, what’s the final word? If waterproof features are your top priority, vinyl flooring is the undisputed leader. While laminate flooring has made significant strides in water resistance, it still can’t beat vinyl’s natural ability to repel moisture. In areas prone to spills, dampness, or high humidity, vinyl is a reliable choice that offers longevity, ease of maintenance, and a wide range of style options.

Flooring is more than just a surface to walk on; it’s an integral part of your home. By taking into account your specific needs, lifestyle, and the unique conditions of each room, you can choose a flooring type that not only looks good but also stands up to whatever life throws its way.


Eastwood Carpets & Flooring are Sydney’s leading flooring experts. Our team has been helping people transform their residential and commercial spaces for over 35 years.

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If you’d like to chat about your project, please call us on (02) 9638 2766 or fill out the form on our contact page and our team will be in touch.