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Community and Q&A

Waterproof Vinyl Flooring

thegiz | Posted in General Questions on

Hi, hope everyone is doing well. Came across a website yesterday claiming that their product is better than traditional LVP, that this is the new waterproof LVP. Is this the same LVP you could buy at a big box store or is it actually different? They are calling in WPC vinyl aka wood plastic composite with a waterproof core.

The Best Waterproof Flooring Options

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  1. GBA Editor
    Kiley Jacques | | #1

    That’s a great question—and a provocative claim. My feeling is, if you are looking for waterproof surfaces, go with tried-and-true products. This article is a solid overview of options for kitchens and bathrooms—the two rooms where water happens: Durable Flooring.

  2. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #2

    The LifeProof LVT sold at Home Depot is definitely waterproof, I don't know about other brands.

    Of course, that's waterproof in the sense that it doesn't absorb water and isn't damaged by it. You couldn't build the bottom of a boat with it. But I can't think of any flooring material you could.

  3. thegiz | | #3

    Thanks DC so this is where I get confused. If vinyl flooring doesn’t absorb water then how does it grow mold. I keep hearing you trap moisture underneath but if it isn’t absorbed then wouldn’t it either find a way to dissipate into the air or keep the concrete moist. I guess it could cause mold to materials in the room but that would be more of a humidity issue rather than the flooring itself. Especially if the vinyl flooring sat on 6mm poly. Then again you would trap moisture in concrete, which isn’t that why we use concrete underground away, it can tolerate water.

    1. Expert Member
      NICK KEENAN | | #5

      Mold will grow on impervious surfaces if there is moisture. Mold will grow on the glass of basement windows if there is condensation. I have no idea what it feeds on. I've heard that the major source of dust in a house is shed human skin so maybe the dust landing on the glass has enough nutrition.

      In humid climates, it's very common to get a layer of mold growing on the bottom foot or so of an uninsulated basement wall. That's where the wall is coldest in summer.

      I feel like a bit of a broken record, but there are four sources of moisture in basements: groundwater coming up from below, rainwater coming down from above, moisture in the soil wicking through the foundation, and moisture in the air condensing on cool surfaces.

      The first one you avoid by having drains below the level of the floor.

      The second you avoid by capturing and redirecting rainwater (gutters and downspouts); by having a rainscreen on the wall, and by having a drain to capture and redirect water that is blocked by the rainscreen.

      The third one you avoid by having a vapor barrier on your foundation wall.

      The fourth one you avoid by having a layer of insulation with an air barrier between the foundation wall and the interior, and by dehumidifying the interior.

      Any given basement might have all, some or none of these sources.

      LVT is not going to be waterproof enough to do the job of perimeter drains or rainscreen. It probably works as a vapor barrier. It probably works as an air barrier. It might have enough insulation to prevent condensation, although I have seen environments where condensation forms on top of the floor tile on humid summer days.

  4. user-6623302 | | #4

    I thing a lot of the issues depend on how it is install. I have LVT tile in my house. It is 100% glue down. No place for water to go under normal use. If you floor it over a foam backing, isn't that like putting it down on a sponge with cracks to allow moisture to seep down from above. And just do not buy this stuff from the Depot.

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