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Blog Banner: Is Vinyl Flooring Waterproof?

Are All Types Of Vinyl Flooring Waterproof?

Vinyl flooring has become a popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability, aesthetic flexibility, and moisture resistance. However, not all vinyl flooring types offer the same level of water protection. In this detailed blog post, we’ll explore three common types of vinyl flooring—sheet vinyl, self-adhesive LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) strips, and click-lock LVT planks—to determine their waterproof capabilities and suggest ideal usage scenarios based on their properties.

Understanding Different Types of Vinyl Flooring

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet vinyl flooring is manufactured in large, continuous, flexible sheets—a significant factor in its superior water-resistance. Here’s what you need to know about sheet vinyl:

Construction

Sheet vinyl is composed of several layers, including a core, a print layer with the design, and a protective urethane topcoat that resists scratches and stains. The lack of seams in the product itself is where sheet vinyl shines in terms of water resistance.

Installation

It is typically installed by laying down large sheets that can cover entire or multiple areas of a room without seams, where water might seep through. The critical point in the installation is the edges—if they are not sealed correctly, water can get underneath the vinyl and into the subfloor.

Suitability

Sheet vinyl is ideal for areas with a high exposure to water, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. It’s also a good choice for any area where seamless flooring is preferable for easier cleaning and maintenance.

Self-Adhesive LVT Strips

Self-adhesive LVT strips are thin vinyl tiles or planks with an adhesive backing. Each strip is peeled and stuck onto the subfloor.

Construction

These strips are made up of layers including a vinyl core, a photographic print layer, and a wear layer on top. The adhesive layer on the back is protected by a paper backing that is removed during installation.

Installation

The ease of installation is a significant advantage here; however, because they are installed in strips or individual tiles, there are small gaps between the pieces after installation. These gaps can potentially allow water to seep through to the subfloor, especially if the floor contracts or shifts due to temperature changes.

Suitability

Self-adhesive LVT strips are best suited for low-moisture areas. They are commonly used in bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms, where there is less risk of water spillage and not in areas like bathrooms or basements.

Click Lock LVT Planks

Click-lock LVT planks feature a locking system along the edges that allows the planks to click and lock together without adhesive.

Construction

These planks are composed similarly to self-adhesive strips with a core, design layer, and wear layer. The click-lock design helps to create a tight seal between the planks, which significantly helps in preventing water from seeping through.

Installation

Click-lock LVT planks are installed over the subfloor without glue, making them somewhat easier to replace if necessary. The edges lock together tightly, but it’s still important to seal around the room’s perimeter to ensure full water resistance.

Suitability

These planks are suitable for areas with moderate to high moisture, including kitchens and bathrooms, provided the edges are properly sealed. They are also ideal for commercial spaces where water resistance is crucial but where there might also be heavy foot traffic.

Comparison of Waterproofing Capabilities

  • Sheet Vinyl: Offers excellent waterproofing capabilities due to its seamless nature. The main vulnerability comes from unsealed edges.
  • Self-Adhesive LVT Strips: These are water-resistant but not fully waterproof. The gaps between the strips can allow water to penetrate, making them unsuitable for high-moisture areas.
  • Click-Lock LVT Planks: These provide good water resistance and can be considered waterproof if the perimeter of the room is correctly sealed. They prevent water from reaching the subfloor effectively.

Recommended Room Suitability

  • Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms: Sheet vinyl and sealed click-lock LVT planks are preferred due to their superior water resistance.
  • Kitchens: Sheet vinyl and click-lock LVT planks are excellent as they can handle the occasional spill and are easy to clean. Self Adhesive Vinyl also fairs well, and personally we love Laminate in kitchens!
  • Living Areas: All types can be used, but self-adhesive LVT strips and click-lock LVT planks are often chosen for their aesthetic appeal and comfort underfoot.
  • Basements: Sheet vinyl or click-lock LVT (if the area is not prone to flooding) can work well; the choice depends on the specific moisture conditions of the basement.

In Conclusion

By understanding the distinct characteristics and installation requirements of each type of vinyl flooring, homeowners can make informed decisions about which flooring is best suited to their needs based on the room’s exposure to water. This ensures long-lasting durability and maintains the aesthetic integrity of the flooring in different home environments.

If you’re still on the hunt for new flooring, why not give us a try? Easipay Flooring offers great prices on high quality flooring, including laminate, vinyl and carpets. We also offer free underlay for carpets and laminate, and to make buying your new flooring more manageable we’ll also let you split the cost into instalments over time too, interest free! Tap the button below to get started.

Still Got Questions? Here's 10 FAQs!

Yes, sheet vinyl itself is completely waterproof because it comes in large, continuous sheets that lack seams for water to penetrate, except at the edges, which need to be properly sealed.

You can seal the edges of sheet vinyl using a silicone-based caulk. Apply the caulk around the perimeter of the room where the vinyl meets the walls to prevent water from seeping underneath.

It is not recommended to use self-adhesive LVT strips in bathrooms due to their susceptibility to water seeping through the gaps between strips. If used, extra precaution and a top layer of waterproof sealant might be necessary.

Yes, click-lock LVT planks are suitable for high-traffic areas. Their durable design and tight locking system make them a good choice for places with heavy foot traffic.

Vinyl flooring should be swept regularly to remove dirt and debris. For mopping, use a mild detergent diluted in water and make sure not to soak the floor with excessive water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners to prevent scratching the surface.

Vinyl flooring can last between 10 and 20 years, depending on the quality of the material and how well it is maintained. Sheet vinyl tends to have a longer lifespan due to its robust nature.

Yes, vinyl flooring can often be installed over existing flooring, such as old vinyl or hardwood, provided that the surface is smooth, flat, and clean. Check manufacturer recommendations to ensure compatibility.

While professional installation is recommended for the best results, especially for sheet vinyl which can be tricky to handle, many types of vinyl flooring are designed for easy, DIY installation, such as click-lock LVT planks and self-adhesive strips.

If water seeps underneath the vinyl flooring, it is important to remove the water as soon as possible. Lift the vinyl if necessary, dry the area thoroughly with fans and dehumidifiers, and replace any damaged sections of flooring.

Yes, underfloor heating can be used with vinyl flooring, but it is important to ensure that the heating system is compatible with vinyl and does not exceed the maximum temperature recommended by the flooring manufacturer.