If you live in a city or a part of the world that receives lots of rainfall and tends to be pretty moist for the better part of the year choosing a flooring that can withstand all that dampness is important.
You may also want to choose a solid flooring for a few wet places like your basement or a few semi wet places like your bathrooms and kitchens. Even though the overall quality of the flooring available today has certainly increased and improved there are some types that are way better than others in this type of climate.
The important thing you always need to keep in mind is the fact that carpeting is the worst during the wet season or if it’s too damp where you live. So, you’ll want to obviously avoid installing carpeting in any wet place. Below we will look at some of the best and worst floorings for moist places and weather. We will start with the worst and end with the best.
Solid wood flooring
Even though solid wood floors look beautiful especially the tongue and groove type. It helps to give homes a rather vintage and cozy feeling. That said wood regardless of if it has been treated and polished will not be able to withstand moisture. Wood tends to swell, rot and break when exposed to moisture for extend periods of time. This is why wood needs to be avoided in all damp places at all costs.
Laminate is an artificial product and tends to perform slightly better than wood in moist conditions. This is mainly because laminate has the ability to easily be glued together. This enables the person installing the flooring to easily make it water proof provided that glue is applied properly in between the seams. However, the thing you should remember is the fact that not all laminate tends to be glued, there are some that are locked together. The biggest problem you’ll face with laminate flooring in wet conditions is that the “wear layer” (the things under the floor) will blister, which means that if left unchanged or fixed it will self-destruct as soon as it comes in contact with water. This makes the flooring very unreliable.
Engineered wood tends to perform better than the above laminate flooring because it’s designed to be sturdier, so it’s more water resistant than a plywood base. However, it may not be able to hold strong when lots of water is splashed around it or when it has to endure months of dampness. It is also expensive, and so if it’s not going to last long then it’s a waste of money.
These are oil based tiles and because of that they are great when it comes to withstanding water. That said it is still composite material, plus the tiles have seams that the water can easily work into especially during extended periods of dampness. If you are going to install linoleum tile floors make sure to check the grout every two or three months and repair any holes or gaps you see immediately. This will help to extend the life of the flooring.
This has the same issues that linoleum has but because there are no seams they tend to perform better and require little maintenance.
Vinyl tiles are some of the most water resistant materials ever made. Made from high density plastic, they are durable, easy to install and can last through any moist spell. The only thing you need to be careful with are the seams or you can simply opt for the stick on type which has no seam issues.
Stone and ceramic tiles
These are best used in bathrooms, showers, pools, bathtubs etc. They are highly resistant to water, tend to be easily available and cheap to install.
A few years ago people thought that concrete was not water resistant which is true to some degree but in fact today’s latest concrete floors are lot better at withstanding extended periods of moisture. Tinted and stamped concrete are the most water proof around, plus they look great. However, the only thing you need to make sure of is that the concrete is properly sealed. Get it installed by an experienced & affordable flooring specialist and you should never have an issue.
Mark has been a building contractor for over thirty years. He also specializes in flooring types and installation. He currently runs his own online store selling various types of flooring materials and tools.