Waterproof Laminate: what is it?

Water has always been the bane of existence for floorboards since the beginning. Any timber based flooring is known to absorb water and rot, swell, mould and ultimately require repairing. Although water resistant technology has evolved over time, is it too bold to hope for waterproof laminate flooring?

Of course not! But there is a difference to look out for when considering waterproof laminate. You may have heard turn of phrases like ‘100% waterproof surface’ or ‘water resistant’. But is this the same as waterproof? Here’s the difference:

Waterproof and water-resistant laminate are made like traditional laminate flooring, but with a slight difference in the core layer. The core layer which is typically made of compressed high-density fibre (HDF) is where the most waterproof and water-resistant qualities live. However, there is still a considerable difference between the two:

Waterproof laminate means that water will never be able to penetrate the flooring. No amount of spills or moisture content will ever harm your floors.

Water-resistant laminate typically means that there is a top surface that is highly resistant to moisture (hence the name). So if you can’t get to a spill straight away, the water-resistance does allow you some time before it soaks through; But, it will soak in eventually.

Layers to Laminate flooring

Unlike other types of flooring which is often constructed of a single layer, laminate flooring is made up of four layers, each with their own distinctive purpose. The four laminate flooring layers and their characteristics are Backing layer, Substrate layer, Pattern layer and Wear layer.

The backing layer acts and serves as the foundation on the bottom of laminate floors. More than anything else, the backing layer works to protect both the laminate itself and the subflooring.

The substrate layer (also known as the inner core) offers additional protection, strengthening the security already provided by the backing layer.

The Pattern layer (also known as the image layer) is where the finish of laminate flooring will be applied, giving your flooring the signature look that you want. It is also possible for texture to be given to the pattern layer, giving your finish an added layer of authenticity.

Lastly, but most importantly, the Wear layer. This is the top layer of laminate flooring and is the section that will be required to stand up to every day usage. The wear layer is constructed in such a way that makes it resistant to colour fading, scrapes and scratches and any other type of damage that can be the result of everyday use. The thicker the wear layer is, the better the quality and durability of the new floors.