Quick Guide To Waterproof Hardwood Flooring
Overview: Hardwood floors
Hardwood floors are great in almost every aspect except one – they aren't waterproof! Untreated solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring can withstand droplets of water; however, large quantities of water destroy the structural integrity causing swelling, warping, and bloating. Water is not the friend of wood. In worst-case scenarios, you may have to deal with rot and mould problems that require a new floor.
If you don’t have time to wipe every single spill, clean immediately after accidents or track in snow, wood flooring may not be the best option for you. The same applies if you have undetected moisture problems. For many years, wood floor lovers have been forced to choose other less attractive but waterproof flooring options like laminate. Not anymore!
Definition: Waterproof hardwood flooring
In case you are wondering what waterproof hardwood floors are, the floors are actually made of natural hardwood but enhanced to make them impervious to liquids. Technological advancements explored by renowned floor manufacturers like Shaw have allowed hardwood floors to feature an SPC (stone polymer composite) core making them waterproof.
The floors feature real wood on the top layer and a waterproof core. The flooring also has a protective finish that prevents water infiltration and typical wear and tear like scuffing and scratching.
Benefits of waterproof hardwood floors
There are many pros of choosing waterproof hardwood flooring over other floors. The most notable include:
- Waterproof benefits: As mentioned above, hardwood floors have one main weakness i.e., they aren’t waterproof. With waterproof hardwood flooring now available today, those who love hardwood floors don’t need to worry again about water damage. The flooring gives hardwood floor lovers unmatched peace of mind regardless of where the floor is installed.
- Natural beauty: While many people have been going for hardwood flooring alternatives because they are waterproof, there have been numerous complaints on beauty. Hardwood alternatives don't look as good as natural hardwood. The rich lustre of real hardwood can't be matched by "fake" wood flooring alternatives. No wonder homeowners pay a fortune for homes with hardwood floors.
- Versatility: You can install waterproof hardwood floors anywhere in your house, including the kitchen, laundry room, as well as in an elegant master bathroom because the floor is waterproof. The floor doesn't restrict you as typical hardwood flooring would. Most importantly, if you choose reputable waterproof hardwood flooring brands like Shaw, you have 30+ flooring varieties to choose from their Floorte collection.
- Authenticity: The flooring also looks and feels authentic. Unlike laminate and vinyl flooring, which mimic wood, waterproof hardwood floors are made of real hardwood plus a waterproof core. You can rest knowing that you have installed the "real thing" not fake wood flooring.
- Quieter floor: Unlike other wood-like waterproof floors, waterproof hardwood floors are quieter because they are made of real hardwood as opposed to plastic and other synthetic materials that are incredibly noisy with foot traffic.
- Increased durability: Waterproof hardwood floor brands like Shaw have been designed to resist scuffing and related damage. Shaw’s ScufResist Platinum tech increases protection against everyday wear and tear. Shaw has also engineered Floorte waterproof hardwood floors that have a superior core resistance to impact. The floor can withstand heavy furniture and related stresses better than typical hardwood floors.
- Easy installation: The entire Shaw Floorte waterproof hardwood floor collection is installed by floating. Provided the existing surface is hard, level, dry and clean, the Shaw engineered waterproof hardwood floors are floating floors.
Cons of waterproof hardwood floors
Like any other flooring, there are cons to look out for when you decide to install waterproof hardwood flooring. These cons include:
Higher cost: Waterproof hardwood flooring is more expensive than conventional hardwood flooring. However, the higher cost is justified considering you’ll never worry about water damage. You also enjoy more benefits, such as those discussed above.
Limited variety: While there are many choices to consider when you select brands like Shaw, there can’t be as many as those offered by traditional wood floors.
Can you waterproof your existing wood flooring?
If you have wood flooring or hardwood flooring, you may be wondering if you can make it waterproof. Well, the answer lies in what you mean by waterproof. Most homeowners mistake water resistance to mean waterproof.
Waterproof vs. Water-resistant flooring
Most wood and hardwood floors have a water-resistant finishing. Vanished and lacquered wood floors are actually water-resistant. In fact, they are more water-resistant compared to oil-finished floors. Water-resistance doesn't stop water from seeping into the wood. Making wood flooring waterproof (resistant to water penetration completely) is a daunting task.
There are products you can buy to protect your flooring from water. However, most of these products will only make your floor resist water penetration to a certain degree, not entirely. Water-resistant hardwood floors can resist water damage from occasional spills. However, they can't resist penetration when the presence of water is frequent or prolonged.
In a nutshell, you can make your wood floor water resistant easily using readily available water-resistant products in the market today, such as lacquer, varnish, stain and sealant combination, linseed oil, and tung oil. You should sand and clean the wood floor thoroughly before applying the above products as directed by the manufacturer.
On the other hand, waterproofing hardwood flooring isn't a DIY affair. You won't be able to make natural wood floors completely waterproof. Water-resistant wood floors may repel water for a while, but sooner or later, water will penetrate. The importance of wiping spills immediately can't, therefore, be overlooked if you have typical wood or hardwood floors.
If you just want flooring that will keep water from penetrating for a few minutes, typical hardwood and wood floors will work great. However, if you are looking for hardwood flooring that will keep off water from penetrating, waterproof hardwood flooring comes highly recommended. Besides enjoying the peace of mind associated with flooring that won't get damaged easily by water, you'll enjoy all the other benefits discussed above, ranging from quitter flooring to authentic hardwood flooring, increased durability, natural beauty, and more.
While there are many hardwood flooring brands selling waterproof floors. Shaw stands out the most. Shaw’s Floorte waterproof hardwood floors (engineered hardwood) stand out for all the above benefits as well as a lifetime warranty that is a testament to quality. You can buy the floors at Word of Mouth Floors, Richmond, BC.