Best Waterproof Laminate Flooring Brands 2019

The best waterproof laminate guarantees the flooring won't absorb water when it is cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time – usually about 24 hours depending on the laminate.  

This guide to waterproof/water-resistant laminate flooring discusses the 7 best options and the technology they use to guard against water damage. Costs are included.

Here is the list of the best waterproof laminate flooring:

  • AquaGuard
  • Armstrong Audacity
  • Pergo WetProtect
  • Mohawk RevWood Plus
  • Tarkett AquaFlor
  • Dream Home X20
  • Shaw Repel

What is Waterproof Laminate?

Waterproof laminate is flooring designed to keep moisture from soaking into the material, staining it or causing it to swell and buckle.

It isn't waterproof in the same way sheet vinyl or ceramic tile is, but it offers better water-resistance than standard laminate. Some manufacturers use the term "waterproof" while others only go as far as to say their product is water resistant.

How We Decided

To make the list, the flooring has to be backed by a warranty against water damage. The best, AquaGuard laminate, has a 30-hour waterproof warranty. This means that water can be left on the floor for up to 30 hours without causing damage.

Armstrong Audacity says minor water drips can stay on the floor for 72 hours without damage. Of course, they are likely to evaporate by then.

Most other laminates in the list are backed by a 24-hour moisture warranty, when one is stated.

We examined the technology used by each product to keep out moisture. Those technologies are explained in the guide, so you can consider them for yourself.

Secondary considerations included the overall quality of the flooring, style and color options and cost. Those details are briefly discussed for each of the products on the list.

OK, with that introduction, let's dig deeper into the top 7 waterproof laminate floors.

Best Waterproof Laminate Brands

Here's an overview of the essential information found below.

Brands

Type

Warranty

Residential/Commercial

Cost/sq. ft.

AquaGuard

Waterproof

Lifetime/15

$2.69 - $2.79

Armstrong Audacity

Waterproof

Lifetime/15

$2.85 - $3.20

Pergo WetProtect

Waterproof

Lifetime/10

$2.49 - $2.99

Mohawk RevWood Plus

Waterproof

Lifetime/5

$2.50 - $3.35

AquaFlor

Water-resistant

Lifetime/10

$1.99 - $2.19

Dream Home

Water-resistant

Lifetime/None

$1.79 - $2.69

Shaw Repel

Water-resistant

30/None

$3.10 - $3.75

1. AquaGuard

AquaGuard is the clear first choice for waterproof laminate.

The name tells the story of this flooring. It guards against moisture damage longer than any other leading laminate brand.

Did you know? AquaGuard is only sold online through the Floor and Décor site. We recommend ordering samples of your favorite options before placing a full order. This is a good idea whenever ordering flooring online.

The Moisture Resistant Guarantee

AquaGuard literature says its laminate flooring "provides lifetime protection against household spills, splashes and pet accidents for up to 30 hours. It can be wet mopped or even steam mopped, so you can install it in any room of the house, including full bathrooms, kitchens and basements."

This is the kind of promise that sets AquaGuard apart from the rest of the class.

Cleaning Options

Other brands state that they can be wet mopped. None of the others say that steam mopping is allowed. This is because the steam can be forced into laminate seams where the moisture is absorbed by the core, resulting in damage.

The Technology

AquaGuard's core is non-absorbent, and that sets it apart from other waterproof laminate flooring.

Most brands use sealer on all edges to keep out moisture. But if the sealer is worn damage, the core can absorb water.

Other Key Features

  • 30 hour moisture warranty
  • AC5 commercial wear rating
  • Lifetime residential / 15-year commercial warranties
  • 12mm thick
  • Underlayment is required
  • No acclimation required – Most laminate must be brought inside for up to 4 days to allow it to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of your home before installation.

Our AquaGuard Buying Guide has more details.

AquaGuard Laminate Flooring Cost

$2.69-$2.79 per square foot for the flooring.

You’ll might also need underlayment and installation supplies. This is true for all the laminate flooring in this list.

See our Laminate Cost Guide for full details on the total cost of laminate flooring including installation.

2. Audacity by Armstrong

Armstrong Audacity Collection

Here's the clear second-best waterproof laminate.

Audacity is an Armstrong brand marketed as water-resistant flooring rather than waterproof, but it is built with technology similar to AquaGuard, our top choice for waterproof laminate. And the warranty and water-resistant guarantee are outstanding.

The Moisture Resistant Guarantee

The residential Water Block warranty states, "When properly installed, the floor will not be damaged by topical, localized spills resulting from normal household use, such as wet shoes, liquid spills, dripping while exiting a bathtub or shower, provided they are removed within 72 hours."

That's very impressive.

Audacity's nasty stuff Pet Warranty says: "We warrant that the floor will resist staining caused by pet (domestic cat or dog) stains, including urine, feces, and vomit.

It includes this warning, "However, accidents should be cleaned up immediately (within 24 hours)."

Water damage exclusions are typical: Flooding, leaking pipes and appliances, water beneath the floor and pressurized water from a hose or steam cleaner are not covered.

Cleaning Options

Wet mopping is OK. Steam cleaning isn't forbidden, but we wouldn't recommend it.

The Technology

Audacity achieves waterproof status with a rigid, non-absorbent core. That's technology borrowed from the construction of luxury vinyl tile (LVT). It's a hybrid flooring with a photographic layer like all laminate uses. This seems to be the direction the laminate industry is going – a core that isn't wood and won't absorb water. Dream Home by Lumber Liquidators, found below, is another rigid-core laminate (but its warranty isn't nearly as impressive as Audacity's and AquaGuard's.

So, here are the water-resistant features:

  • The non-absorbent rigid core
  • Multi-layer sealer applied to board edges
  • Click system that creates a very tight bond (5x better according to Audacity) to stop water penetration

Other Key Features

  • Underlayment pad is included
  • 12mm thickness
  • Lifetime residential and 15-year commercial warranties
  • AC4 commercial wear rating
  • 5 separate Audacity laminate collections, each with several gorgeous styles and colors

Audacity Laminate Flooring Cost

Audacity laminate by Armstrong costs $2.85 to $3.20 per square foot. It is available through independent flooring retailers, both local and online.

See our complete Audacity Laminate Flooring Buying Guide for comprehensive information you can use to compare this laminate to other leading brands.

3. Pergo WetProtect

Pergo TimberCraft +WetProtect Brier Creek Oak

WetProtect isn’t a single line of flooring from Pergo. It is a technology that is applied to two Pergo laminate collections:

  • Pergo Portfolio with WetProtect
  • Pergo TimberCraft with WetProtect

There are about 40 styles with WetProtect, so you have more options than with other waterproof laminate floors.

Pergo calls them, "Waterproof laminate flooring offering lifetime protection against spills, splashes — even pet accidents."

Did you know? Portfolio and TimberCraft lines are sold at Lowes. Home Depot has a line called Outlast with SpillProtect. It is the same technology, just given a different name for a different retailer.

The Moisture Resistant Guarantee

The lifetime residential warranty says the flooring "will not stain", and "will resist damage from moisture due to wet mopping and everyday household spills".

There are conditions:

A moisture test must be done on concrete to determine moisture content. If the content exceeds levels given in the instructions for your specific flooring, then a polyethylene film vapor barrier must be installed over it before laying the floor.

The perimeter of the floor must be sealed with 100% silicone sealant. The sealant must also be applied to moldings where they meet the floor surface.

You can read the full warranty here. https://pergo-cdn.azureedge.net/pdfs/Pergo_Portfolio_WetProtect_Warranty.pdf

Cleaning Options

Wet mopping is allowed. Steam clean Pergo WetProtect at your own risk. The warranty expressly states that damage caused by a "steamer" is not covered in the warranty.

Pergo also says, "DO NOT pour liquid directly on floor or use an excessively wet mop that will puddle or leave moisture standing on the floor.

The Technology

There are three parts to the WetProtect / SpillProtect innovation.

  1. 1
    Uniclic plank locking that prevents moisture penetration
  2. 2
    Hydroseal sealant on all perimeter edges
  3. 3
    GenuEdge that wraps the wear layer around the edges for maximum moisture protection

The full details of how this technology is guaranteed to prevent water damage are found in our comprehensive Pergo Laminate Buying Guide.

Other Key Features

  • AC-4 wear rating
  • Lifetime residential and 10-year light commercial warranties
  • SpillProtect laminate has attached underlayment; WetProtect laminate does not.
  • 10mm and 12mm thick options
  • ScratchGuard Advanced wear layer offers superior resistance to scratches

Pergo Waterproof Laminate Flooring Cost

This Pergo laminate cost ranges from $2.49 to $2.99.

There is much more information in our Pergo Laminate Buying Guide.

4. Mohawk RevWood Plus

Mohawk RevWood Plus

The RevWood Plus like from Mohawk is manufactured with the same waterproof technology as the Pergo WetProtect and SpillProtect laminate.

Did you know? Mohawk owns Pergo. That is the reason they use the same technology. In 2012, Pergo was in financial difficulty due to poor management, and Mohawk bought the brand.

Apart from using the same waterproof technology, the brands have similar but different styles and looks. There are nearly 30 options in RevWood Plus.

The Moisture Resistant Guarantee

The Mohawk warranty says, "The RevWood Plus™ flooring system (flooring with sealant) is backed with a Lifetime Waterproof Flooring System Warranty and an All Pet Warranty."

About the waterproof flooring system, Mohawk says, "The RevWood Plus flooring system will resist moisture damage under normal use."

The nasty stuff All Pet Warranty is much like Audacity's: "The RevWood Plus Flooring system will resist moisture, including vomit, urine, and feces, from all domestic pets."

Exclusions to the waterproof guarantee include flooding, plumbing leaks and a subfloor such as concrete with a high moisture content when no underlayment is used.

Follow the installation instructions closely, and you should not have any concerns about water damage to your Mohawk RevWood Plus laminate flooring.

Cleaning Options

RevWood Plus can be wet mopped. Steam cleaning is forbidden for standard RevWood, the non-waterproof laminate. However, while not strictly forbidden for the Plus flooring, we wouldn't recommend taking the risk.

The Technology

See the section above on Pergo waterproof laminate. It involves water-resistant top layer, sealed edges and uniquely tight locking system.

Other Key Features

  • Lifetime residential warranty, 5-year commercial warranty
  • The residential warranty is prorated, which is true for many laminate flooring warranties
  • AC4 wear-resistance rating
  • 28 style/color options in RevWood Plus
  • Planks for the various styles are either 10mm or 12mm thick

Mohawk RevWood Plus Laminate Flooring Cost

The Mohawk RevWood Plus cost is $2.50 to $3.35 per square foot. More details are included in our complete Mohawk Laminate Buying Guide.

5. Tarkett AquaFlor

Tarkett Aquaflor Aged Oak

AquaFlor is sold exclusively at Menards and is one of the most affordable waterproof laminate flooring.

There are a limited number of options for style and color. If you have a Menards nearby, it's worth stopping in to see if any of the styles fit your design plans.

The Moisture Resistant Guarantee

According to Tarkett, "Aquaflor is backed with a 24-hour moisture protection warranty - it will not be damaged by everyday spills provided they are removed within 24 hours."

Cleaning Options

The recommendation is to wipe up spills with a dry cloth and use a "lightly damp mop" when necessary.

The AquaFlor Care and Maintenance Guide warns, "Do not use excessive water when cleaning."

While no prohibition is given, you probably should avoid wet mopping and steam cleaning.

The Technology

Tarkett uses an angle-drop locking system to tightly join planks and prevent moisture from seeping into the seams.

Other Key Features

  • 10mm thick planks
  • No attached pad
  • AC4 commercial wear rating
  • Slip resistant surface
  • Lifetime residential and 10-year commercial warranties

AquaFlor Laminate Flooring Cost

Tarkett AquaFlor laminate at Menards costs $1.99 to $2.19 per square foot.

See our Tarkett Laminate Buying Guide for other options from this leading laminate manufacturer.

6. Dream Home X20

Dream Home X2O Water-Resistant 14mm Nordic Fog Oak

This waterproof laminate flooring is distributed exclusively by Lumber Liquidators.

Jay Quickel, VP of merchandising for Lumber Liquidators claims it offers "twice the water resistance of standard laminates."

There are about 10 moisture-resistant styles available.

The Moisture Resistant Guarantee

Dream Home laminate is not warrantied against any type of moisture. That's why it's at the bottom of our list.

The warranty states under "What's Not Covered": Damages caused by moisture (such as leaking pipes, spills, wet mopping, pets, relative humidity, subfloor moisture etc.) are excluded.

Cleaning Options

Gentle spray and mop cleaning using a pH neutral product is recommended.

Wet mopping Dream Home laminate voids the warranty. Steam cleaning isn't mentioned in the warranty, but we do not recommend it. It is almost certain that Lumber Liquidators would deny a warranty claim about damage caused by steam cleaning.

The Technology

Lumber Liquidators builds Dream Home X20 laminate with a non-absorbent core, so the potential for swelling and water damage are greatly reduced.

Other Key Features

  • 10mm, 12mm and 14mm thicknesses
  • 14mm planks include attached pad
  • AC5 wear rating
  • Lifetime residential warranty; no commercial warranty

Dream Home Laminate Flooring Cost

The cost of Lumber Liquidators X20 laminate in 10mm, 12mm and 14mm thickness is $1.79 to $2.69.

See our Dream Home Laminate Buying Guide for pricing for each thickness and much more information.

7. Shaw Repel

Shaw Repel Pinnacle Port Plus

Shaw Repel water-resistant laminate is a top seller from this leading brand.

The selection is one of the best with more than 50 options across the style and color range.

The Moisture Resistant Guarantee

The warranty is shorter than those for other waterproof laminate flooring. There is no commercial warranty.

Here are specific claims made in the warranty: "Shaw warrants that Repel…will resist damage from moisture due to normal cleaning practices [and] everyday household spills."

As with most water-resistant laminate warranties, exclusions including flooding, plumbing leaks, continuous water exposure and water coming from underneath the floor.

If you're installing Shaw Repel over a concrete subfloor, you should first install a moisture barrier.

All the details are here in the warranty. https://docs.google.com/gview?url=https://shawfloors.com/documents/repel+laminate+warranty/1078

Cleaning Options

Because wet mopping isn't recommended, Shaw Repel is further down our list than the products above. Steam use is forbidden. Wet mopping isn't specifically mentioned.

The Care and Maintenance Guide says, "For best results, utilize a dry-damp sponge mop or microfiber mop and a neutral pH cleaner…by spray-misting the mop with the cleaner."

The Technology

The Repel wear layer is waterproof, but the seams are not.

Instead, the flooring relies on a tight locking system to keep out moisture.

Other Key Features

  • 30-year residential warranty
  • No commercial warranty.
  • Planks are 12mm thick
  • A polyethylene vapor barrier, minimum 6 mil, must be installed over concrete

Shaw Repel Laminate Flooring Cost

Repel is one of the more expensive brands in our list, but it doesn’t offer the same level of water protection as the top choices.

Shaw Repel laminate cost is $3.10-$3.75 per square foot.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to know what each brand means by saying its laminate is "waterproof" or "water-resistant". Understanding the warranties and Cleaning and Care guides is important too.

In short, research a floor carefully before deciding it is the right choice for your home. Our Guides on each laminate brand are a great source of the condensed research you might be looking for.

Our complete Laminate Pros, Cons & Buying Guide is another source. For detailed pricing information, see our Ultimate Laminate Flooring Cost Guide.

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