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Your Ultimate Guide to Waterproof Flooring

As the original creator of 100% waterproof, kidproof, petproof luxury vinyl plank and tile floors, COREtec has put together this ultimate guide to waterproof flooring to help shed some light on the following topics:

  • The main differences between waterproof and water-resistant floors
  • Why the benefits of waterproof flooring should matter to you 
  • Where and how to properly install your waterproof floors 
  • Which COREtec floors are the perfect fit for your home or business 

We’re here to help you make informed decisions about your flooring investment and which options best meet the needs of your space.

What are the Differences Between Waterproof & Water-Resistant Flooring?

If you’ve done some research on hard surface flooring, you’ve likely come across "water-resistant" and "waterproof" performance claims. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there's a significant difference between the two when it comes to the level of protection each provides. 


Let's clear up any confusion: 

  • Water-resistant flooring can withstand limited exposure to water, spills, or moisture without causing immediate damage. However, prolonged exposure may still cause these floors to damage over time, as they are not designed with a waterproof core. Hardwood and laminate are great examples of floors that can have water-resistant features but may not be suitable for areas prone to frequent spills and accidents or higher levels of moisture or humidity.
  • Waterproof flooring, on the other hand, provides a superior level of protection against moisture, humidity, spills and accidents. Hydrophobic finishes, waterproof cores and innovative locking technologies create a tight, protective barrier that prevents water or other liquids from seeping through to the subfloor and causing damage or odors. Waterproof luxury vinyl floors are perfect for areas prone to spills, accidents, moisture or humidity, like kitchens, entryways, playrooms, pet spaces, bathrooms and basements (or anywhere you want extra protection from water-related mishaps). 

Why Should the Benefits of Waterproof Flooring Matter to You?

A bottle spill kept on the surface of vinyl flooring thanks to COREtec’s waterproof technology.

When you choose waterproof flooring from COREtec, you're investing in a premium vinyl flooring experience. Here are the advantages that make COREtec waterproof floors a game-changer for your home or business:

  • Moisture Resistance: Spills and accidents happen, but with waterproof vinyl flooring, you won't have to worry about liquids seeping into your floor or subfloors and causing damage or odors. You can easily clean liquids and messes without leaving any traces behind. 
  • Scratch Protection: Thanks to our industry-leading finishes all COREtec floors offer scuff resistance and our Scratchless styles offer best-in-class scratch protection backed by a 30-year residential scratch warranty thanks to our mineral core and proprietary scratch coating. 
  • Comfort: COREtec offers premium luxury vinyl flooring made from quality materials that enhance comfort and quiet in your space. Our Originals collection features our thickest constructions designed for increased warmth underfoot and reduced noise. Styles featuring our attached Soft Step underlayment provide our best solutions for comfort, warmth and quiet. 
  • Durability: Our luxury vinyl floors are designed to protect against everyday wear and tear. All COREtec floors can handle the hustle and bustle of a busy household with ease. Our Pro collection is specially designed for high-traffic areas and can withstand the demands of light commercial spaces. 
  • Realistic Wood & Tile Designs: COREtec offers a wide range of stunning designs that mimic the beauty of natural hardwood and tile & stone. You can enjoy the desired aesthetics of wood or tile & stone without complicated, expensive installation or care & maintenance concerns
  • Easy Cleaning & Maintenance: Taking care of waterproof luxury vinyl plank flooring is a breeze. Regular sweeping and mopping with a PH-neutral cleaner like our Encore floor cleaner are all it takes to keep your floors looking great. Please refer to our care and maintenance guidelines for proper use and additional information. 
  • Versatility: Whether you're looking to install waterproof flooring in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or any other residential or light commercial space, COREtec has you covered at every step. Shop by collection or shop by performance needs.

Where Can Waterproof Flooring Be Installed?

A person loading a dishwasher with Coretec vinyl flooring visible

The versatility of waterproof vinyl flooring knows no bounds! COREtec floors are suitable for a variety of spaces, including:

  • Kitchens: With waterproof floors in your kitchen, you can cook up a storm without worrying about spills and splashes. Our Pro collection is great for high-traffic spaces like your kitchen, and guards against dents & impacts.
  • Bathrooms: Say goodbye to moisture-related woes in the bathroom. When properly installed over correct subfloor conditions, waterproof flooring ensures your floors remain in pristine condition. If you enjoy the look of tile in a bathroom (we don’t blame you), give our Tile collection a look – it saves time, money and hassle with easy, grout-free installation.
  • Living Areas & Bedrooms: From the living room to your bedroom, our luxury vinyl flooring planks add a touch of elegance while providing ultimate protection. If you want cozy comfort in these spaces, our Originals styles are famous for their sound control and warmth underfoot. And if you want to crank the comfort dial even further, check out our premium Soft Step styles.
  • Dining Rooms or Home Offices: Dining rooms have long been an area prone to scratches and scuffs where your floor may need extra protection. Home offices have been on the rise since the pandemic and can be susceptible to scratches from desk chairs or cabinets with wheels. Our Scratchless collection offers best-in-class scratch protection backed by a 30-year residential scratch warranty.
  • Basements: Transform your basement into a functional living space with our waterproof luxury vinyl plank flooring that’s ideal for areas with fluctuating humidity levels. Durability is the name of the game when it comes to basements, so try out our extra-tough Pro styles in this space.
  • Entryways: Keep mud and water at bay by installing waterproof floors at your home's entry points. Spaces like these tend to go through the ringer, especially when it comes to scratches. Try our PVC-free Scratchless styles for extra scratch resistance in this space.
  • Second Stories & Multi-Level Spaces: Keep the sounds made upstairs where they belong – upstairs! COREtec Originals styles are constructed with air pockets in their core, giving these floors more “bounce back” from footsteps and helping with sound absorption. Styles featuring our Soft Step underlayment are even quieter. In fact, when tested, they rated 70% better for sound absorption than other luxury vinyl flooring options.
  • Light Commercial Spaces: Your small business probably gets more foot traffic than your home. COREtec Pro styles can handle it! With a dense, compact rigid core and overall durable construction, these floors are as rugged as any good pair of boots – and they’re made for walkin’.

Regardless of where you install your COREtec floors, you can breathe easy knowing all our products are GREENGUARD Gold certified for indoor air quality and designed for the well-being of people, pets & planet

How to Install Waterproof Flooring

Whether you DIY or hire a professional, installing COREtec’s waterproof vinyl flooring is significantly easier than other hard surface options, like hardwood or tile, that require nails, grout or messy adhesives. COREtec floors require no acclimation period and minimal subfloor prep, so you can install and live on your new floors in the same day. We provide detailed installation guidelines and video tutorials to ensure a hassle-free experience. If you prefer professional installation, find a local flooring retailer near you.

Shop COREtec Waterproof Flooring

We hope this ultimate guide to waterproof flooring has clarified the difference between water-resistant and waterproof flooring and provided education on the numerous benefits of investing in COREtec luxury vinyl floors.


Shop by collection or shop by your performance needs to browse our wide assortment of waterproof luxury vinyl planks and tiles. Experience first-hand the beauty, durability and peace of mind that only COREtec’s 100% waterproof, kidproof, petproof floors can provide.