Waterproof, Water-Resistant – What’s the Difference?


You will often hear the terms “waterproof” and “water-resistant” describing a wide variety of products.  People will even use them interchangeably.  But, there is a distinct difference between the two – knowing the difference and choosing your product accordingly can prevent surprises down the road.  Surprises like feeling your shirt wet after you remove the rain jacket you thought would keep it dry, finding cracks in the lumber you carefully chose to install a lasting porch railing or discovering mildew along the edges of your bathroom floor.


Waterproof – A product is called waterproof if it is truly impervious to water.  No amount of contact with water should penetrate or affect a product that is labeled waterproof. 


Water-Resistant – A product can be labeled water-resistant if it is able to repel water but only to a certain point.  Water resistant products have a threshold – usually of pressure or length of exposure – after which water will seep in or through.


In the case of flooring, some flooring is truly waterproof, such as many Luxury Vinyl Plank and Tile products.  When water is spilled on the surface, it will bead up and form a puddle that can then be easily wiped away.  Water-resistant flooring may also have this characteristic but if the puddle is left the water will gradually seep into the flooring and cause damage.  In rooms where spills are likely – such as kitchens, bathrooms, pet areas or children’s dining spaces – waterproof flooring is an excellent choice!  If you want to learn more about the options available in waterproof flooring contact us at Floor Zone!