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Is Vinyl Waterproof

Is Vinyl Waterproof?

You are finally finishing up that basement! Congratulations! However, you live in a high risk flood area… What do you do? You’ve heard about vinyl flooring, but the waterproof claims seem to good to be true…

Well, The Claims Are True!

Vinyl plank flooring is the perfect flooring solution for busy households, basements, bathrooms, and even kitchens. It has the natural, stunning look of wood, without the risk of water damage because it is waterproof! This is because vinyl flooring is backed with a PVC, waterproof material. This makes vinyl flooring impervious to spills and other wet accidents in your home.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring can come in a plank format that clicks together, glues down, or is a loose lay installation. It’s a perfect flooring for people who like to do their own home renovations. The best part? Vinyl flooring can look convincing as hardwood, stone, or even tile!

Vinyl flooring cutaway layers diagram
Vinyl Floor Layer Diagram courtesy of processsystems.sandvick.com

What Happens If I Do Have A Flood?

You should still clean up your spills and accidents. However, in the case of an extreme water incident, such as a flooded basement, you can simply leave the floor to dry on its own.

If there is several inches of standing water on the floor however, it may not go away on it’s own. We recommend using a shop vac to suck up the water and letting the floor air dry with fans afterwards.

In the circumstance where there is water sitting underneath the planks, you can easily disassemble the vinyl plank flooring – let it dry, and put it back together like new!

If your vinyl has attached underlayment, most can also dry completely and be re-installed. If you have a closed-cell underlayment, it can be re-installed after completely dried. If you have a cork underlayment, then there is a risk for mold and mildew to grow, so those are not recommended to be re-installed.

Now how is that for a waterproof flooring? But don’t take it from us, just look at this customer review:

Our basement flooded, storm water and sewage, during Superstorm Sandy. We pulled up the carpet forever and had Bestlaminate install a waterproof vinyl locking planks. We just flooded again last night and less than 24 hours later, the shop vac and fans have us almost back in order. Best home improvement decision we have ever made.”
– Stacy S.

Have a review you would like to share with us about your vinyl flooring? Write it in the comments below!

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14 comments

  1. Avatar

    Had vinyl plank flooring installed in bathroom over old sheet vinyl because no installers would remove the sheet vinyl which is glued to concrete slab. The new planks are floating on top of that old sheet vinyl. They said it added cushion. I had the toilet replaced right after the flooring was done. Today I had a plumber out because the toilet was running on and off. Found that the toilet flange was broken, the plumber who installed the toilet didn’t notice this (?) and the toilet has been slowly leaking water for a month. The plumber came out and replaced the flange but now there is water squishing up around that toilet floor flange so he left the toilet off and I called a water restoration company. They came out and using a meter like an infra red meter and said there was very little water and it was only around the toilet and would evaporate on its own in a couple days. But 12 hours later I walk into the bathroom and the water is squishing up between the planks all over the bathroom flooring. Why did the water meter test not detect the water? I know the vinyl planks won’t be damaged but the sheet vinyl has a cardboard like backing that certainly is wet now and will obviously mold. Is this not what water restoration companies take care of? Now I have to find someone to take the new flooring up and take the sheet vinyl up. The flooring is only 2 months old. Very upset with the cost and work if I can even find someone that will even take the sheet vinyl up. All this and the toilet can’t be put back in place. If I knew better I would never had had this vinyl plank floating floor installed in a bathroom. What a nightmare!

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Linda, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have with the water. If you used click floating vinyl, you will be able to re-install it, but yes, it is important to make sure the subfloor is completely dry and play before reinstalling the flooring. This goes for the concrete slab as well!

  2. Avatar
    Gregory Elliott

    What if I don’t pull the floor up and let it dry? Room flooded. Cleaned up standing water. When I walk across floor water comes through seems. I clean that up as I go. Stepping firmly several times with rags. Question is should it be able to dry on its own without pulling it all up?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Gregory, thanks for the question. It sounds like there is water beneath the planks. Unfortunately, if the water is stuck beneath the planks, there is a possibility for mold to start growing under the floor. I would recommend uninstalling the floor, letting the subfloor and vinyl dry completely and re-install the planks.

  3. Avatar
    Sandy McDonald

    I have luxury vinyl planks quick clic with separate underlayment. My dishwasher flooded under the vinyl planks, underlayment, old sheet vinyl(3 layers) causing swelling of the particle board subfloor & wood subfloor! Plank flooring was pulled up three times checking for water over a three week period. Should the (year old) vinyl planks be reinstalled or new installed?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Sandy, great question. As long as your vinyl planks didn’t suffer any mold or mildew damage, you should be able to re-install them! Just be sure all of the subfloor damage was fixed before re-installation.

  4. Avatar

    We have HydraCore Luxury Vinyl Plank in our basement installed directly over the concrete. It has an attached underlayment (not cork). We had a layer water standing on it for 8-10 hours…in the morning much of the water had disappeared with a few puddles left here and there so we are fairly certain an amount seeped into seams. We have shop vacced and are using fans/dehumidifier to try to pull out any moisture. We are unsure if we need to pull up the planks for drying or if it will dry out OK on it’s own. Any advice appreciated.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Danaca, thanks for the question. In this circumstance, I am most concerned about the potential of mold that could form under the planks if water is beneath the planks and does not dry. If the water was close to the edge, I would recommend removing the molding and pulling up one plank to see what the subfloor looks like. You should be able to easily re-install the planks. Once water gets trapped, it can create some problems! Better safe than sorry 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Just wondering. Can a heated floor system be used with vinyl flooring?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Lisa, yes you can use vinyl with a radiant floor! Just be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions on both the heating system and flooring.

  6. Avatar

    If the vinyl plank flooring has the backing attached can this still be pulled up and reinstalled if there was several inches of water?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Pat, great question! Most vinyl underlayments are “closed cell”, meaning they can dry perfectly fine and be re-installed. For vinyls with a cork underlayment attached, there is a risk or mold starting to grow in it if not dried completely, so those would not be recommended to be re-installed. We will update the article to mention this! If you have any other questions, please let us know.

  7. Avatar

    We are worried about subfloor under vinal in case of flood. We have to have one because of uneven concrete. Is the sub floor water prof? If it’s cork wouldn’t it swell like wine cork? Also did a floor with first vinal that came out 5 years ago and have a lot of separation between planks with temperatures changes. Is the new vinal different from thes issues?

    Like the concept but my husband is skeptical?

    Any advice?

    • Tyler

      Hello, that is correct, cork is not mold or mildew proof, so an extensive amount of direct moisture will cause issues. All floating floors need a controlled temperature or you will see the separating of the planks like you do on your original floor. This would be the same with any floating floor though.

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