As homes are beginning to dry out, it’s time to start considering your flooring options: Do you replace your flooring with the same pre-flood materials, or is it time to consider other practical flooding alternatives that may be better equipped to hold-up in flood-prone areas? While there’s no true perfect choice for waterproof flooring, there are a variety of alternatives that can provide higher levels of water resistance with minimal maintenance. Here’s an overview of some of the most common flooring options available on the market and how they hold-up in flood-prone areas. Wood + Laminate Wood and laminate flooring is extremely porous, meaning they are often permanently damaged in the event of a flood. Engineered wood and laminate, although less dense and more moisture resistant, are still not recommended for use in flood-prone areas. Vinyl + Linoleum Vinyl and linoleum flooring, which have an easy-to clean surface that is resistant to mold and mildew, are available in rolls, tiles or planks and is usually adhered using a latex flooring adhesive. Rolled vinyl flooring has the least number of seams, making it the least likely to have water seeping through to the subfloor. If saturated with water, vinyl and linoleum have to be removed as the adhesive can serve as a breeding ground for mold growth. Luxury Vinyl Tile Luxury vinyl tile is a great option where moisture is concerned. Easy to clean and install using a waterproof adhesive, luxury vinyl tiles can withstand damage from standing water for a limited time. If any portion of tiles become damaged, simply cut the affected tiles out and replace them with spares. Ceramic + Porcelain Tiles Ceramic and porcelain tiles are one of the most water-resistant flooring options available on the market, absorbing only 1 to 2 percent of standing water. In many cases, water cleanup can occur with little to no damage to your installed flooring because its limited permeability prevents water from seeping down and causing significant damage to your subfloor. To determine if there is any water damage present, homeowners should still remove one or two tiles from the affected area to inspect the state of the subfloor underneath. Because they’re made of stone, tile floors require little upkeep and remain nice and cool—a great feature for our South Louisiana climate. Carpeting Carpeting remains one of the most popular and inexpensive flooring choices for livable spaces within the home. However, dealing with carpeting damaged by water following a flood can be a real challenge, with the biggest challenge being the carpet pad. The carpet pad acts as a large sponge and will absorb large amounts of water, making it the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Treated Concrete Treated concrete has a coating applied to it, most commonly a stain or epoxy. Concrete stains, similar to wood stains, add color and depth to the floor’s surface. Epoxy coatings are commonly used in garages due to their resistance to oil and other solvent spills. When professionally sealed, treated concrete floors are a moisture-resistant and highly durable flooring option.
We know replacing your flooring can be overwhelming—we want to help you reduce cost and stress by selecting a flooring material that is not only durable and low-maintenance but also water-resistant and easy to replace in case of water damage due to flooding. Visit our full-service Flooring & Design Center showroom to see our large selection of premier tile, wood, natural stone, vinyl, laminate and carpet options. Our professional design and installation specialists are here to help you select the flooring solution that’s right for your home. Call to schedule your free in-home measurement and estimate today.