Flooring For High Traffic Areas: What is the most durable waterproof flooring?

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Written By Maisie Steele

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High traffic areas in homes or commercial spaces require flooring that can withstand constant footfalls, abrasions, and potential spills. Selecting the right flooring for such spaces is crucial to ensure longevity and aesthetics.

Let’s explore the options available and delve into the qualities of the most durable waterproof flooring. When it comes to high traffic areas, durability, ease of maintenance, and resistance to wear are paramount.

 Flooring options to consider:

  • Porcelain Tile: Porcelain tiles are known for their exceptional durability. They are extremely dense, making them resistant to cracks, chips, and stains. They’re also moisture-resistant, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor high traffic areas. Additionally, porcelain tiles come in a variety of styles that mimic natural stone or wood, providing a versatile aesthetic.
  • Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT): LVT is an excellent choice for high traffic areas due to its durability, water resistance, and low maintenance requirements. It can mimic the look of hardwood, stone, or tile while offering better resistance to wear and tear. LVT is also comfortable underfoot and can be an economical alternative to natural materials.
  • Concrete Flooring: Concrete is a robust option for high traffic areas. It can be polished, stained, or stamped to create various aesthetic effects. While it might not provide the warmth of other options, it offers unparalleled durability and can be sealed to resist stains and moisture.
  • Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Traditional hardwood might not be ideal due to its vulnerability to moisture. However, engineered hardwood is designed to be more resistant to moisture and can perform well in high traffic areas. It consists of layers of wood with a top layer of hardwood veneer, providing the desired aesthetics with added durability.
  • Ceramic Tile: Ceramic tiles are another durable option for high traffic spaces. They are water-resistant and come in various designs, patterns, and textures. Proper installation and maintenance are key to maximizing their longevity.

What is the Most Durable Waterproof Flooring?

When it comes to waterproof flooring, durability and resistance to water damage are critical factors. The most durable waterproof flooring options include:

  • Porcelain Tile: As mentioned earlier, porcelain tile is highly durable and water-resistant, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor high traffic areas. It’s an excellent choice for spaces that are prone to moisture and spills.
  • Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT):LVT’s water resistance and durability also make it a top contender for most durable waterproof flooring. It can handle high traffic and moisture-prone areas without warping or deteriorating.
  • Concrete Flooring: While not traditionally thought of as waterproof, properly sealed concrete can be highly resistant to water damage. It’s a robust option for areas that require both durability and water resistance.
  • Epoxy Flooring: Epoxy is a seamless, highly durable, and waterproof flooring option often used in commercial spaces. It’s resistant to chemicals, stains, and water, making it suitable for garages, warehouses, and even some indoor high traffic areas.

Comparison of What Flooring is 100% Waterproof:

  • Porcelain Tile: While highly water-resistant, porcelain tile is not 100% waterproof due to the grout lines between tiles. These grout lines can potentially allow water to seep through over time.
  • Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT): LVT comes close to being 100% waterproof as its core materials are impervious to water. However, seams between individual planks or tiles can create vulnerable areas if not properly sealed during installation.
  • Waterproof Laminate Flooring: Some laminate flooring products are marketed as waterproof. They have water-resistant cores and sealed edges to prevent water infiltration. However, they might not be as consistently waterproof as other options.
  • Epoxy Flooring: Epoxy flooring, when properly installed and sealed, can offer 100% waterproof protection. It creates a seamless, impermeable surface that’s resistant to water.


1: What makes a flooring option suitable for high traffic areas?

A: High traffic areas require flooring with exceptional durability, resistance to wear, and ease of maintenance. Water resistance is also important, especially in spaces prone to spills or moisture.

2: Can hardwood flooring be used in high traffic areas?

A: Traditional hardwood might not be the best choice due to its susceptibility to moisture and wear. Engineered hardwood, however, can perform better in high traffic areas due to its enhanced durability and resistance to moisture.

3: Are waterproof laminate floors as durable as other options?

A: While waterproof laminate floors offer good resistance to water, they might not be as durable as options like porcelain tile or LVT in high traffic areas. The durability depends on the quality of the laminate and proper installation.

4: Is natural stone a good choice for high traffic areas?

A: Natural stone, such as granite or slate, can be durable but might require regular sealing to maintain water resistance. It can be a suitable choice with proper maintenance.

5: Can I install waterproof flooring myself?

A: DIY installation is possible for some waterproof flooring types, but it’s recommended to hire professionals, especially for intricate spaces or large areas, to ensure proper installation and longevity.

6: How do I maintain waterproof flooring in high traffic areas?

A: Regular cleaning using manufacturer-recommended methods, promptly addressing spills, and using area rugs or mats in high traffic zones can help maintain the appearance and durability of waterproof flooring.

7: Can I use waterproof flooring in bathrooms and kitchens?

A: Yes, waterproof flooring is well-suited for bathrooms and kitchens due to their resistance to water and spills. However, ensure proper installation and sealing to prevent water from seeping underneath.

8: Is epoxy flooring only for industrial spaces?

A: While epoxy flooring is commonly used in industrial settings, it’s also gaining popularity in residential spaces due to its durability and customizable aesthetic options.


Choosing the right flooring for high traffic areas involves considering factors like durability, water resistance, maintenance, and aesthetics. Porcelain tile, luxury vinyl flooring, concrete, and engineered hardwood are all excellent options, with each offering a balance between performance and style. While 100% waterproof flooring might not be achievable in all cases due to seams or grout lines, options like LVT and epoxy flooring come close to providing the desired waterproof qualities. Always prioritize proper installation and maintenance to maximize the lifespan of your chosen flooring type.

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