The 5 best water-resistant flooring options for South African homes

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The 5 best water-resistant flooring options for South African homes

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Industasia의 인더스트리얼 , 인더스트리얼
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It’s no secret that areas of the home prone to dampness, wetness and high moisture levels pose challenges for flooring, seeing as so many flooring materials are prone to mould and rot. 

As a general rule, floor coverings made from inorganic materials (like synthetic plastics) are better than floorings that contain organic materials (which technically refers to any material that is carbon-based and was once living, but when used to describe flooring materials, it usually denotes plant-based materials like solid hardwood, bamboo, etc.). 

Waterproof flooring is the latest trend, both for residential houses and commercial spaces. But which flooring options are the best when it comes to being water-resistant while also flaunting a fabulous design?

Glad you asked…

1. Floor for living rooms: Sealed concrete

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Sealing should be done periodically if you have a concrete patio, garage, or even an indoor space like a living room. Waterproofing concrete surfaces means protection against the elements, creating a barrier that fights water while also allowing trapped water vapours to escape. This significantly decreases the chances of mould and mildew. 

Two types of concrete sealers are available: film-forming sealers and penetrating sealers. Film-forming sealer protects the concrete with a layer of acrylic, epoxy, or urethane on the surface. This option can be picked up at most home improvement stores and ensures a wet look or high-gloss finish. Keep in mind that since it wears out easier, it’ll have to be reapplied more often. 

Penetrating sealer permeates the concrete, forming a chemical barrier. Typical substances used include silanes, siloxanes, silicates, and siliconates. This type may need to be purchased from a speciality dealer and could be more costly, yet it also lasts much longer (maybe even a lifetime) and won’t alter the concrete’s appearance. 

homify hint: Sealer can’t be applied to new concrete. Give the concrete at least one month to cure completely before sealing it. 

2. Floor for kitchens: Vinyl

Sheet vinyl remains one of the best, as it’s a 100% waterproof solid surface with very few (if any) seams that allow water to penetrate to the substrate. Another great advantage is that it can easily resemble higher-end (and more expensive-looking) flooring options. Plus, it has a pleasant underfoot sensation and can be installed over existing flooring. 

Keep in mind that a professional or experienced DIYer is recommended for the installation, as a poor installation job can make a vinyl floor look cheap. 

3. Floor for bathrooms: Marble tile

As one of the best natural stone tiles available, marble has a myriad of advantages – aside from the fact that it’s water-resistant, of course, seeing as it stands up so well to moisture and humidity. 

Think of other amazing benefits like the fact that marble is extremely durable, that it’s available in so many different kinds of designs and colours, that there are so many different textures to choose from, and that it lends a deluxe look to any space. 

However, with that high-class look comes a price to match, so keep in mind that marble is on the higher end of the cost spectrum, and that it requires regular cleaning and sealing to keep it looking (and functioning) better for longer. 

4. Floor for bedrooms: Waterproof carpet tile

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Waterproof carpet tiles are the ideal solution for anyone who loves that look of a well-carpeted floor, but who also want to ensure that their floors don’t become mouldy or damp. This flooring option is an inorganic waterproof carpet tile that ensures a waterproof gap between the bottom floor and carpet part of the tiles. This helps any moisture seeping through the concrete floor to circulate underneath the carpet tile and eventually dry out.

Waterproof carpet tiles are also designed to be long lasting, durable,100% waterproof and easy to clean. In addition, they are also available in various colours, meaning you are bound to find the perfect option to complement your interior look and –style. 

5. Floor for outdoor areas: WPC

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Wood Plastic Composite flooring (also known as WPC) is a laminate product that ensures greater durability, a beautiful sheen, plus a waterproof quality against spills and moisture – the ideal solution for a bathroom! 

WPC is laminated by pressing together wood and plastic layers with adhesives. While the top and bottom layers are plastic that provide water protection, the interior layers alternate between wood and plastic in some cases. 

Standard laminate flooring requires “expansion gaps” around the perimeter to account for environmental factors like air temperature and moisture. But since WPC is a waterproof floating floor material, no expansion gaps are required, meaning a much easier and more efficient installation process.  

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by IRIS C. - homify
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