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What's the Best and Worst Solid Flooring for Wet or Moist Places

Hint: Not Wood

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What is the best type of solid flooring to install in very wet places (like basements) or semi-wet, moist places like kitchens and bathrooms?

From worst to best:

-2 - Carpeting

Yes, that's a negative number we applied. Simply, not a good idea to install carpeting in bathrooms and other wet places.

0 - Solid Wood

Solid wood flooring, particularly of the parquet or tongue-and-groove variety, will not work in below-grade environments such as basements. It's not at all recommended for bathrooms, where water is prevalent. But it can work in a kitchen.

1 - Laminate Flooring

Remarkably, this artificial product performs a notch higher than solid wood flooring in moisture test, mainly because laminate flooring has the ability to be glued together. The glued-in seams prevent water from getting in. However, remember that not all laminate is glued; some is of the lock-in variety. The main problem is that the base of laminate flooring--the stuff under the so-called "wear layer"--is will blister and essentially self-destruct the minute water touches it.

2 - Engineered Wood

Engineered wood performs better than laminate flooring because its base is of a sturdier, more water resistent plywood base. Not the thing for intense water but it will hold up in a pinch.

3 - Linoleum Tile

Linoleum is oil-based, and therefore is good against water. However, it is a composite material. Tile has seams that water can work into.

4 - Sheet Linoleum

Same issues as linoleum tile, except sheet linoleum has no seams and thus performs better.

5 - Vinyl Tile

Now we're talking water resistence. Good ol' plastic to shed water... Vinyl tile is simple to install. Only issue, again: seams. The stick-on vinyl tile has no seam adhesion properties.

7 - Ceramic and Stone Tile

Ceramic and stone tiling are often used in showers, bathtubs, pools, and more. So it's highly resistent to intense water.

6 - Sheet Vinyl

A solid surface with not a seam in sight. Hard to do much better than sheet vinyl.

8 - Concrete

Concrete would not have been a category years ago. But in recent times, people have been installing tinted and stamped concrete even indoors. Properly sealed concrete is wonderful against water.
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