How Different Types of Flooring React to Water Damage

Water damage to your home or business is not something anyone wants to experience. Below we have listed some different types of hard surface flooring, outlining how each one reacts to water damage to help you learn more about which kind of flooring is more resistant to water damage and which ones don’t hold up as well.

Laminate Flooring

This type of flooring is known to be very resilient to wear and tear, but it does not hold up well to water. Laminate is made of a thin layer of wood on the top layer, and the rest is usually made from particle board or press board, which can absorb water very quickly. When laminate flooring absorbs water, it does so very quickly and takes very little time to delaminate.

The water causes the particle board or press board to expand and break apart, making drying laminate flooring nearly impossible. Laminate flooring also has a foam pad underneath it, which also soaks up water. Once this foam pad is saturated, you cannot evaporate or extract the water. If laminate flooring experiences water damage, it will need to be removed completely to allow the How Different Types of Flooring React to Water Damagestructure and subfloor to dry thoroughly.


With vinyl flooring, you get more resiliency to water damage, but you have to act fast. If vinyl flooring takes on water, it will not absorb it since it is glued down. You can save vinyl flooring, but it depends on how long the water has been sitting on the vinyl. If water gets under the tiles, they will need to be removed to complete the drying process.


Similar to vinyl, linoleum is resilient to water damage and will need to be removed if water gets underneath to ensure the subfloor dries out.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile handles water damage better than the other types of flooring mentioned. Although it is semi-porous like wood, it is more likely to release water than wood is. In most cases, ceramic tile will dry, allowing the wood or concrete underneath to dry as well. Although it is resilient, if the grout or tiles have loosened or the wood subflooring is not drying, the tiles will need to be removed for proper drying.

Wood FlooringHow Different Types of Flooring React to Water Damage

This type of flooring is semi-porous and absorbs water through the joints of the wood. If you catch the water damage on wood flooring in a short amount of time it can usually be recovered. There are tools such as drying mats and heaters that can be used to remove the water from the wood to restore it to its original state. On the other hand, if the water has sat on the flooring for an extended period, it will absorb into the flooring causing it to stain and cup.

If the water is not cleaned off of wood flooring quickly, and the wood brought back to it’s pre-loss state, the staining and cupping will get worse, leaving the wood flooring damaged and possibly beyond repair.

Professional Water Damage Restoration

Before you try to dry out your flooring yourself, contact ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh to ensure you get the best results. By using a water damage restoration professional, we can locate the source of the water, extract the water and remove unsalvageable building materials and contents. ServiceMaster will use meters to measure the amount of moisture in the materials ad atmosphere and use the correct equipment to dry the materials back to a pre-loss state.

Don’t wait, contact the professionals at ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today! We offer 24-hours a day, 7-days a week emergency services, which include holidays, to ensure your property is taken care of when disaster strikes.
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