Helpful Tips

Is Tile Flooring Waterproof?


If you’re choosing tile flooring for a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, lab, or other wet zones, having a waterproof seal is crucial. Even though tile seems like a waterproof surface, it isn’t always shielded from moisture. Is tile flooring waterproof? What type of tile should you avoid? Read on to determine which tile flooring is right for you.

Most Tile is not Waterproof on Its Own

There are many people who wonder: are floor tiles waterproof? The short answer is no. Most tile has some type of porosity, which means that tiny holes along the surface allow the tile to absorb water. Even a surface that appears waterproof, like porcelain, does absorb a little bit of water after exposure.

It’s not necessarily the tile you have to worry about though. It’s the grout surrounding the tile and the material backing the tile. Grout is much more porous than tile, and it is designed to have a little bit of flex. This is why grout stains easily and why it takes so much effort to clean.

When we install tile flooring in a shower, bathroom, laundry room, or other damp areas, we make sure it has a waterproof backing to prevent mold growth. Moisture trapped below the tile can also wear away at the adhesive over time, which affects the structural integrity of the tile. Rest assured that any tile work you get from N&M Restoration is going to be sealed and protected for maximum longevity.

Some Tile is More Absorbent Than Others

The density of the tile determines how absorbent it is. Many natural stone tiles are less dense than ceramic or porcelain, making them more absorbent and not ideal for wet areas indoors. However, these tiles work great for many outdoor applications, such as pool surrounds, patios, firepit areas, stone veneers, and the like. Our tile experts can help you determine which tile flooring is right for each area of your home or business.

Best Types of Tile for Damp Areas

If you’re looking for waterproof tile flooring (or as close as you can get to it), here are some excellent options:

  • Ceramic Tile – specifically made to repel water;
  • Porcelain Tile – a special form of ceramic tile that absorbs less than 0.5% of water;
  • Vinyl Tile – manufactured to be completely waterproof (but be mindful of the grout and backing);
  • Sealed Concrete – can be stamped and stained to look like tile;
  • Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring – designed to be mostly waterproof, especially with tight joints;
  • Sheet Vinyl – not as attractive as the options above, but a good contender for waterproof flooring.

To schedule a consultation for tile flooring in Metro Detroit MI, contact N&M Restoration at (248) 924-9798. We work with commercial tile, residential tile, laminate flooring, and many other materials.