Is Tile Flooring Waterproof?

Is Tile Flooring Waterproof?

Tile flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability, aesthetic appeal, and versatility. One of the most common questions people have about tile flooring is whether it is waterproof. Understanding the waterproof qualities of tile flooring is crucial, especially when considering it for areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. This blog will explore the various aspects of tile flooring's water resistance, helping you make an informed decision for your home.


When choosing flooring for moisture-prone areas, it's essential to consider the material's resistance to water. Tile flooring is often touted for its water-resistant properties, but does that mean it's truly waterproof? This article delves into the water-resistant and waterproof qualities of different types of tile flooring, examining their suitability for various spaces in your home.

Understanding Tile Flooring Types

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is made from natural clay that is shaped, glazed, and fired at high temperatures. It is a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens due to its affordability and variety of designs.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is a subtype of ceramic tile made from a more refined clay and fired at higher temperatures. This process makes porcelain tiles denser, more durable, and less porous than regular ceramic tiles.

Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tiles, such as marble, granite, slate, and travertine, are quarried from the earth and cut into tiles. These tiles offer unique, natural beauty and come in a variety of finishes.

Water Resistance vs. Waterproof

Water-Resistant Tile Flooring

Water-resistant flooring can withstand some exposure to water without significant damage. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are both water-resistant, making them suitable for areas where they may come into
contact with water.

Waterproof Tile Flooring

Waterproof flooring can withstand constant exposure to water without damage. While tiles themselves can be waterproof, the overall waterproofness of a tiled floor depends on the installation process, including proper sealing and grouting.

Ceramic Tile and Water Resistance

Characteristics of Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are known for their water-resistant properties, but they are not entirely waterproof. The glaze on ceramic tiles provides a layer of protection against moisture, but the tile's body can still absorb some water if exposed for extended periods.

Ideal Uses for Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are suitable for areas with moderate moisture exposure, such as kitchens, entryways, and backsplashes. However, they may only be the best choice for areas with high humidity and water
exposure, like shower floors, if properly sealed and maintained.

Porcelain Tile and Waterproof Qualities

Characteristics of Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are denser and less porous than ceramic tiles, making them more resistant to water. They have a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%, which classifies them as nearly impervious to water.

Ideal Uses for Porcelain Tile

Due to their low porosity, porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for areas with high moisture exposure, such as bathrooms, showers, and even outdoor spaces. Their durability and water resistance make them a top choice for these environments.

Natural Stone Tile and Water Resistance

Characteristics of Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tiles vary in porosity depending on the type of stone. For instance, granite is less porous than marble or travertine. To enhance their water resistance, natural stone tiles often require sealing.

Ideal Uses for Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tiles can be used in bathrooms and kitchens, but they need regular sealing to maintain their water-resistant properties. They offer a unique, luxurious look but require more
maintenance compared to ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Importance of Proper Installation

Grout and Sealants

The spaces between tiles are filled with grout, which is porous and can absorb water if not properly sealed. Using a high-quality grout and applying a sealer can help prevent water penetration and protect the subfloor.

Professional Installation

For the best results, professional installation is recommended. Expert installers ensure that tiles are correctly laid and sealed, providing maximum water resistance and longevity for your tile flooring.

Maintenance and Care

Regular Cleaning

Maintaining tile flooring involves regular cleaning to prevent dirt and grime buildup, which can affect the grout's effectiveness. Use non-abrasive cleaners to avoid damaging the tile's surface.


Periodic sealing of tiles and grout is essential to maintain their water-resistant properties. The frequency of sealing depends on the type of tile and the area of installation. For example, natural stone tiles
may require more frequent sealing compared to porcelain tiles.


Tile flooring offers a range of options that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. While ceramic and porcelain tiles are water-resistant, their waterproof qualities depend on proper installation and maintenance. Porcelain tiles, with their lower porosity, are closer to being genuinely waterproof, making them ideal for high-moisture areas. Natural stone tiles provide a luxurious look but require regular sealing to maintain their water resistance.

For those looking to install tile flooring in moisture-prone areas, understanding the differences in water resistance between tile types and ensuring proper installation are crucial to achieving a durable and waterproof floor.

Ready to explore tile flooring options for your home? Visit LP Custom Floors LLC in Cornelius, NC, today. Our experts can guide you in selecting the perfect tile for your needs and ensure a professional installation. Contact us now to schedule a consultation!