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I've seen two common types of edge finishes for laminate flooring. Since I'm not familiar with the actual trade terms (feel free to point these out), I'm going to dub them: flush fit and V-fit. I call flush fit is the planar one, where the edges attempt to form a continuous & seamless surface between planks. The V-fit is the one where the planks are slightly grooved on the edges so that adjacent planks form a V-shaped notch. As far as I can tell from the advertising material, the main purpose of this notch is to give a 3D impression of actual wood planks.

I'm wondering what's the best edge shape for maximum spill resistance. The manufacturers are rather mute on this. The V-shaped notches look like an obvious place where liquid would gather. On the other hand, the notches could be well sealed... and I've seen "aqua safe" boards from Pergo that use V-edges. The flush edges could actually draw in more liquids through capillary effect if the fitting isn't tight. Is there any comparative experience or data on this edge shape issue as it relates to spill resistance? (As an aside: I'm well aware that some manufacturers like Egger advise to use (and even sell their own brand [STRIP-EX] of) glue for increased spill resistance between boards.)

  • The real bottom line is that wood and wood derivative products used for floors are not very friendly water and liquid spills. If you have as big of concern regarding this as your question seems to imply you may want to consider an alternate flooring type. – Michael Karas Jun 6 '17 at 3:07
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Standing water is a problem for any wood-based product, as the water will eventually find its way to the unfinished sides of the planks and be absorbed, causing swelling, heaving, mold, and all sorts of unpleasantness. At that point, the affected flooring will have to be removed and replaced, which isn't quick or easy.

Accidental spills of water or beverages, if cleaned up quickly, are much less of a concern. A flooring that cannot withstand the wear and tear of everyday life wouldn't be very popular or last very long.

If you're concerned about long-term standing water (an appliance or fixture prone to leaking or dumping water, or a basement that regularly floods), consider a vinyl or tile flooring, which are much less susceptible to moisture. If you're only concerned about the occasional spill, a wood-based flooring product is fine as long as you attend to the spill quickly.

Just as an aside, what you call "V-fit" is commonly referred to as "beveled" or "beveled-edge", and is generally aesthetic. The beveled edges are still covered by the laminate surface (commonly mylar), rather than being "raw".

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