What Laminate Flooring Is Best for Bathrooms?
The bathroom is probably the most humid part of your home. This is why you have to be very selective when it comes to installing bathroom flooring, especially since you need to choose the type of floor that’s waterproof, or at least water-resistant. There’s a wide variety of flooring options to choose from for bathrooms, and you may be considering laminates as one of your possible choices since the material is generally affordable and low maintenance. But since laminate flooring can be damaged by moisture, you have to consider this carefully.
So what laminate flooring is best for bathrooms? Water-resistant laminate flooring is your best option for bathrooms, which can work as long as you take the appropriate measures to avoid damage. Laminates with a medium-density fiberboard core are generally recommended since they contain water-resistant materials such as wax. This type of laminate can avoid soaking up water for a while before it finally absorbs it. When shopping for a laminate floor for your bathroom, you have to make sure that they’re actually water-resistant.
Choosing Flooring for Bathrooms
Unlike the other parts of your home where choosing the flooring materials is based mainly on aesthetics, the bathroom requires more careful consideration. Your bathroom flooring should be able to perform well under stress, which mostly involves water. Walls and flooring should be able to withstand moisture. Add the other factors — durability, cost, ease of installation, and of course, appearance — and you have a lot to consider for your bathroom floor.
Benefits of Laminate Flooring in Bathrooms
Laminate floors are known for being affordable and easy to clean and install. This type of flooring is budget-friendly and a nice alternative if you find hardwood, stone, or ceramic tiles too expensive. Due to their smooth layer, laminates are easy to wipe clean, but if you plan to use them for your bathroom, you’ll need to wipe regularly to keep the floor dry and to prevent possible water damage.
Laminate floors are easy to install too since they come with a simple click-and-lock system, which is ideal for DIY homeowners. But it’s crucial to install it properly because seams between the boards can also elevate the risk of water damage. Time may come that traditional laminate flooring that’s 100% waterproof will be invented, but at the moment, you have to settle for water-resistant ones.
Considerations for Installing Laminate Flooring in Your Bathroom
When installing laminate flooring in your bathroom or even your laundry room, you have to evaluate whether it’s the right choice for the specific bathroom you plan to install. You also need to keep in mind that laminates in the bathroom will require certain upkeep in order to avoid damage from the dampness. Here are some things to consider when choosing a quality waterproof laminate floor for your bathroom.
- Install in smaller bathrooms — Laminates will survive best in small bathrooms, such as the one in the master suite or the half bath downstairs. Half baths usually don’t have tubs or showers that will spill water or make the bathroom humid. The bathrooms in master suites are often smaller and used more carefully.
- Use waterproof silicone caulk — This is very important since silicone is impenetrable and flexible, unlike the standard grout made of sand and cement, which can absorb water. Silicone caulk also yields nicely to laminate — it contracts and expands naturally to fill the gaps in flooring. The warranty of your flooring will likely become void and your floor won’t work in a bathroom setting if you don’t use silicone caulk. Consult with your flooring provider or contractor with regard to this prior to installation.
- Use tile to line the edges — Aside from using silicone grout to protect the inner joints and adjacent laminate tiles and planks, you also need protection for the ends of your laminate flooring. You need another form of barrier to prevent water from getting in and reaching underneath the laminate. For this purpose, tiles will work best to seal off the outer edges of your laminate flooring and keep moisture and splashes out. A tile floor is especially needed near the toilet, vanity sinks, shower, and bathtub.
- Minimize humidity — Humidity is the biggest enemy of laminate flooring since it’s vulnerable to moisture that can cause the planks to warp. This is why it’s necessary to reduce humidity levels as much as possible. Have an exhaust fan in the bathroom and use it every time you take a shower. Open windows if you can to allow the bathroom to breathe.
- Prevent standing water — This means wiping or mopping up any standing water to prevent water damage from happening to your laminate flooring. Don’t allow puddles to linger on the floor since water can seep between the seams of the flooring, which can cause mold. Mold is a major problem that will require repairs or worse, a replacement for the entire subfloor.
- Use rugs abundantly — In this case, rugs and carpets won’t only make your step out of the tub or shower comfortable or prevent you from slipping, but they can also protect and preserve your laminate flooring. Rugs will absorb excess water and prevent it from seeping into the floors.
How to Make Sure Your Laminate Flooring Is Actually Water-Resistant
When shopping around for waterproof laminate flooring to use in your bathroom, make sure to confirm the core material before you buy. You need nothing less than laminate with a high-density core. You should also add an underlayment and vapor barrier underneath your laminates to add more protection against water damage. Protect your laminate flooring by gluing it down over these barriers.
Water-resistant laminate flooring is made of several layers. You have the wear layer, which is the first defense against daily wear and tear. The thicker the wear layer, the better protection your flooring has. Beneath that is the photographic image or the decorative layer, where you can see the pattern of your flooring.
After that is the water-resistant core, which is where the main durability of your laminate flooring will depend. This should have nothing less than a medium-density fiberboard core with wax or other water-repellent materials to guarantee that no water will seep or soak through. The very last layer is the backing and stabilizing, which provides a good foundation for your floor.
Bathroom Flooring Material to Avoid
There are flooring materials that are totally not suited for bathrooms and you’re better off using this flooring option in other parts of your home.
- Solid hardwood flooring — This type of wood flooring material isn’t totally waterproof and will need tons of upkeep. Standing water should be cleaned up really quickly if it has a hardwood floor. Also, you’ll need a whole lot of stuff for maintenance, such as wood flooring cleaners, finishing coats, sanding, and finishing.
- Non-waterproof or wall-to-wall carpeting — Carpeting tends to dry out real slowly within the confines of the bathroom, which makes them retain moisture for long. This makes it a poor choice for bathroom flooring. You’ll always be walking on soggy surfaces that may contain mold or mildew. You’ll need to wash your carpet at least once a week, which is a hell lot of maintenance.
- Linoleum — Linoleum material scratches easily, creating tiny tears that can trap dirt and dust that’s a hassle to clean. The material absorbs water too, and you already know what that means. Aesthetically, it’s not advisable too since linoleum can curl up at the edges in humid environments, which makes it unsightly.
Turn Your Bathroom Into the Best It Can Be With Zothex Flooring
Make sure that you get the right bathroom laminate floor for your home. Zothex Flooring has your back when it comes to your waterproof flooring needs. They don’t just laminate wood floor — Zothex Flooring deals with many types of flooring materials, including the following: vinyl plank flooring or sheet vinyl flooring, vinyl tile flooring, porcelain tile, ceramic tile, solid wood floor, luxury vinyl tile or luxury vinyl plank, engineered hardwood or engineered wood flooring, and natural stone tile.
They pride themselves on providing a personalized, one-of-a-kind customer service experience you can only find at a small family business. If you’re looking for a partner to help you choose the right flooring for your home, Zothex Flooring is the name to trust.
Learn more: How to Install Heated Floors Under Laminate