Remodeling a bathroom can be extremely rewarding, but it is often one of the most complex and time-consuming house renovation projects. However, thanks to today’s new materials and flooring options, you can renovate your floor on a budget and in no time. But is laminate the right choice for your bathroom floor?
You can put laminate floors in bathrooms, especially in half baths and small toilets, as it is water-resistant and durable. However, it is crucial to install an underlay to protect it from moisture in the subfloor. You’ll also need to use a sealant to avoid water damage.
Laminate is affordable, accessible, and available in a variety of colors and patterns. If you are thinking about using this material to breathe new life into your bathroom floor, don’t miss out on the tips below.
Can You Lay Laminate in Bathrooms?
Putting laminate floors in the bathroom can be an excellent idea, but it is not ideal in all situations. Before choosing this option for your floor, consider laminate flooring features.
Laminate flooring is composed of four essential layers:
- A bottom layer that is usually reinforced with melamine
- The fiberboard layer or wood chips
- A decorative layer, which is typically a photograph of wood or stone materials, such as marble, slate, cherry, or oak.
- The wear layer, which is a highly durable, stain-resistant, and waterproof transparent coat
This four-layer composition makes laminate one of the most durable and versatile materials for your bathroom flooring as well as most other rooms in the house.
However, laminate is only water-resistant from top to bottom because of this particular composition – not from the bottom to the top. In turn, this means that your laminate flooring can withstand moisture and humidity that come from the bathroom but not vapors that come from the subfloor.
Here is all you need to know about installing laminate in your bathroom.
Put Laminate in Smaller Bathrooms
As we have seen, you can install laminate flooring in your bathroom. However, it might not be suitable for all bathrooms.
Ideally, you should only install laminate in smaller bathrooms, such as half baths. That’s because these bathrooms usually lack complex shower and bath facilities, which considerably add to the room’s moisture level. With only a toilet and a sink, smaller bathrooms are less likely to suffer from spillages, stagnant water, and moisture infiltrate under the laminate planks and affect the lower layers.
Make It Waterproof With Silicone Caulk
One of the benefits of laminate planks is the material is water-resistant. However, it is important to remember the base layer of the planks is made in fiberboard or wood chips, which can fall victim to water damage and take on warping, mold, or mildew.
Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on May 14, 2021.
However, once you have installed an underlayment, all you will have to worry about is the moisture and spillages that come from the room. Luckily, you can easily protect the planks by applying a layer of silicone caulk to seal the planks.
Unlike the grout usually used to seal tiles, silicone caulk is flexible, expandable, and impenetrable. Since silicone expands and contracts, it is the perfect material to fill the expansion gaps and joints while also protecting the flooring from water damage.
Don’t Leave Standing Water and Reduce Humidity.
Bathrooms are among the most humid rooms in the house, especially if they have a bath or shower. When adequately sealed, laminate flooring is water-resistant from the tops, but it can still be susceptible to warping without the proper care.
Some tips to keep in mind to preserve your laminate flooring include:
- Run the exhaust fan when taking a shower to limit steam
- Regularly open the windows and allow for air circulation
- Prevent puddles and standing water by wiping them as soon as they appear
When it comes to laminate, do not underestimate the importance of regular maintenance. Water penetration can lead to a wide variety of issues, including warping and molding, and if the subfloor becomes affected, you might find yourself dealing with much larger expenses!
Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on May 14, 2021.
Is It OK To Put Laminate in Bathrooms?
As we have seen, laminate makes for a great flooring option for your bathroom. However, it is not always OK to opt for laminate – primarily because of your personal preferences and bathroom configuration. Here you can find the pros and cons of this choice to help you choose.
Advantages of Laminate Flooring in Bathrooms
- User-friendliness – laminate flooring does not need professional installation and can be set up as a DIY project. Depending on the bathroom’s size and your skills, you can have an entire new flooring in just a weekend!
- Extremely durable – thanks to the finishing coat, the laminate won’t dent or scratch, meaning that it can withstand high levels of footfall throughout the day without showing signs of wear and tear. This is a considerable benefit over hardwood floors!
- Easy to clean and maintain – keeping your floor free of standing water is key, and this is easily done simply by wiping it with a cloth or mop. Make sure that your mop is only damp and not saturated, as this can damage the floor.
- Available in many designs – laminate is available in several tiles, wood, or slate looks. With such a range of design on the market, you can create a unique bathroom floor.
Disadvantages of Laminate Flooring in Bathrooms
- Can be slippery – when wet, laminate flooring can become slippery. You should always invest in a bathroom rug or rubber mat to prevent injuries.
- Can warp – without the necessary care, it is easy for the laminate flooring to start bending. However, thanks to the suitable underlay and sealant, you can keep your floor free of warping.
How To Install Laminate in Bathrooms
Installing laminate flooring in your bathroom is a straightforward project that can be completed in just a weekend – depending on bathroom size and your DIY skills.
Gather Your Tools
Here is everything you need to install laminate floors in your bathroom.
- Square edge laminate planks
- Cleaning supplies (mop, mild detergent, vacuum cleaner)
- PPE (breathing, face, and knee protections)
- Joint sealant
- Perimeter silicone to seal the extension gap
During the installation process, you will be working with square edge laminate planks. Installing these planks is easy, but creating a professional finish around the fixtures in your bathroom might not be.
Indeed, even with a jigsaw and enough expertise, it can be difficult to create smooth curvatures that perfectly fit your bathroom’s sink pedestal and toilet flange.
While it might involve more prep, an attractive solution is to remove the fixtures altogether. Once removed, you can apply the planks on the floor and then replace them. This option eliminates the need for a precise cut and can help you keep the joints free of moisture.
Select the Right Underlay
Before installing the laminate planks, it is essential to select a suitable underlay. Ideally, you should always opt for a vapor barrier underlayment. This protects the lower layers of the laminate planks and prevents water and moisture damage from subfloor leakages and vapor.
If your planks already boast a built-in underlay, the vapor barrier should not have any extra padding, as this can increase the floor’s thickness.
Install the Planks
Once you have set up the underlayment, you can start installing the planks. The difference between installing laminate in the bathroom versus other parts of the house is you will need to use a joint sealant on every plank.
For this step, take a plank and apply the joint sealant on the tongue – do so following the manufacturer’s instructions. Put the plank in place, ensuring that the interlocking mechanism is secure.
Allow the sealant to cure and then remove any excess sealant. Once the whole floor is ready, apply the silicone around the room’s perimeter, expansion joints, and fixtures.
ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on May 14, 2021.