Skip to Content

Can You Put Laminate Floors Under/Around Vanity/Toilet/Tub

If you are installing a laminate floor, you may be wondering if you can put it under or around a toilet, tub, or vanity. The answer might be more involved than you thought.

Laminate flooring can be put under or around a vanity, toilet, or tub. It is better installed under them, however, because laminate tends to contract and expand, which can be problematic if you try to install it too tight against those fixtures.

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

One of the benefits of laminate flooring is the fact that it is somewhat waterproof. It is made up of multiple layers, but only the top layer is going to resist water.

That being said, even if you have water on the floor for an extended amount of time, it is still going to create a problem. As the water soaks down into the flooring and the underlying board, which is not waterproof, problems can really occur.

Generally speaking, however, it is hoped that there is not going to be a leak with the toilet, tub, or vanity. It is sometimes going to be a problem, however, so some people opt for vinyl flooring rather than laminate.

Why is that the case?

Vinyl flooring is a solid floor that is perfect for use in the bathroom. It also tends to be more expensive, however, and it also has the same shrinkage and expansion problems that you will see with a laminate floor.

Let’s take a look at more specific issues associated with laminate flooring and why it is both a good idea and a bad idea in the bathroom.

Can You Put Laminate Floors Under/Around Vanity/Toilet/Tub

Before we begin to talk about some of the specifics of laminate flooring, it’s a good idea for you to understand what it is made of. This will help you to make a good decision as to whether it should be used near a tub or toilet.

First of all, laminate flooring is made of a collection of wood fibers. Those wood fibers are absolutely not going to stand up to water and if they do get waterlogged, you will have problems.

Many people are concerned about this because they do not realize that it is a fiber core that is actually the issue. The top layer of the laminate flooring is the wear layer and it is made up of a resin.

If you look at the instructions for laminate flooring, you will see that there are very specific instructions given as to how it should be cleaned. This is because you don’t want to introduce a lot of water to the area because it can soak down through the cracks and end up getting in the underlying layers.

On the other hand, a little bit of water is not going to hurt the laminate flooring as long as it does not lay on the floor for an extended amount of time. You can even have laminate flooring in the bathroom without a problem, provided you don’t allow standing water to be an issue.

Most homeowners realize that there are occasionally going to be problems with spills and other issues associated with water in that area of the home. If you are looking for an inexpensive flooring that may sometimes need to be replaced if problems do occur, then laminate is something you can consider.

Otherwise, you should give some careful consideration to using vinyl flooring in the bathroom. Vinyl flooring also shrinks and expands in a similar way to laminate flooring but you can have standing water on it for an extended amount of time without a problem.

Can You Put Laminate Floors Under/Around Vanity

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

There isn’t a problem with putting laminate in a bathroom near the vanity. As long as it doesn’t have an issue with standing water, it will last for many years.

You can install laminate both under and around a cabinet, but it is best to be installed around it with molding to hide the gap. If you install laminate under a cabinet, it may keep it from expanding and you could have the floor buckling out in the open.

There are a number of issues to be concerned about in this case. First of all, if you install the laminate under the cabinet and you don’t have a cabinet attached to the floor, then the floor should be able to expand and contract under it.

The real issue occurs when the cabinet is attached to the floor or if it is resting on the floor and is not attached to the wall. If that is the case, the cabinet may move with the floor as it expands and contracts and you could end up with the floor buckling or perhaps splitting.

Many homeowners will install the cabinet on the subfloor and then run the laminate floor up to the edge. It is still necessary to leave an expansion gap for the floor to expand and contract but that can always be covered with some type of finishing molding.

You can install laminate flooring both under or around the vanity. It is better if it is installed after the vanity is in place.

Installing laminate floor around the vanity is always going to be the better choice. It allows the floor to expand and contract without taking the cabinet along with it. If the cabinet should keep floor from expanding or contracting, it could damage the cabinet or the floor or both.

In order to lay the laminate floor around the vanity, you will need to leave an expansion gap. You can install the flooring right up to the edge, but you will need to rip the board or cut it short of the vanity so that it leaves room for expanding and contracting.

Generally speaking, you will have some expansion gap spacers available and they can be used to measure the distance that you would leave between the vanity and the floor. It is better to use spacers than to eyeball, because it will make everything uniform.

After installing the floor, you will need to cover the gap between the laminate floor and the vanity. Most people are able to do this with a little bit of shoe molding or some other type of decorative molding.

Not only does the molding hide the gap, it also serves as a protection to to keep water from accessing the vulnerable parts of the laminate floor. This would include the pressed wood that is underneath the top layer, which would be damaged if water got to it.

Should You Install Laminate Floors Under/Around Vanity

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

It certainly is possible to install laminate floor under or around the vanity but is it a good idea to do it?

Laminate flooring is not the best option for use in the bathroom. It is susceptible to water damage and if it is damaged, it will have to be replaced because it cannot be repaired. A better option if you want that look in the area is to use vinyl.

There is a difference between vinyl floor and laminate floor. To put it simply, it’s in the material that is used in the floor.

Laminate floor does have some waterproof characteristics, but only in the thin veneer that is on the top of the floor. Underneath that level, there are pressboard and other materials that are susceptible to water damage.

Vinyl floor, on the other hand, is vinyl through and through. Once it is down, it will remain in place and you don’t have to worry about water.

Of course, it’s best if you don’t allow standing water on a vinyl floor but it is certainly going to stand up to a lot more wear and tear as far as water is concerned when compared to a laminate floor.

The bottom line is, vinyl is a better choice than laminate for installing under or around a vanity.

Can You Put Laminate Floors Under/Around Toilet

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

Homeowners around the world have put laminate floors in the bathroom, but can you install them under or around the toilet?

Installing a laminate floor under a toilet is going to be the best option for installing that type of floor in the area. Since the toilet is not attached to the floor, the floor will expand and contract under the toilet.

On the other hand, installing laminate floor up to the toilet is going to be problematic. You will have a difficult time hiding the gap between the toilet and the floor that would be necessary for expansion and contraction.

In addition, there will be times when the floor will be exposed to water. If you have a slight gap between the toilet and the floor, it is going to give an avenue for any water to enter the area and damage the wood under the protective top layer of the floor.

Should You Install Laminate Floors Under/Around Toilet

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

It certainly is possible to install laminate floor in the bathroom but should it go under or around the toilet?

Laminate floor is not the best option for installing in the area of a toilet. It is susceptible to water damage and if the toilet should leak, it could ruin the floor. Vinyl floor will offer you a similar look but it will be waterproof.

Making a choice between laminate flooring and vinyl flooring is always one that is difficult. The reason why that is the case is because vinyl floor offers more benefit for use in the bathroom but it is more expensive.

That being said, laminate floor can absolutely be installed in the bathroom under the toilet and many homeowners have done so without a problem. You should be aware, however, that a problem could occur if the toilet leaks and it comes in contact with the flooring.

How To Lay Laminate Floors Under/Around Toilet

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

If you are installing laminate floor in the bathroom, it will undoubtedly have to go under the toilet. There are some methods that can help to make this a success.

You will have to remove the toilet to put the laminate floor in place. It is much easier to install the laminate floor under the toilet rather than trying to get it to match up with the edge. After removing the toilet, lay the laminate floor and give some extra room around the flange to reduce the possibility of water damage.

Since the toilet is not attached to the floor but rather, rests on the flange, the floor will be able to move as it expands and contracts. Of course, you wouldn’t want to put any caulking under the toilet, as that would attach the toilet to the floor.

The biggest issue that you are going to face is the possibility of water damage that could occur if it got underneath the flooring. In order to reduce the risk of this occuring, leave an extra-large gap between the flange and the floor.

Something else you can do to reduce the possibility of water damage is to put some plastic underneath the laminate floor and wrap it around the edge and over the top. The toilet will help to hold the plastic in place and it will keep water from damaging it if you have a small leak.

You may need to get an extra wax ring or perhaps an extension for the flange because you are raising the level of the toilet by putting the laminate floor underneath it.

Can You Put Laminate Floors Around Bathtub

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

If you are installing a laminate floor in the bathroom, should it be installed around or under the tub?

Laminate flooring should never be installed under a tub. The tub should sit on the subfloor directly and the laminate floor can be installed up to the tub. You would leave an expansion gap so the floor can expand and contract and then you would hide the gap with a special piece of rubber molding.

There are a number of issues that could occur if you install a laminate floor underneath the tub. First of all, the weight of the tub could be problematic because it could keep the floor from expanding and contracting.

You may end up with big problems because the floor would split or buckle in the middle of the room. It is a much better idea to install the laminate floor up to the tub and leave an expansion gap so it can expand and contract as the humidity changes.

Should You Install Laminate Floors Around Bathtub

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

Although it certainly is possible to install laminate flooring around a tub, it is not the only option available.

Laminate flooring can be installed around the bub but it is not the best flooring option. If you want a floor that can stand up to water better than laminate and looks similar, you can go with vinyl flooring. The price is slightly higher but it will make up for itself in the peace of mind you have because you did not install something that was easily damage.

A Laminate floor has waterproof qualities, but only on the thin top layer. If water should happen to penetrate that layer or if it got underneath the floor because it was at the expansion gap, the floor would be ruined.

There are some things you can do to reduce that possibility, including installing a rubber molding that will protect the vulnerable edge of the floor.

Installing a laminate floor with that rubber molding is a good option if you want to save some money. People have been doing it for years with success. It only takes one problem, however, to ruin the floor and then you will have to install new.

How To Lay Laminate Floors Around Bathtub

Bathroom ang toilet flooring

If you have made up your mind to install laminate floors in the bathroom, how do you install it around the bathtub?

Installing laminate around the bathtub is similar to installing it in any other part of the home. You would put the floor down piece by piece until you got to the last piece, which should be ripped to size. Leave enough of an expansion gap, using the spacers available so that the floor can expand and contract as the humidity changes in the room.

There are some specific things that need to be done with the laminate floor so that it will stand the test of time. Simply installing the laminate floor and then putting a regular piece of molding over it would not work very well.

Try as we might, there are going to be times when water gets out of the tub and onto the floor. This isn’t going to be a big issue if it is wiped up right away and laminate can stand some water.

The problem is, if the water should get underneath the piece of molding and down into the area where it can come in contact with the presswood. The floor will be damaged irreparably and would have to be replaced at that point.

There is a specialty piece of molding that looks like wood but it is actually made out of rubber. You can cut it to size and then it is glued to the floor in the area.

The molding is large enough to cover the expansion gap and it will allow the floor to expand and contract, even though you are essentially gluing the flooring to it.

As long as you have it down tight against the floor when you install the molding, it will protect the vulnerable edge. You can then be cautious that you don’t allow water to stand on the floor for very long and the laminate floor should last for years in the bathroom.

You can install laminate around and under the toilet in the bathroom. It is better installed around the tub or vanity, however, because installing it under the those items could cause damage to the floor as it tries to expand and contract.

Related Articles

What Can You Use To Cut Laminate Flooring (How To)

How To Remove Paint On Laminate Floor

How to Remove Glue From Laminate

Laminate Flooring Cost Estimator / Calculator