Laminate flooring and water have a complicated relationship. Various floor coverings are considered to be water resistant, like ceramic or porcelain tile, luxury vinyl plank, sheet vinyl, etc. At the opposite end, there are floors you never think about laying in a bathroom beside a shower or bath. These include hardwood, bamboo, and engineered wood.
Laminate flooring can go in either direction. In case incorrectly installed, it will be a disaster in high-dampness environments. In case it is installed according to instructions, it has a possibility of confronting water penetration.
Laminate Flooring and Water
Laminate flooring can get wet, however just on the top. Sides and bottoms can never get wet. It takes around four hours for exposed-edge laminate flooring to start to swell. After soaked laminate has completely dried, it does not come back to its original dimensions.
Mop standing water rapidly, as water can move into cover’s seams. Edge parts of the floor are the more an issue since edges are cut and uncovered.
In case you install in a full bathroom, you must take corresponding precautions. Installation in guest or half bathrooms without precautions is acceptable since water isn’t prevalent. These rooms don’t have bathing facilities.
Precautions for Installing in Water-Prone Areas
Follow these rules for laminate installation in places where moisture may be present, such as in bathrooms and near kitchen sinks, etc.
Build Higher Underlayment Edges: Fold underlayment up against the wall two inches. After installing the flooring, excess underlayment will get cut to floor level.
Glue Joints: Apply glue to the tongue portion of the plank, even for lock-and-fold type laminate planks.
Add Waiting Time: Allow floor to dry for 24 hours before using.
Fill Expansion Areas: Laminate flooring always needs to have a perimeter zone around its edges. This is to allow for flooring and wall expansion and contraction. ,
Add Wall Molding If Appropriate: Molding has to be applied to the base of the shower pan or bathtub, and this area, too, must be filled with silicone caulk.
Laminate Floor Water Damage and Fixes
It is essential to remember that numerous floors are liable to damage when hit with enough water. Since wood fibers in real wood run lengthwise, the weak direction is sideways. Even water-resistant floors, like vinyl, can be affected if water works its way under the flooring.
The contrast between genuine wood and laminate is that real wood can be saved. Indeed, cupped or crowned wood can be sanded down to flat. Laminate flooring can’t be sanded.
However, it does not mean it cannot be fixed. Minor fixes are possible with laminate.
Most installations use packs of laminate boards. Since there is a set number of boards in each pack, it is inevitable that boards will be left over. Store these boards flat in a cool, dry place. If an installed board is damaged, it can be replaced on a one-for-one basis. If the board is at the end, remove the baseboard and pull out the affected board. Also if the damaged board is at the center, cut it out, using a fine-finish blade on a circular saw.