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blog banner: Is laminate flooring waterproof?

Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof? Can It Become Waterproof?

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for homeowners due to its affordability, durability, and ease of installation. However, one common question that arises is whether laminate flooring is waterproof. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the waterproof characteristics of laminate flooring, discuss the protection of its surface, the vulnerability of its joints, and compare it to other waterproof flooring options like Click LVT and SPC flooring.

Understanding Waterproof Characteristics

Laminate flooring consists of multiple layers, including a wear layer, decorative layer, core layer, and backing layer. While the surface of laminate flooring is typically water-resistant, the joints between planks are not inherently waterproof. This means that while spills and moisture may not penetrate the surface immediately, they can seep into the joints and cause damage over time.

Surface Protection And Joint Sealing

To enhance the waterproof properties of laminate flooring, surface protection measures can be taken. Some laminate flooring products come with enhanced surface coatings that provide additional water resistance and durability. Most laminate flooring has a waterproof wear layer but this stops at the joints – those aren’t waterproof. Additionally however, sealing the joints between planks with a waterproof sealant can be done to help prevent moisture infiltration, swelling and to also protect the subfloor. Joint sealing is not permanent, and should be re-done every few years to remain fully protected.

Read More: Which is the most durable flooring type?

FAQs:

1. Is laminate flooring waterproof enough for bathrooms or kitchens?
While laminate flooring is water-resistant, it’s not recommended for areas prone to frequent moisture exposure, such as bathrooms or kitchens. In these areas, spills and splashes are common, increasing the risk of water damage to the flooring joints.


2. Can I seal the joints of laminate flooring to make it more waterproof?
Yes, sealing the joints of laminate flooring with a waterproof sealant can provide additional protection against moisture infiltration. However, it’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines and use compatible sealants to avoid damaging the flooring.


3. What are the drawbacks of laminate flooring compared to fully waterproof options like Click LVT and SPC flooring?
One drawback of laminate flooring compared to fully waterproof options like Click LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) and SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) flooring is its susceptibility to water damage at the joints. Click LVT and SPC flooring are inherently waterproof throughout, making them better suited for areas with high moisture levels or frequent spills.

Comparison to Similar Waterproof Flooring Types

Laminate flooring, Click LVT, and SPC flooring are all popular choices for homeowners seeking durable and spill-resistant flooring options. While laminate flooring offers affordability and a wide range of designs, Click LVT and SPC flooring provide far superior waterproof properties due to their construction. 

Click LVT features a vinyl top layer with a click-lock installation system, while SPC flooring consists of a rigid core that is entirely waterproof. Because both LVT and SPC are waterproof materials, their joints aren’t susceptible to water damage in the same way laminate is, making them perfect for bathrooms and shower rooms where excess moisture and puddles are likely!

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In Conclusion

In conclusion, while laminate flooring offers water-resistant surface protection, its joints are vulnerable to moisture infiltration. Sealing the joints with a waterproof sealant can help enhance its waterproof properties, but for areas prone to frequent moisture exposure, fully waterproof options like Click LVT and SPC flooring may be a better choice. Consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting the right flooring option for your home.

If you’re after a new look that doesn’t break the bank and aren’t feeling like a DIY Hero, how about trying Easipay Flooring? We offer brand new flooring with the ability to spread the cost over time, paying weekly or monthly instead. There’s no interest, but there is free underlay! Sound good? Tap the button below to get set up a home visit to see our samples and get your free quote!

Still Got Questions? Here's 10 FAQs!

Laminate flooring can be used in basements or areas with moderate humidity levels, but it’s essential to monitor moisture levels and use proper underlayment to prevent moisture damage. If it’s enough to make you worry or question the suitability, you’re probably safer with Vinyl or LVT instead.

While laminate flooring is often referred to as water-resistant, that’s not quite accurate. Laminate cannot handle puddles or excess moisture. It’s not recommended for installation in bathrooms or laundry rooms where frequent water exposure is expected. Consider fully waterproof options like vinyl, LVT or SPC for these rooms.

Immediately wipe up spills on laminate flooring using a dry cloth or mop to prevent moisture from seeping into the joints. Avoid leaving standing water on the floor for an extended period, as this can cause permanent damage.

It’s not recommended to use a steam mop on laminate flooring, as the high heat and moisture can damage the surface and joints. Instead, use a damp mop with a mild cleaning solution or a manufacturer-approved laminate floor cleaner. 

While laminate flooring is water-resistant, prolonged exposure to pet urine or other liquids can cause damage. Think of laminate plank joints kind of like really slow sponges. The joints want to suck up any spills which will then swell or warp the board. Clean up pet accidents promptly and consider using area rugs or mats in areas frequented by pets.

Place waterproof mats or trays near entryways and kitchen sinks to catch water and prevent it from reaching the laminate flooring. Wipe up spills promptly and avoid leaving wet shoes or towels on the floor.

Minor water damage to laminate flooring can often be repaired using DIY methods such as filling gaps or replacing damaged planks. However, extensive water damage may require professional repair or replacement.

Properly acclimate laminate flooring to the room’s temperature and humidity levels before installation to minimize the risk of expansion or contraction. Use a moisture barrier underlayment and leave expansion gaps around the perimeter of the room.

With proper care and maintenance, laminate flooring can last 10 to 20 years or more in a residential setting. Factors such as foot traffic, maintenance routines, and environmental conditions can affect its lifespan.

While applying waterproof sealant to laminate flooring joints is a relatively straightforward DIY task, it’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines and use compatible sealants. If you’re unsure, consult with a professional for guidance or hire a professional installer.