Should You Put a Laminate Floor in the Bathroom?

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Changing flooring is an easy way to update and beautify a home. Laminate flooring is a popular option. It has the appearance of wood flooring, but is actually a wood composite so it is easier to maintain. It's also less expensive to purchase. While laminate is a great flooring option, it might not always be the best option in all areas of the home.

History

  • Laminate floors have been growing in popularity for the past 25 years. Laminate flooring is made from compressed wood chips. A realistic wood grain photograph is glued to the top of the wood, and covered with a "wear layer" made of a chemical called melamine which protects the flooring from mechanical and water damage.

Significance

  • Because laminate flooring is wood-based, it is not recommended for use in areas of the home that are prone to moisture, namely bathrooms. Moisture from drips and steam can cause the laminate flooring to swell. If the laminate flooring fails to dry properly, then it may ultimately rot.

Identification

  • Laminate floors look very much like wood floors. Although laminate floors are coated with a protective coating, they can still become damaged and are not viewed as being as durable over the long haul as wood. Unlike wood floors, however, laminate floors can not be refinished and must be replaced.

Considerations

  • If you want a wood floor in the bathroom, laminate is a better option than hardwood. The melamine coating on the laminate protects the surface of the floor, and inhibits moisture from entering the underlying wood.

Prevention/Solution

  • When installing a laminate floor in the bathroom, laminate glue should be placed on top of all the seams, to ensure moisture does not enter the wood. Extra silicon caulking should be applied around fixtures such as toilets and tubs.

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