Laminate Flooring for Bathrooms: Yes You Can

Laminate flooring for bathrooms was once considered unacceptable; however, laminate flooring has evolved in recent years to a point that it now is now acceptable for both bathrooms and kitchens.  Years ago, laminate flooring was a glue product. Most manufactures didn’t warranty it at all for bathroom installations and only in kitchens if the outside edges and the edges around the dishwasher and icemaker lines were sealed with silicone caulk. Now most good laminate flooring is made so that the resin in the particle board substrate is waterproof. One good test before laminate flooring installation in a bathroom is to take a small sample of the laminate floor and submerge it in a small container of water for a couple of days to see if it is indeed waterproof.

Many laminate flooring manufactures are reluctant to recommend a laminate flooring installation in bathrooms because of the moisture, especially around the shower and potential toilet overflowing. I recommend first reading all laminate flooring reviews to see which is best for your application. Be sure to check out the manufactures warranties to see if laminate flooring installation in bathrooms is covered. Even if it is not covered, many still decide to take the risk with a few precautions. Be sure to follow the manufactures detailed installation instructions closely.

The following points are some things to consider for laminate flooring installation by the Do It Yourself-er in bathrooms:

  1. The biggest enemy of a laminate floor is standing water. This will most certainly result in blistering and buckling. Clean up and dry any spillage or standing water as quickly as possible. Clean your laminate floor only with a damp mop. There are special cleaners on the market for laminate flooring. Be sure to check the label on any cleaner before using to make sure it is formulated for a laminate floor.
  2. Be sure to cut any underlayment even with the top of the laminate flooring so that you it can be sealed with the floor.
  3. Make the joints as tight as possible. Every time you unlock and re-lock the joints, the looser they will fit. Avoid unlocking the joints during bathroom installations.
  4. Use 100% mildew resistant silicone caulk around the perimeter of the bathroom.
  5. Use 100% mildew resistant silicone caulk to seal around tubs, showers and basins. First, fill the expansion joint with caulk. Then you can apply color coordinated molding.
  6. Check the manufactures installation instructions to see if gluing of all of the joints is required for warranty coverage for bathroom installations. If so, use waterproof glue. Apply a very thin bead of glue to the top of the tongue before clicking the joints together. After you click together, wipe off any excess of glue with a damp cloth.
  7. Use T-Molding between the bathroom and any adjoining areas. Be sure to seal with caulk.
  8. Leave the bathroom unused and dry for at least 24 hours before laminate flooring installation to assure that it is completely moisture free. It is a good idea to have a fan going to speed up the drying.
  9. Never install laminate flooring in a shower. Never install in any room with a drain. Never install in a steam room.

Laminate Flooring for Bathrooms Pros and Cons:

Pros –

  1. Easy to install. Because most laminate flooring is a floating floor, it doesn’t require nailing, just clicking the joints together. Some extra time will be required in bathroom installations to do the necessary sealing.
  2. Durable. The wear layer or top layer of the laminate flooring is very impervious to dents and scratches.
  3. No bad pieces like you have with real wood flooring. Less waste.
  4. Can now be used in moist places such as bathrooms and kitchens. With that said, it cannot tolerate standing water. Remember that neither solid wood floors nor engineered wood floors can tolerate standing water.
  5. Easy to clean with just damp moping and regular dusting with a Swiffer type product.
  6. Very stain resistant.


  1. It is not real wood. Some new laminate floor products looks like wood, but it still is not real wood.
  2. Hard surface under foot. The foam underlayment does help a little.
  3. Can be very slippery when wet. This should be considered for bathroom installations. Some new products are now slip resistant. Check out the laminate flooring reviews.
  4. A lower resale value than real wood floors.
  5. It is not refinishable or sandable. If damaged, must be replaced instead of refinished.

When installed properly, your laminate floor in your bathroom will bring you many years of joy and satisfaction.

Tip of Day:

Always remember to protect your laminate floors from fading over time with window tinting, which will also protect your furnishings and upholstery, as well as things like your patio door window coverings.  Window tinting also insulates your home from the sun’s heat and can save you money on your heating and cooling bills.

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