Sale Flooring Direct Blog
Waterproof laminate for your kitchen & bathroom | Is it the best choice?
Posted: 25th March 2021
Choosing a floor for your bathroom or kitchen is an important decision. The surface is going to have to cope with a lot of water & moisture, so you are going to have to choose a flooring option that is waterproof & liquid-resistant, to ensure that it lasts for a significant period.
You will need to ensure that you choose something that strikes the right balance between look & practicality.
Laminate flooring is known as a great option for many rooms – but is it viable for your bathroom?
We all know that laminate flooring works as a great affordable alternative to real wood flooring, with the added benefit of being super easy to clean. It is easy to see why it has been the go-to flooring option for so many.
However, a constant gripe that people have with standard laminate flooring is that you have always had to be careful with spills & fluids sitting too long on the floor.
When it has not been removed quickly, it can lead to irreparable damage to the floor.
Dealing with liquid has always been a problem with laminate floors… until now!
Waterproof Laminate Flooring
Waterproof laminate flooring has recently been introduced onto the UK market & it works great for bathrooms, kitchens & utility rooms of all shapes & sizes. You get all the fantastic benefits that come with standard laminate floors, but now you don’t have to worry about your flooring bubbling because you haven’t managed to mop up every last bit of liquid that was sitting on it.
Laminate flooring has always offered some resistance to moisture, however waterproof laminate has only become readily available in the last few years.
The issue with spillages on standard laminate flooring is that it tends to lead to uneven surfaces & air pockets forming beneath the surface if any liquid is left too long on it. There is a liquid-resistant coating on all laminate surfaces, but the problems occur when the moisture seeps through the gaps & damages the fibreboard core. It does not even take a great deal of time, for the harm to occur.
In contrast, waterproof laminate flooring is made of more robust & resilient materials, that helps protect the flooring from moisture. Meaning it works well in the likes of Kitchens & bathrooms, where spills are common.
What differentiates waterproof laminate flooring from standard laminate, is that the HDF boards are covered in water repellent lubricants & the surface with chemicals that will repel liquids also. This guarantees that the entire laminate board is protected from moisture, as well as being very sturdy.
Waterproof laminate is a great choice of floor for larger families or homes that have pets. This is simply because these homes often see a bit more thrills & spills than say, somebody who was living alone. In larger families, you can’t watch everybody at all times & your attention is pulled in so many directions, you won’t always be aware of the clumsy moments that are part & parcel of everyday life in bigger households.
If you are still unsure that you want to make the jump to waterproof laminate, here are what we consider some of the main benefits.
Pros of waterproof laminate for bathrooms & kitchens
- It takes the stress out of spills: With standard laminate, you run the risk that every spill could damage the look of the floor forever. With the waterproof variety, you don’t need to clamber for a mop or a cloth, as there isn’t the same urgency to clear up a spill, the way you have with other flooring options. Obviously, you don’t want to leave a spill lying around for too long, but you at least don’t have to worry about any long-term damage, by not clearing it up immediately.
- Easy installation: One of the most positive features of installing any type of laminate flooring in your bathroom (or indeed anywhere in your home) is the initial setup process. The simple click process of installing laminate makes it a DIY-friendly job, meaning less money being forked out for the customer.
- Durability: Other types of floors are more prone to scratches and other abuse. In the bathroom & kitchen you want to ensure that there does not have to be constant fixes and repairs. Laminate provides that security. Waterproof laminate has the added benefit of keeping its, appearance, shape & texture better than other flooring alternatives. Your floor will look brand new, for many years to come.
- Price: Laminate flooring can represent a saving of as much as four times other alternatives such as traditional hardwood floors, which could be a significant financial saving, particularly if you have a big house.
- Consistent style: Waterproof laminate is a great choice if you want to have a consistent style throughout your entire home & you will not need to change things up specifically for areas of the home that will see a lot of water.
- Easy to clean: Perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to which type of flooring you go for. Stains and spills will be commonplace and you need a surface that is well able to take a beating and come out cleaner on the other side.
Cons of waterproof laminate for bathrooms & kitchens
Issues you may face with your waterproof laminate include:
- No refinishing: One of the downsides of laminate flooring is that you can’t refinish. So any major damage which occurs to the flooring means it has to be replaced, rather than simply finished again.
- Slipperiness: Traditionally laminate flooring is considered to be more slippery than other flooring alternatives, which could present an issue in steamy bathrooms.
Even with the vast number of benefits that come with waterproof laminate, there are still a few things to consider. The warranties on most of the waterproof laminate will state that they are “not entirely waterproof”.
Companies & manufacturers have made an effort to alter the fibreboard core, in order to make swelling & delamination less & less of an issue. However, many warranty clauses make it clear that because of the fibreboard core, there are varieties that can never be considered truly waterproof.
Warranties may caution against installing the flooring in humid areas of your home, & warn against placing heavy objects such as fridges, freezers, or islands on it. Some may even caution you about leaving water puddling on the floor for more than a certain number of hours.
There are options out there that can make more of a genuine claim to being 100% waterproof, that use alternatives to the traditional fibreboard core. There are some manufacturers that offer options that are made entirely from PVC plastic, & are 100% percent suitable for whatever wet locations you throw at them.
At Sale Flooring Direct, we stock BinylPRO Waterproof flooring. It is extremely robust and thus suitable for a variety of uses. We are so convinced of its quality that it's guaranteed for no less than 30 years in residential and 5 years commercial. Except for wet rooms – e.g. shower cabin or sauna -, commercially used bathrooms.
BinylPRO is surface protected against water for 24-hours as stipulated by NALFA (North American Laminate Floor Association) with an additional 100h+ surface water protection according to works standard specification KRONOSPAN WN-101 (www.100hour-test.com). Water must be removed within 24 hours at the latest. The warranty does not apply to damage caused by water, which goes beyond everyday use, specifically flooding or standing water.
Waterproof laminate vs Luxury Vinyl Flooring
The reason that there has been less of a focus on creating a waterproof laminate, is mainly due to the existence of Luxury Vinyl Flooring such as LVT. This is a popular choice for anyone looking for a truly waterproof floor, with a similar click-lock installation.
It is composed of synthetic materials, meaning that there is no fibreboard core that can be damaged by swelling.
With this, luxury vinyl flooring tends to be a more expensive option than laminate flooring.
Another benefit that waterproof laminate has over luxury vinyl, is the fact that it tends to be more resilient to general wear & tear, including its resistance to picking up scratches.
Laminate flooring also offers a much better imitation of wood grains, even though the quality we see with luxury vinyl is just getting stronger year on year!
Which to choose?
Ultimately, there is no definitive answer to determining the flooring option that is better/worse. Both Laminate & LVT cater better for certain buyers, their needs & unique situations.
If you had to choose one option to guarantee protection from water damage, then LVT is probably the best choice for kitchens, bathrooms & utility rooms.
However, wherever the worry of moisture damage isn’t a huge issue, buyers may opt for a laminate style. There tend to be more options to choose from & the fact that it is super resistant to scratches and will continue to look good for years, even with the wear & tear of everyday life.
Here at Sale Flooring Direct, we have a great selection of both LVT & Waterproof laminate.
Not only that, but our team of experts are here to answer any questions & queries about what the best flooring option would be for you & your situation.
Just contact a member of the team today! We would love to help you out.