How To Decide Whether To Install Laminate Flooring In A Bathroom (Or Not)

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Last updated on January 16th, 2024 at 11:30 am

Is It Okay To Put Laminate flooring In Bathrooms? Find Out Here!

Wondering if it’s a good idea to install laminate flooring in a bathroom? Well, look no further because I have your answer!

Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for bathroom flooring because it’s cost-effective, easy to install and clean, antimicrobial, water- and impact-resistant, and comes in a variety of designs. It can be damaged from excess water, but proper installation and maintenance can minimize this possibility.

Here are the pros and cons of laminate flooring in bathrooms:

Pros Of Laminate Flooring In BathroomsCons Of Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms
Easy to cleanSlippery when wet
Antimicrobial Warps from excess water
Water-resistantCannot be refinished
Easy To DIY (Saves Money)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s break down each of these benefits and drawbacks further so you can make the best decision for your bathroom.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: Using Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms

  1. What Are The Benefits Of Installing Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms?
  2. What Are The Drawbacks Of Installing Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms?
  3. Other FAQs About Using Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms
  4. Final Thoughts
  5. Related Laminate Flooring Articles

What Are The Benefits Of Using Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms?

Here are the benefits of installing laminate flooring in a bathroom.

Benefit One: Laminate Flooring Is A Simple And Easy DIY Project (Which Saves Money)

The first benefit of installing laminate flooring in bathrooms is how easy it is to install (which in the world of DIY, we love because it saves money!)

Laminate flooring is one of those projects that seems very large in scale—you’re covering your entire bathroom, after all, including all of those tight corners, around the toilet—but it’s not that terrible or complicated at all. 

There are a few, must-have tools you will need to do a quality job. 

  • Circular Saw And/Or Miter Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Carpenter Pencil
  • Carpenter Square
  • Laminate Flooring Installation Kit (This is a must-have tool kit to make the installation process SO EASY)

You don’t have to be a skilled carpenter to do this job either. If you know how to measure with a tape measure and use a saw, you’ll have the entire bathroom floor installed in a single day.

Being able to complete a project yourself always lets you save money, which you can then put to better use in another project!

laminate flooring benefit easy to install
Those spacers and that bar come in the installation kit. So easy to use!

Benefit Two: Laminate Flooring Is Impact-Resistant

The next benefit of installing laminate flooring in bathrooms is its impact resistance.

By design, laminate flooring is impact-resistant. It doesn’t dent or crack from heavy blows.

It’s also resistant to abrasions from sliding heavy furniture across it. Of course, the best part is that you won’t be doing much of that in the bathroom.

But, likely, you will occasionally drop your phone or hair dryer or some other heavy object on the bathroom floor.

With this type of flooring, you won’t have to worry about those objects damaging the new bathroom floor.

Benefit Three: Laminate Flooring Is Easy To Clean And Water Resistant

The next benefits of installing laminate flooring in bathrooms are its water resistance and ease of cleaning.

Laminate flooring’s water resistance is what helps you clean it off so well. Water simply beads up on the top, since it is very difficult to penetrate the laminate. Simply wiping it up will do the trick.

It also makes life easier when dealing with mud from pets or kids tracking in from outside, wine spills, food spills, or just about any mess that is pretty common in a family household.

When you couple the impact- and water-resistance features together, laminate flooring is surprisingly simple to maintain (which makes it perfect for a bathroom that sees a decent amount of moisture and wear and tear!)

laminate flooring benefit easy to clean and water resistant
We’ve installed laminate flooring in both of our bathrooms and my mom’s guest bathroom. After 2 years of use, we’ve had no problems so far.

Benefit Four: Laminate Flooring Is Antimicrobial

The final benefit of installing laminate flooring in bathrooms is its antimicrobial properties.

Most laminate flooring is antimicrobial in the underlayment—the bottom material that sits flush on the floor—and for very good reason.

If water can penetrate anywhere into the laminate, it will be very difficult for mold and mildew to progress.

Mold and mildew need two things to survive: a source of food and moisture. Just because moisture may penetrate the laminate, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, as the antimicrobial underlayment removes the “food” from the equation.

This property in laminate flooring is excellent for bathrooms since these rooms do see a lot of moisture from showers.

Other types of flooring can trap moisture and encourage mold and mildew to grow. So choosing laminate flooring for your bathroom floors will help you to not have to worry about this potential problem.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Installing Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms?

Now that we’ve covered the benefits, let’s discuss the drawbacks of installing laminate flooring in a bathroom.

Drawback One: Laminate Flooring Is Slippery When Wet

The biggest drawback to throwing down laminate flooring in the bathroom is how slippery it is when it has moisture sitting on it.

That’s problematic in the bathroom where just about everything is a source of water. 

However, you can overcome this problem with a simple bath mat by the shower and the vanity. And having a bathroom vent/fan running while you shower will help to minimize any moisture forming on top of the laminate.

Having a bathroom vent/fan running and/or airing out the bathroom after you shower is highly encouraged no matter what type of flooring you choose.

Proper ventilation will help eliminate potential mold and mildew growth or water damage on all bathroom items, including the floor.

laminate flooring benefit antimicrobial
Bath mats also add a touch of style along with functionality.

Drawback Two: Long-Term Water Exposure Can Lead To Warping In Laminate Flooring

The second most-problematic drawback of installing laminate flooring in bathrooms is that excess water can cause warping in the laminate boards if not handled immediately.

This is especially problematic in a bathroom, where standing water is easily concealed through corners and at the edge of cabinets, or even overnight from a leak as you sleep.

The longer water sits there, the better its chances to penetrate the laminate.

When water gets through the surface of the laminate, it causes swelling. The swelling warps and can even disconnect the joints, destroying the look of the flooring and curling up the corners. 

This seems like a huge problem and might prevent you from installing laminate flooring in your bathroom.

However, if any major leaks do occur, your laminate flooring will not immediately be destroyed (speaking from experience).

As long as you dry out the water underneath the laminate boards as soon as possible, the boards are water-resistant enough to prevent damage from occurring.

While we were renovating our house, some of the plumbing wasn’t fully sealed and caused a huge flood on the newly installed laminate flooring in our laundry room.

We didn’t see the flood until the next day and immediately took action. Because of that action, our laminate flooring is perfectly fine.

To see how we dried our laminate flooring with water under it, check out my post here.

Also, caulking along the edge of the laminate flooring and the base of your tub or shower will help prevent water from getting underneath in the heaviest water-traffic area.

How Can I Protect My Laminate Flooring In A Bathroom?
Applying a bead of caulk along this “weak spot” will help water from penetrating there.

Drawback Three: Laminate Flooring Cannot Be Refinished

The final drawback of installing laminate flooring in bathrooms is that it cannot be refinished (like real hardwood floors can).

Over time, if the laminate flooring is heavily abused and takes a lot of damage, you can’t simply sand it down and refinish it.

It has to completely come up and be replaced by new laminate flooring. It’s one of the unfortunate side effects of its wonderful effectiveness and eas-of-installation. 

So this fact makes it even more crucial that you take care of your laminate flooring properly.

That means airing out your bathroom after each shower, caulking between the floor and the bathtub, and taking care to never let large amounts of water sit directly on the laminate flooring.

None of this is any different from any other type of flooring you can install in your bathroom. Those are normal best practices for taking care of your bathroom and your home regardless of the type of flooring installed.

Other FAQs About Installing Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms

Here are some other frequently asked questions about installing laminate flooring in bathrooms to help you complete your home renovation.

How Can I Protect My Laminate Flooring In A Bathroom?

To protect laminate flooring in a bathroom, caulk along the floor and the bathtub, run the vent during and after every shower, monitor for leaks often, and wipe up any large pools of water immediately. Keeping water off the laminate flooring will help it last for decades.

What Direction Should Laminate Flooring Be Installed In A Bathroom?

Laminate flooring should be installed parallel to the bathtub base to minimize the number of seams located next to the highest water-traffic area. Caulking along this long seam against the tub will also help minimize potential water damage in this area as well.

What Direction Should Laminate Flooring Be Installed In A Bathroom
It won’t harm the laminate if you run it perpendicular to the tub, but it is several more seams that can allow water to penetrate if you do it that way.

Can You Put Waterproof Laminate Flooring In A Bathroom?

Waterproof laminate flooring is the best type of laminate flooring to install in a bathroom since it is a room in the house that sees a lot of water and traffic. This type of flooring will minimize potential warping in the boards from water damage, and mold and mildew growth.

Final Thoughts On Laminate Floors In Bathrooms

There you have it! Laminate flooring is a visually striking, appealing, and cost-effective floor replacement for your bathroom.

It’s highly resistant to water and microbes—common factors in a bathroom—and with proper maintenance, will stand the test of time.

Luckily, the drawbacks are primarily the results of poor maintenance. So long as you keep it clean and well-maintained, your laminate flooring will last a lifetime in your bathroom.

Catch you in my next post!

laminate flooring in bathrooms pros and cons
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How To Decide Whether To Install Laminate Flooring In A Bathroom (Or Not)

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