There are many misunderstandings when it comes to laminate flooring – in actuality most don't cope well with water unless they're designed to do so. That being said, there are several laminates in the market that are water resistant – meaning they can deal with a some dampness without being damaged. There are even certain brands designed to be waterproof.
What is Laminate?
Laminate floors are made by mixing layers of wood with a plastic top layer. This makes it a less expensive option which can mimic other, more expensive hardwoods. It comes in a huge variety of prices and types – some which are designed to be more water resistant than others.
The problem with a lot of laminate flooring is that if it is regularly exposed to water or if the spill is not cleaned up promptly, the liquid can seep down into the fiberboard core of the panels. This will cause major damage, both visually and structurally.
What Can I Do?
In order to preserve your laminate flooring for as long as possible, it's important to clean up any spills as soon as possible and keep panels as dry as possible. You might want to look into getting caulking laid in between each board so as to avoid any seepage into the lower layers. Alternatively, think about installing a waterproof brand of laminate.
What About Vinyl?
A great alternative to look into is luxury vinyls. These materials are durable, strong, long lasting, come in a huge variety of different stylesâ€¦ the most important thing? They're designed to deal with water.
Just like laminate, vinyl can successfully mimic the appearance of traditional hardwood but doesn't come with the hefty price tag – or the weakness to water. Vinyl also comes in planks or tiles, and there are a wide range of products from the more affordable to high-end, engineered materials. In the past, vinyl was limited by it's installation, as it was in effect â€˜stuck' onto the subfloor. Being thin, it would also show through the imperfections. The vinyl of today is quite different – it can come as a â€˜floating floor' and is much thick and cushioned, making it a great choice for the bathroom.