How to choose a waterproof laminate for your bathroom

Recommendation points

Waterproof laminate flooring is a good solution for those who want to abandon the cold tiled floor, but do not know what to replace it with. Laminate in the bathroom looks unusual, it can be quickly mounted. Manufacturers give at least a ten-year guarantee on the material.

How to choose a waterproof laminate for your bathroom

A bathroom floor covering must have a number of specific properties: absolute resistance to dampness, including prolonged direct contact with water, impact resistance, environmental and biological safety, resistance to temperature extremes, fungus and other types of mold, anti-slip surface. Let’s figure out which type of laminate meets these requirements..

Choosing a laminate suitable for the bathroom

The stores sell two types of damp-resistant laminate: moisture-resistant and waterproof. Both are marked with the corresponding icons: three drops, a water tap, etc. Despite the external similarity, they have serious differences in structure and properties.

Moisture resistant

The lamella is based on HDF board. Like any wood material, it absorbs water with “great pleasure”. To increase the moisture resistance of HDF boards for moisture-resistant laminates are made denser than for ordinary ones. To do this, they are pressed with high pressure apparatuses..

How to choose a waterproof laminate for your bathroom

Each board is wrapped in a layer of waterproofing. The cut clearly shows a green (by analogy with moisture resistant GCR) hydrophobic layer. The most vulnerable place – the locks – are covered with a layer of wax. This triple layer of protection can provide moisture impermeability, but not water impermeability, since water is a more aggressive medium that can seep into cracks that are invisible to the naked eye. Moisture-resistant laminate can easily withstand humid air and frequent washing, but spilled water must be wiped up urgently, otherwise water will seep into the joints after a while and damage the coating.

Water resistant

If you replace the HDF plate with a plastic one, there will be simply nothing to soak in the board. Manufacturers followed this path when they developed waterproof flooring..

How to choose a waterproof laminate for your bathroom

The coating, which is based on a PVC plate, is not afraid of leaks from washing machines and even breaks in hot water pipes. Moreover, at the joints of some brands of lamellas there are rubber sealing gaskets, which for 72 hours do not allow water to seep to the subfloor..

Conclusion: moisture-resistant laminate is only suitable for the kitchen, and only waterproof laminate can be installed in the bathroom.

The subtleties of styling

The principle of laying waterproof laminate is the same as for conventional laminate. The lamellas are interlocked with each other using a lock connection, resulting in a monolithic surface.

Laying waterproof laminate – step by step instructions:

  1. Prepare a rough surface (remove the skirting boards, pull out the protruding nails, if necessary, level in a horizontal plane with self-leveling mixtures).
  2. Vacuum dust, dirt, debris.
  3. Cover the substrate. If the substrate is not roll, but sheet, the seams between the sheets are fixed in several places with pieces of ordinary tape.
  4. Lay the boards, starting from the corner of the room, not forgetting to retreat a centimeter around the perimeter.
  5. Attach the skirting board and seal the seam.

How to choose a waterproof laminate for your bathroom

As for the sealing of the seams between the lamellas, it all depends on the brand of laminate. The premium material with rubber seals on the locks does not need a sealant – it is already 100% sealed, and an additional layer of sealant will not allow the locks to snap into place. When laying inexpensive laminate flooring, you can play it safe and seal each seam with a sealant. In the event of a pipe break, the moisture-resistant laminate itself will not suffer or deform – a sealant is needed so that water does not get under the floor covering.

A special sealant is needed, suitable also for a lock connection, for example, Clic Protect, “Click Guard”. It is applied in a continuous layer on the upper side of the tongue, the lamella is immediately laid, and after 30 minutes the excess is removed with a beveled plastic spatula.

What the market offers (review of brands)

So that the new flooring does not disappoint you in the very first months, you need to choose quality material from well-known manufacturers. It is better if the company specializes specifically in the production of laminate for wet rooms..

Parcolys (Belgium) – the owner of the world-famous Aqua Step trademark. As for the waterproof laminate, here the company is a pioneer – it was the first to develop its technology and started commercial production in 2001. Aqua Step products are of very high quality, but they also cost 3,000–4,000 rubles / sq. m.

How to choose a waterproof laminate for your bathroom

Witex (Germany) – the company has developed and patented its own technology for the production of internal boards for boards: AQUA-Protect. Average price 2000-3000 rubles / sq. m.

AQUAFLOOR (France) – 100% waterproof plastic-vinyl floor. Average price 2200 rubles / sq. m.

Waterproof laminate of domestic and Chinese production costs 320-420 rubles / sq. m.

How to choose a waterproof laminate for your bathroom

Advice!In order not to overpay for laminate flooring, it is imperative to take into account the premises with what traffic it is designed for. Material 21-23 strength class is suitable for residential premises, 31-32 for apartments and offices, 33 – for public buildings with very high traffic.

The warranty period also depends on the class. Serious manufacturers guarantee that their coating will last at home:

  • 21-23 grade – 10 years;
  • 31-32 grade – 25 years old;
  • 32nd grade – for life (provided that it will be used at home).

So, waterproof laminate is a fully usable bathroom floor covering. It does not deteriorate from water and lasts no less than a tile.

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