When Laminate flooring comes up in a conversation with a flooring person, it’s not long before the limitations on where laminate flooring should and should not be installed and why. Laminate, in construction vernacular typically refers to a building material made in layers. It could be thought of as a sandwich. Laminate flooring historically has been made up of a backer, which would be the bottom layer that would be in contact with the sub-floor. On top of that, in the middle of the sandwich would be a filler layer that gives the flooring its thickness and also adds a little padding to the feel of this finished product. This is where the limitations lie. The middle part of laminate flooring is made up of wood particles glued together, which is a great design as long as water is kept away from the floor. A leaking pipe, moisture coming up through the subfloor, any number of conditions can spell the end of what otherwise would be a quality floor installation. Laminate flooring is topped off with a decorative topping, a deal if you will, that looks great but is subject to disfiguring if the material underneath bubbles or degrades because of moisture intrusion.
Manufacturers have addressed this problem by giving us waterproof laminate flooring. By changing materials in the middle of the sandwich from an absorbent wood product to a non-absorbent product such as PVC, (the same product plastic pipe is made of) manufacturers have given us a product that no longer has the limitations that the old product did. Like other laminates, waterproof laminate flooring fits together the same way, but now can be considered for bathrooms, kitchens, even basements under the right circumstances. Of course, any water issues in any of these rooms would still need to be dealt with and we are always better off with no water leaks or problems at all, but with waterproof laminate flooring now on the scene, we have more options than we once did.
There are so many options to consider now that waterproof laminate flooring is in the mix. Bathrooms, kitchens, basements, even outdoor applications like decks and patios can now have an inexpensive and relatively easy to install look of hardwood, even stone or slate with a simple application of this laminate and the worries over whether or even when the moisture damage was going to show itself are now virtually gone.