Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms: Is That A Good Idea?

Is using laminate flooring in bathroom applications a good idea? Laminate might not seem like an obvious choice for bathroom flooring at first glance. It's a wood composite with a printed wood image on top that most homeowners use for applications like bedrooms and living rooms. However, if it's high quality laminate it can actually do pretty well in the bathroom if you're just tired of a tile floor. We've even seen it used as a contrast to tile applications in the shower and sink.

Pros Of Laminate Flooring In Bathroom Applications

It's Fairly Inexpensive

If you like the idea of a hardwood floor appearance in your bathroom but want to dodge drawbacks like a high price tag, laminate is a less expensive option. It can give you the appearance of an exotic hardwood without being quite as high priced. The high quality laminate options usually run $3-7 per square foot.

Laminate is Relatively Resistant to Humidity

Most organic flooring options are going to be more vulnerable to humidity-related damage than inorganic options like ceramic tile. However, the manufacturing process actually makes laminate one of the least vulnerable to warping and mold out of the organic flooring options.

It's Less "Slippery When Wet" Than Many Other Tile Options

If you are concerned about a member of your household who is not very steady on his or her feet and might fall on a wet bathroom floor, laminate can work better because it gets less slick when wet. Choose an option that doesn't feel especially slippery to the touch when you've sprinkled a little water on it and it'll be fine.

It Can Work Well With People Who Intend to Live in Their Homes for a While

Many people who intend to stay put for as long as possible usually aren't all that concerned about the value of their property as long as it's maintained well enough to be pleasant to live in. If you don't intend to sell your home anytime soon, the property value really only matters for property taxes. In this kind of case, the only thing that matters is your personal preferences for a new flooring installation.

Cons Of Laminate Flooring In Bathrooms Applications

It Can Lower Your Property Value

Most home buyers expect to see tile in bathrooms. Anything other than tile can be a turnoff in a room that gets a lot of humidity and the occasional leak. This is especially true if an organic flooring like laminate has not been well-maintained and has developed warping or mold problem.

Laminate Can Warp and Develop Mold Problems in a High Humidity Environment

The usual advice when maintaining an organic flooring option is to keep it as dry as possible. Wipe up spills as soon as possible and run a dehumidifier. In a bathroom, that might not always be possible, especially if you don't notice a leak at first. That means damage can occur in hidden places and not be noticeable until it poses a serious health hazard.

Laminate Might Not Save You Money in the Long Run

It is possible to get laminate for less than $3 per square foot, but the low-cost options may also be low quality and will deteriorate faster in a high humidity environment. If you are unsure about whether the manufacturer will honor the warranty for laminate used in a bathroom, be sure to ask the manufacturer before you install. For this reason, we recommend sticking to high quality options as much as possible if you want laminate flooring in your bathroom.

If You Want a Unique Floor Design, Laminate is Less Versatile Than Tile

Laminate can be “mixed and matched” to a certain extent, especially if you go for a print design other than wood. However, tile offers a lot of design options that often don't occur to people who are used to thinking of tile as a boring monochrome option.

Would laminate work for your bathroom floor? It's a tough sell if you are thinking about moving for any reason. If you don't intend to stay in your home for much longer or aren't certain, laminate may not be the best choice because it can bring down the value of your property. If you intend to stay in your home for a while and want something that can contrast tile applications in areas other than the bathroom floor, laminate may be the choice for you. Laminate can work fine as long as you keep it maintained and keep your eyes peeled for signs of hidden damage.

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