What to do if Laminate Floors Get Wet

Laminate floors are a costly investment for any home, but accidents can happen and we discuss what you can do when laminate floors get wet.






Laminate flooring has become an extremely popular flooring solution for many homes. It is easy to install, looks gorgeous, and adds value to a property. But laminate flooring does have its downfalls, all of which are based on the composition of laminate flooring and whether you install a quality - more expensive - flooring or settle for a more affordable solution. Despite that, laminate flooring, quality or not, can be affected by moisture of any kind. With the rainy season about the hit many homes this month, now is a good time to look at what you can do if laminate flooring gets wet.




Moisture of any kind is laminate flooring's worst enemy. Because of its composition of chipboard or medium density fibreboard, both of which are not waterproof, these materials absorb moisture like a dry sponge in a bath of water. They such up the moisture and swell out of shape and the laminate coating on top of the laminate planks lifts and curls or peels away. The only way to prevent this from happening is to immediately wipe up any spills with a dry cloth.





Immediate action required


  1. Should a leak occur, perhaps in the kitchen, close to a bathroom, caused by a burst geyser, or water coming into the home due to rain, immediate action is the best solution. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind should an accident occur:
  2. As soon as any spill occurs, use a dry cloth to mop up to prevent water from being absorbed into the planks. This is how most damage to laminate flooring happens and you want to prevent this at all costs.
  3. Use a warm air hairdryer to quickly dry off the planks before absorption occurs. A hairdryer will speed up the drying process and prevent the laminate layer from curling or peeling.
  4. If water manages to seep underneath laminate flooring, speedy action will prevent further damage and the possibility of mould occurring. The longer you wait to attend to the problem, the more damage you will need to repair and possibly even have to replace the entire flooring.
  5. Assess the cause of the leak or moisture and remedy this as quickly as possible. If it is a burst geyser, this should be covered by your home insurance policy, but if not or you are not covered, quickly remove as much moisture as possible with dry cloths or old towels. Do not place these over the flooring as they will hamper the drying process. A wet and dry vacuum can be used to try and suck up as much water as possible.
  6. In cases of severe flooding and the laminate floor being covered with water, it will be necessary to lift the laminate planks up to reach the moisture underneath and suck this away. Laminate flooring should be laid over a moisture barrier that protects the flooring from moisture from underneath but, unfortunately, this can hamper the drying process as moisture becomes trapped. Lifting planks will allow natural and manual drying to be performed as quickly as possible. Placing a dehumidifier in the room will provide additional help in removing moisture and should be left there for 24 to 48 hours to prevent the growth of mould or bacteria.
  7. Any planks removed from the floor should be immediately dried to prevent warping or swelling if they are to be re-installed. If left too long, it will be almost impossible to re-place the planks.









Prevention is the best

At this moment in time, waterproof laminate flooring is not an option unless you have a large budget. There are many sources on the Web that say that laminate flooring can be coated with a polyurethane sealer, but there are just as many that say this is a bad idea. My take on this, there is only one way to find out and that is to do-it-yourself. Pick a small area of laminate flooring that is inconspicuous and coat with several layers of polyurethane sealer. Do a test to pour a small amount of water over the surface to see how it holds up. If nothing else, it will give you enough time to mop up spills without damaging the flooring.







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