If you're thinking about putting down new flooring in your bathroom, you may not have considered laminate flooring. Laminate flooring isn't a common choice for bathrooms due to the fact that standing water can cause it to buckle. If laminate flooring is correctly installed, though, it can hold up well there. The flooring can be laid directly over the top of your existing bathroom floor, making it an easy do-it-yourself upgrade.
Buy waterproof laminate flooring from a home improvement store. (There are waterproof laminate floorings available that aren't completely waterproof but are water resistant.) This is essential for laying laminate flooring in a bathroom.
Lay a dry run of your laminate flooring. Before proper installation, determine where your planks will go by laying them out dry. Keep them 1/4 of an inch from the walls on all sides to allow them to expand. Planks will lie side by side. This will show you exactly how you'll need to lay your planks to cover the floor.
Cut the pieces that need to be cut. One of the biggest challenges when laying laminate flooring in the bathroom is working around fixtures. Some people remove the toilet and any cabinets or sinks that can be removed to lay their laminate flooring. You can do this, or you can cut your planks to fit around them. You'll determine which planks you need to cut as you lay out your dry run. Cut the laminate planks face down with a power saw.
Place a rubber flooring underlay. Every flooring underlay is installed differently. There will be installation instructions on the underlay packaging. It's generally as simple as cutting the underlay down to the length and width of the room and cutting out holes for the fixtures.
Install the laminate flooring planks. Remember to keep the 1/4 inch away from the walls. Laminate flooring planks are made to snap together. Just slide the edge of one into the plank beside it at a slight angle and snap it into place. Add a layer of wood glue between each set of planks. A small layer of glue will squeeze out of the top. Wipe this away immediately with a wet cloth. The glue will keep moisture from getting down into the planks.
Caulk around the outside edges of the flooring, filling the 1/4 inch of space you left. Also caulk around the fixtures, paying special attention to the bathtub and the toilet to make sure there are no holes. Most damage to laminate flooring comes from water.