If You’ve Got Water Under A Laminate Floor, Do This Now

Are you concerned that you may have water on your floors? Some floors are more water-resistant than others. For example, you may have luxury vinyl plank flooring, ceramic flooring, or tile flooring, all of which are resistant to water. On the other end of the spectrum is laminate flooring, which does not mix with water at all.

Laminate flooring and water could lead to disaster in your home. If water gets underneath your laminate flooring, some incredibly nasty water damage could result. Even though laminate flooring is relatively inexpensive, it is also not water-resistant. Therefore, you need to run water tests, dry the area, and possibly replace the flooring.

It can be frustrating if you get water underneath your laminate floors, but there are ways to fix this issue. If you are ready to learn more about how to fix water underneath your laminate flooring, we have done a significant amount of research to answer this question for you. Take a look at the results of our work, and remember to contact a professional if you have any questions or concerns about the quality of the flooring in your home. 

So, are you ready to dive in? If so, read more below! 

Laminate Flooring Disclaimers

t’s worth noting that some laminate flooring is actually water resistant. Each board has a foam liner inside the snap lock, which forms a much better seal than a standard board. Here’s an example in HomeDepot.

If you have this type of laminate floor, you likely don’t need to worry about water damage.

Before we start, you should first make sure you’ve fixed whatever has caused the water damage! This article is a big one, and contains a lot of steps. It wouldn’t make too much sense to follow this and do all the hard work, only for the same leak to come back and spoil your work. Focus on fixing the leak first before reading this article.

The Materials Needed

If you believe that you have water underneath your laminate flooring, you need to make sure you have the right materials. Of course, you need to have something you can use to dry up the water. This will probably include a mop, a bunch of towels, and even a potential floor drying device.

It is also possible that this will not be enough to fix your laminate flooring. There is a significant chance you will need to call a flooring professional to help you fix this damage. You may even need to replace the floors entirely. Hopefully, this will not happen to you, but it is important to take a closer look at the steps you need to follow to address this issue.

Brown laminate floor with moisture bubbles
If laminate flooring is exposed to too much water for too long, the boards will almost always begin to cup, crown, crack, buckle, crown, or split. 

4 Steps To Fix Water Under Laminate Flooring

If you have water underneath your laminate flooring, there are several steps you need to follow. These include: 

Step 1: Mop Up Any Water That Is Still Present

First, you need to make sure you mop up any water that is still present. It is true that laminate flooring can get wet, but only if the water is on top of the floor. If you get water on the sides of your laminate flooring or underneath through laminate flooring, this can lead to a disaster. This absolutely cannot happen, or you will need to replace the flooring.

At the same time, that does not necessarily mean that you can just let water sit there if it is on top of your laminate flooring. Remember that water can move, so it may migrate from the top of the laminate flooring to the side. Then, it will get underneath your laminate flooring, leading to serious damage.

Therefore, use a mop or a bunch of towels to dry up any water that could still be present. If you need to get a floor drying machine, go ahead and do exactly that.

You should not install laminate flooring in the bathroom because it is probably the widest area of the home. At the same time, if you do put laminate flooring in the bathroom, you need to work with professionals who understand how to keep your flooring safe. If you do not take proper precautions to seal the flooring, particularly around the toilet, bathtub, or shower, you could end up dealing with a very messy situation. 

Step 2: Use a Vacuum and Remove Damaged Molding

If you have confirmed that you have water underneath your laminate flooring, you need to take immediate action to prevent the problem from getting worse. If you see laminate flooring wet on the edges, you need to use a wet-dry vacuum to extract any water that might still be present. You may also need to pull up any shoe molding or quarter round, to complete the process. 

If the water is pervasive, there’s a good chance you will need to remove the floorboards that have been impacted. If the spill could have permeated down into them through, they need to be removed after the quarter round and the baseboards have been removed. This could mean you have to remove the molding, the floorboard, and the baseboard. 

Step 3: Fix The Damage

After you have removed any of the damaged areas, it is time to get to work fixing them. There are numerous types of floors, including laminate flooring, that could be subject to damage when they make contact with water. For example, hardwood flooring can warp. They can also swell if they make contact with water.

If you notice your hardwood flooring is crowning or cupping, you will need to reach out to a professional who can assist you with this. Of course, the difference between wood flooring and laminate flooring is that real wood floors can be saved. On the other hand, laminate floors cannot. If there are damaged areas of hardwood floors in your home, you may be able to sand them down and reverse the damage. Of course, laminate flooring cannot be sanded. This means it probably cannot be reused.

The vast majority of installation companies use packages of laminate boards. There’s usually a set number of laminate flooring boards in every package, so there’s a good chance you may have some leftover laminate floors somewhere. They usually leave them in the garage, but you may have moved them to the attic or the storage area to get them out of the way.

Check around your house and see if there are any leftover laminate flooring boards present. If so, you may be able to replace the damaged boards, potentially saving your laminate floors from being replaced entirely. 

If you are uncomfortable doing this on your own, you may want to reach out to a professional company that can help you. If you already have the board’s present, they may be able to give you a significant discount on the job. 

Laminate floor broken by moisture
If you have some leftover laminate flooring boards stored in your house, you can easily replace the damaged units.

Step 4: Make Sure the Area Is Dry Before Installing the Boards

If you are relying on a professional company that helps you put the laminate flooring down, they should already do this; however, you need to make sure the area is completely dry before you install the new set of laminate flooring. Otherwise, the water is going to damage the new boards just like it has impacted the old ones.

If you are putting laminate flooring in the bathroom, you may want to remove the toilet before you put the new floors in place.

Just be careful here, as if the new laminate is thinner or thicker then the toilet flange may be either above the flooring or below it. Either could lead to a leak each time the toilet is flushed.

You may even want to use a floor drying device to completely dry the area for several days before you put in the new floors. Remember that you may also have to apply new quarter round or shoe molding, so make sure you have plenty of this as well. That way, you know the job has been performed correctly.

Find the Right Flooring For Your Home

If you have to remove the floors in your home, you may want to put down something that is more water-resistant. This is particularly true if you are putting the floors in a wet area, such as the bathroom. For example, luxury vinyl plank is resistant to water. Even though it can get slippery if it gets wet, you will probably not have to replace it. You may also want to talk to a professional flooring company about other options that could be more resistant to moisture.

For example, ceramic and tile might also be better choices. If you take the time to carefully evaluate your options, you should be able to find something that is more water-resistant than laminate flooring. Because you have already had to remove the flooring from your home, this could be a good time to pick a new flooring option. You should carefully evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each option before you decide which one is best for that specific location. Working with an expert may be your best bet. 

Fix Spills on Laminate

These are a few of the most important points you need to keep in mind when it comes to laminate flooring and water. It is true that spills can happen from time to time, but remember that some floors are more susceptible to them than others. If you have laminate flooring in your home, it cannot get wet. If moisture gets around or underneath the laminate flooring, you need to completely dry the area and replace the floors.

Even though it is true that laminate flooring can handle water on top of it, you still need to clean up the spill quickly. Water can migrate, and it might be able to get underneath the flooring if you let it sit there. Make sure you use towels and mops to completely remove the moisture. Then, if you have any questions or concerns about your floors, you may want to reach out to a professional.