Laminate flooring is gaining popularity and, for good reasons. It is an affordable substitute for natural wood or stone offering the same look without being expensive or vulnerable to scratches or discoloration. Laminate flooring is easy to install and maintain, hygienic and suitable for high traffic areas such as kid’s room, making it a good choice for families. While laminate flooring is resistant to water is not waterproof.

Floorboards don’t tolerate excess moisture or waterflood. We will discuss the damage incorporated by water to laminate flooring and how to fix it.

How water affects laminate flooring?

Some flooring types such a ceramic or porcelain tile, vinyl or especially luxury vinyl tile are considered as being impervious to water. On the other hand, timber flooring, bamboo, and engineered board are susceptible to water.

You should think twice before laying a timber flooring in a kitchen or bathroom. Laminate flooring belongs to the second camp. As the appliqué or image layer is protected by a water resistance transparent cover, a little spill of water or juice should not be a problem for laminate flooring. Nonetheless, excess water and moisture may seriously damage fiberboards and even the underlayment. If installed improperly, laminate flooring can experience a hard time in a high-moisture environment, otherwise, it can stand the test of time for decades.

Soaking tests carried out by laminate flooring manufacturers showed that prolonged or regular contact with water can wrap or bend the floorboards. Usually, submerged laminate flooring will maintain its original dimensions for two hours. After 4 hours the dense fiber layers absorb water and cause irreversible damage to the floor. It takes no longer than two days that the image or wear layer begins to de-laminate. Because laminate flooring is made of dense fiber layers it may take weeks to dry, if ever.

Even After drying, it will never return to its original shape and color. Therefore, it is crucial to keep a laminate flooring dry as much as possible.

Can a swollen laminate flooring be repaired?

Laminate flooring and water do not mix. Like many other types of flooring, laminate flooring is subject to damage when exposed to waterflood. Floorboards will swallow and distort when comes into constant contact with water. Some people think that a damaged laminate flooring can be saved using a hairdryer. This is not true. Because water soaked up into fiberboard changes dimensions and shape of floorboards, a hairdryer won’t work in the case of swollen laminate flooring. Despite natural wood flooring that can be sanded and refinished several times, a damaged laminate board cannot be repaired. The best way to deal with a wrapped or swollen board is to replace it.

If you remove a floor tile and find that water has reached under the floor but no swelling is visible, you can use a hair washer or a dry-wet vacuum cleaner to restore the floorboard. First of all, you should stop the leakage immediately. Then use a hair washer, heater or dry-wet vacuum cleaner to extract the water. Don’t forget to dry the underlayment too. Anyway, it is better to replace these boards as well.

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