Moisture Barrier Under Laminate Flooring

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  #1  
Old 01-17-13, 10:51 AM
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Moisture Barrier Under Laminate Flooring

The manufacturer of my laminate flooring says (if I'm reading the instructions right) that if you're installing over wood subfloor, cut the moisture barrier 1" from the wall, then run the flooring 3/8" from the wall, then if it's in a bathroom (as mine is) fill the 3/8" gap in w/ silicone. I understand the 3/8" gap (for expansion) and I can see the silicone (to seal from water), but why the 1" gap? If it's so that moisture will seep down into the floor and not be trapped between the flooring and moisture barrier, then why have the moisture barrier at all?
 
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Old 01-17-13, 11:11 AM
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Any chance I can talk you out of laminate in a bathroom altogether?
 
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Old 01-17-13, 01:08 PM
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I'm most certainly open to all advice. It's already purchased, but I might be able to return it. What are the downsides. The upsides are it's easy to install, it's beautiful and it was cheap, but I want to be aware of any issues you might forsee. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-17-13, 01:26 PM
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I wouldn't even use wood in a bathroom but laminate is not even wood, it's a picture of wood on a substrate, which is definitely able to absorb moisture if exposed to it. In a bathroom, I prefer ceramic or porcelain tile, with vinyl next on the list for those who think tile is too hard a surface.

Short version is you're putting a product which does not handle water well into an environment where it's likely to encounter it.
 
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Old 01-17-13, 02:03 PM
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Maybe the nice vinyl strips that look like wood would work? They attache to each other and float.

That's if you really want the wood look. They also make the vinyl that looks like tile that many people have reported good results with. Either of these may cost a bit more than click lock laminate...but for a bath, that would be minimal.
 
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Old 01-17-13, 03:11 PM
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I appreciate your input on this. We really wanted to get flooring for the kitchen that matches. So we could get vinyl for the bathroom and kitchen?
 
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