Installing a floating laminate floor around the bathtub can seem like an impossible task for the average homeowner, but in actuality, it is not as complicated as it may seem. This type of flooring, when installed correctly, can give you years of reliable service and can be installed by anyone.
Tools and Materials You'll Need:
- Tape measure
- Laminate flooring
- Staple or nail gun (air driven)
- Rubber mallet
- Foam underlayment
- Plastic vapor barrier
- Small pry bar
- Miter saw
Step 1: Prepare the Floor
Even though the existing tile or wood does not have to be taken out, it is a good practice to do so. This allows you to start fresh, and does not add any more height to the floor. If there have been any leaks on the floor, then the subflooring should be replaced before installing the floating laminate flooring. Be sure that all moisture is wiped up and dried before continuing onto the next step.
Step 2: Lay Plastic Barrier
After the flooring is prepared properly, staple the plastic sheeting down for a moisture barrier. Make sure that the sheets are stretched tightly from one side to the other, and that there are no folds or creases.
Step 3: Lay the Foam Underlayment
The next layer has to be the foam underlayment, which also has to be stretched from end to end in the room. Once again, staple it down so that there is no movement in it, which will cause you problems when installing the floating laminate floor.
Step 4: Install the First Row
Begin the room by starting the first row on the farthest wall away from the bathtub. Be sure to leave a half-inch gap away from all of the walls to allow for expansion and movement. Use the miter saw to make any cuts. Take your time and make all of your cuts smooth and straight.
It is not required to tack these pieces down, but many people will use small trim nails and shoot them into the tongue section of the wood to help with stability.
Step 5: Complete the Rows
Continue adding rows of the floating laminate flooring until the room is completed. Use a rubber mallet to secure the pieces together, and be sure to stagger the seams and joints so that they are not right next to each other.
When laying the final row, the one that is next to the bathtub, use a small crow bar and carefully force the pieces into place.
Step 6: Finish the Floor
Caulk all the way around the tub to ensure a solid moisture and fluid barrier, and then add trim pieces around the entire floor to hide the gaps that have to be left for expansion and movement.
Installing a floating laminate floor in your bathroom, and around the bathtub, is actually a simple task as long as you pay attention to details and are willing to spent a little time on the project. There is really no need for you, as the homeowner, to deal with the hassle and expensive of hiring a professional flooring installer when this task can be accomplished in a day.