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Can countertop laminate be used as flooring? Answered

I've been having a hard time finding just the right color and pattern that I want in sheet vinyl or tiles, and Formica/Wisonart laminates come in about a BILLION styles and colors. If I put it down as flooring, do you think the surface would last over time? In a bathroom it would only see foot traffic and water, nothing heavy to scrape or damage it (like a fridge or furniture legs). I don't imagine it would chip or break as long as all the outer edges are protected. In a small bathroom you could get away with using only one sheet (no seams), or 2 sheets with just one seam in the middle. Sheets of laminate aren't cheap, but they're no worse than sheet vinyl of the same size. I imagine you couldn't "loose-lay" it even if you cut it to the exact dimensions of the room, because you'd probably get a slight air pocket effect when you step on it. A strip of glue down the floor's center along with perimeter gluing ought to be sufficient.

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caitlinsdad (author)2011-07-17

I would not use laminate designed for countertops or wall coverings. They are supposed to be slick so that cleanups are easy. Being in the bathroom, any water or moisture on the floor will make it a slipping hazard. Even the bathrugs you might throw down would slide around making it even worse.

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Scott153 (author)caitlinsdad2011-07-17

Yeah, I was already thinking about that. I wouldn't use glossy finished laminate, only matte, and I think some laminates even have a raised/embossed pattern on them which would help. Even with my existing vinyl tile floor, I discovered the hard way that bath rugs without any rubber backing on them slide around dangerously.

Sheet vinyl flooring is supposed to be slip resistant, but I've slipped several times in the past (almost disasterously) on my vinyl kitchen floor when I've had wet feet after showering and traversed it to get to the other end of the house. So "real" flooring isn't always slip resistant, either.

Lowes sell a slip-resistant additive (SharkGrip) meant for concrete topcoat/sealer that you roll on with a roller, that might also work as a last resort. The ad says it's "easy on bare feet".

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DianneN7 (author)Scott1532016-02-25

Did you end up doing it? How does it look 4 years later? My husband wants to do the same thing in our bathroom and I am wondering how it turned out?

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rojo.balloon (author)2011-07-19

Laminate flooring is not recommended for any use other than flooring. While it could possibly be used for other things, certain properties of the material make it a bad choice for high-impact areas of the house, such as a kitchen countertop.

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Scott153 (author)rojo.balloon2011-07-27

You misunderstood my question. I'm talking about doing the opposite.

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rojo.balloon (author)Scott1532011-07-28

Oh sorry. Basically what the answer to that question is yes. It depends on what kind of material it is. If it is stronger, you would use it on areas that are impacted more. If it is weaker, you would use it on areas that are not as impacted.

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steveastrouk (author)2011-07-17

Without a substantial backing, it will crack like glass in very short order. Put down a 3/4" WBP ply base, screwed and glued to the subfloor and then you can glue down laminate.

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Scott153 (author)steveastrouk2011-07-17

The existing floor is concrete with vinyl tiles, which I plan to scrape off. Couldn't I just lay it over the bare concrete subfloor (or even the tiles for that matter) as long as there are no height irregularities in the surface to create a possibility of cracking? Is the wood base really necessary? Wood and water don't mix. After all, you can roll up the laminate without it cracking, so I don't think it's quite as fragile as glass.

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steveastrouk (author)Scott1532011-07-18

My experience with it is it will break easily unless very very well supported.

Steve

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caarntedd (author)2011-07-17

No. It would eventually crack and split no matter how good the backing is. It is not very hard wearing or scratch resistant.

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