Can Laminate Flooring Cause Damp? (All You Need to Know!)

It’s no secret that some types of flooring may cause dampness. If not properly taken care of, excess moisture can cause the flooring to warp and even grow mold. But is this also the case with Laminate flooring? 

Yes, it’s commonly known that Laminate flooring causes dampness, also known as sweating. The leading cause for this is condensation or prolonged exposure to water. You can fix this by using dehumidifiers, drying up the damp flooring, or removing the panels as a last resort to put them in different locations.

Moisture is the number one enemy of laminate flooring. It can cause warping and mold; not only that, but it will lead to other problems like peeling or bubbling! But do we have any control over this? The answer might surprise you.

Does Laminate Flooring Really Cause Damp?

Yes, Laminate flooring may cause dampness, and in a majority of cases, condensation is the primary reason why your laminate flooring starts to feel slick and wet. Similarly, if you reside in a region where the climate is warmer, and the humidity is high throughout the year, you will likely experience dampness.

Of course, if you decide to reuse old laminate flooring on your shower walls, the story will be the same. However, there are some types of laminate floorings that are perfectly suited to use on shower walls or places that are constantly humid or wet.

Why Do Laminate Flooring Cause Damp?

When the humid and warm air comes into contact with the panels, it doesn’t take long to cool down. As a result, it condenses right on the surface of laminate panels and leads to sweating. On the other hand, the dampness could also be the result of a leak around your home. If you leave it unattended for a while, it will eventually cause further condensation.

Below are various reasons why your laminate floorboards are causing dampness.

  1. Issues due to moisture

Laminate panels consist of wood fiberboard, which means that it’s susceptible to complete and permanent damage, especially if it makes contact with water for a prolonged period of time. 

  1. Problems caused by ambient air conditions

It’s also strongly advised to keep a close eye on your surroundings, especially where you work. This is mainly because this particular flooring material is known for being influenced by changes in humidity and temperature. 

Consequently, it’s suggested not to lay down laminate flooring somewhere with high moisture content. This is because often, the moisture causes the material to saturate. 

  1. Floods and spills

The top layer of your laminate floorboards has been specially designed to help protect it against scrapes, scratches, gouges, and various other damages. In addition, this layer acts as a shield against stains and spills. But this doesn’t mean you should just leave it there and not worry about it. 

Unattended spills cause the liquid to make its way through the seams of the panels. This has a significant impact on the interior layers and leads to numerous issues later on. 

What Happens If Moisture Gets Under Laminate Flooring?

I think we’ve established that nothing good comes from water getting under the laminate floorboards by now. But what actually happens when it does? Following are several consequences that can attest to this fact.

  1. While the topmost layer of laminate panels is resistant to water, the other materials present below the surface are not. Consequently, fluids and water can penetrate the floorboards and force them to warp or swell. This also makes your Laminate floor move.

Eventually, you may notice that your boards are beginning to buckle or pop out of place. It’s possible that your flooring may even twist, cup, or bulge, causing undulations to show up on the surface. 

  1. If water or any other similar liquid gets under your laminate floorboards, it could also cause delamination. Keep in mind that the material beneath is saturated, and the laminate begins to pull apart when it comes into contact with water. Once this happens, you can be sure that your panels become irreparably damaged in a short amount of time. 
  1. On the other hand, due to the lack of airflow present underneath the laminate panes, moisture tends to stay trapped. In addition to your floorboards receiving considerable damage, the ground below becomes home to mildew and mold. 
  1. Most people don’t know this, but if water seeps under the laminate floorboards, it can cause harm to other materials as well. This includes the subfloor, as well as any padding underneath. As a result, you are left to deal with too much damage. 

While your laminate flooring will not get ruined because of an ordinary spill, it can get damaged in around two to four hours. This will happen because the water or the liquid will have made its way beneath the boards. If you want to salvage your panels and secure the underlying materials, you will benefit from getting rid of the moisture as soon as possible. 

Can You Fix Wet Laminate Flooring?

Below are various steps you can follow if you want to fix your wet laminate flooring immediately. 

  1. Clean up the water on the surface

If you have spilled any water on the surface of your laminate floorboards, then you need to attend to them immediately. This will allow you to ensure that no additional moisture is underneath the panels. 

But it’s not that simple when you’ve spilled a lot of water. If you see a significant amount of fluid, ensure that you don’t push the towel into it while you clean. By doing so, you will be able to keep the water from moving towards a seam and seeping into the floor underneath.  

The right thing to do in such a situation will be to place the towel right onto the spill and give it time to get soaked up. You will need more than one cloth in this process, but it will reduce the possibility of allowing more water under the panels. 

  1. Use large fans or dehumidifiers.

The point of bringing in large fans and dehumidifiers is to dry up the place. With the help of a dehumidifier, you can pull the moisture in the air. Similarly, fans are responsible for improving air circulation and accelerating the drying process. Not only does this grant you the opportunity to clean up quickly, but it also aids the laminate flooring in combatting mildew and mold

  1. Turn the heat up

Another step to take in such a situation is to accelerate the drying process by using heat. This could mean that you kick your HVAC system up by a couple of notches or use a space heater. With the help of warmth in the air, the water on the floor will evaporate quicker. But be careful to not overdo with heating, as laminate flooring can only withstand a certain amount of heat.

  1. Remove the panels

Once you have taken all these steps to ensure no water is left on the surface, it’s time to dive beneath the floorboards. The way to do this is to remove the laminate panels one after another by starting from the wall that is located on the groove side. 

Begin taking apart the first row, and you will be able to make your way through the rest with ease. If you have removed the boards from a spot that was not originally impacted by water, make sure to put them in a different location. This will ensure that they are dry throughout.

  1. Dry up the damp flooring

After you have successfully removed the damp laminate floorboards, you need to dry them up as well. Place them close to the dehumidifier or a large fan and speed up the process. In addition, ensure that the boards are kept flat; otherwise, they are at risk of bending and warping. The severity of this condition may even make your boards unusable. 

On the other hand, even the most minor bend could make the installation process even more difficult for you or affect the other floorboards near it.

How To Control Laminate Flooring Damp?

First of all, you need to ensure that there is a perimeter zone around the edges of your laminate flooring. This allows it to expand and contract with ease. If you have no idea about how expansion works, this ‘How Much Do Laminate Floors Expand‘ guide I believe would be of great benefit. In addition, filling this zone using silicone caulk ensures that water or any other liquid will not make its way under the floorboards. 

On the other hand, you can opt for another effective method to protect laminate flooring from getting damaged by water or any other liquid. This entails the application of polyurethane topcoats to add a layer of protection to the surface of the laminate panels.

Do I Need a Damp-Proof Membrane For Laminate Flooring?

Even if your laminate flooring starts to feel dry to step on, it may consist of dampness. If you don’t treat it, your panels will be at risk of lifting, cupping, and general damage. Thus, you need to ensure that you use a plastic membrane sheet of a thickness of 0.2mm for your engineered flooring.

Where solid laminate floors are concerned, you need a two-part liquid damp-proof membrane. 


Does laminate flooring cause condensation?

Laminate flooring cannot cause condensation, but it can become damp for various reasons. These include the presence of high moisture content, as well as spills and leaks that seep beneath the panels. 

Can water leak through laminate flooring?

Yes, water and other liquids can often make their way beneath the floorboards through the gaps between each panel. Fluids may even seep through the cracks in the laminate panes.

Are you allowed to have laminate flooring in flats?

While laminate flooring is a wonderful alternative to carpeting, it’s not recommended for all kinds of buildings. Remember that residential flats are usually designed to accommodate carpeted floors which might be installed on top of laminate floors, and hard timber panel finishes don’t suit them. The primary reason behind this is the fact that such floorboards are susceptible when it comes to impacting noise transmission

Can laminate flooring make you sick?

Yes, it’s possible for laminate flooring to cause adverse problems due to exposure to formaldehyde, such as throat, nose, and skin irritation. 

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