Bathroom Flooring Project

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shubox56

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With help received from Mark Brown and Commercial Floor Rep, most of my underlayment questions have been answered, so now it's time to think about replacement flooring --- the planning phase.

My son is pushing me towards installing a 20+ mill LVP floating floor in my 2 small bathrooms, a vanity area and my laundry room (all are on the second floor). He installed $7000 of the stuff in his house and loves it! Being the guy that flipped the bill for the goods, I ask him often. LOL Anyway, I also asked the carpenter who installed subfloor patches --- he said "ABSOLUTELY NOT! Do NOT install a floating floor in these rooms." He said that water damage was only a matter of time. That opinion was shared today. So now I'm not sure WHAT to think. I don't really feel like installing ceramic tile upstairs over a 1" floor. I guess I could replace what was removed with something similar --- glue down no wax tiles.

Thoughts? Opinions? Real world advice?

Many thanks!

Confused in Chicago
 

Mark Brown

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So, there is a lot to dissect in the.... how to put it politely..... bullshit? that is currently trending in the flooring sphere.
30 years ago, we had 4 options, Sheet vinyl, Hardwood, Carpet and ceramic. Only 2 of those went into a bathroom for obvious reasons.
Today we have..... well i counted to 5 and ran out of fingers before i ran out of options so lets just say lots.
Every one of these products has an appropriate usage. For your bathroom there is no real reason not to use an SPC floating floor. The "water damage" argument is really only true if you are dumping vast amounts of liquid on your floor. Silicone your tub face, use some polymer base if you feel the need... silicon that too. I wouldn't.
Your washer and dryer/toilet/vanity are not going to affect your install in any negative way and i assume these are not even all the same room. Who puts a bathroom in a bathroom??
Is it your "best" option? Well, maybe not but if you aren't stepping out of the shower pre towel or washing barn animals in your tub you will be more than ok. Best is obviously sheet vinyl for water, you cannot get through a sheet but it is not necessary by any means.
Before you go too far down the SPC maze of "sales speak" remember a few things. All flooring warranties are lies, mil's of wearlayer is a selling feature you will never utilize and locking mechanism is secondary in importance only to finding a color you like which is to say it is paramount.
Installing ceramic on 1" of plywood is not necessarily "best practices" as laid out by the TCNA they call for 1.25 inches on 16" centers but I do it all the time (that does not make it right) and so far I am batting 1000, how do i know this? I have had the same phone number for as long as I have been installing ceramic and it has yet to ring with someone saying their tile are bad.

Also, one more piece of advice... never ask a carpenter ANYTHING about floor coverings. They all think they know but what they do not realize is that they do not even know what they don't know.
 

shubox56

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This is great information! I'm going to read through this several times to wrap my noodle around my thoughts.

Separating fact from fiction and filtering through the sales-speak is mind boggling. You end up not knowing who to believe. I definitely prefer leaning towards people on the front line with real world experience.
 

shubox56

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Do you have an opinion about Lifeproof ridged core planking? Certainly convenient --- readily available.

I'm with you, any mention of warranties goes in one ear and out the other. I don't trust them and seldom pay attention to them. Marketing nonsense! When push comes to shove, most will refer you to the fine print --- side stepping their obligation.
 

highup

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I'm going to make things more confusing about warranties and guarantees.
Cortec and other type of click lock vinyl plank flooring are guaranteed 100% waterproof.
I don't think any company would guarantee that water would not flow in around the perimeter of the room if the floor was flooded from a toilet or a washing machine.
It's 100% waterproof and impervious to moisture said the salesman.
......if your house rots away from underneath you we won't replace your house but we will replace your flooring...... If you can prove the flooring was damaged from the water.
Personally I wouldn't hesitate to install a laminate flooring like cortec in a bathroom in or a relatively small kitchen
It is possible to seal the perimeter of these floors by filling in the quarter inch gap around the perimeter of the room with silicone?
 

shubox56

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So much to think about. I found this article interesting ---

 

Mark Brown

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So I read through all of that and basically i would use it as fire started as opposed to information.
Old hardwood guy lamenting floating floors are less good than glued floors..... well, yeah. However the technical advances in floating floors since 2013 are immense and frankly i would wipe that from your memory
 

Mark Brown

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I shouldn't be so harsh, but I have been sifting through flooring mags and forms for a long time and you tend to see the bias in the author. Personally i despise vinyl plank, floating plank, floating floors and did i mention especially floating vinyl floors? That being said, my reasons for doing so are completely my own and mostly have no grounding in reality its basically a personal preference. That should never gauge my response to a clients questions, or here a fellow poster. Hence my advice being that an SPC vinyl would be a fine/good/great option for you, because it will.... just because i hate it does not mean you will lol
If you wonder why i hate it, it is simply that i like sheet vinyl because i am a crusty old floor layer and thats about that, i do not like floating floors in general because i lament the hollow sound, most of that is gone in the heavier vinyl, but i know... oh i know lol The other half of why i hate vinyl plank is that i constantly have to explain to people how the lies they are told are fiction stories and not truth. There is not a floor that exists that is scratch proof, least of all vinyl plank, the products themselves are waterproof, but the installation is not.. things like this. If consumers take the time to wade through the B.S. they will see it all for themselves especially present in the warranty sections. I digress, and in no way am i trying to dissuade you from purchasing a product that will preform excellently for you and your needs.... i am just a little venty when it comes to some things :p
 

shubox56

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I appreciate the opinion. Truly! I'm not without reservation or completely sold on the idea. Easier install for those that know what they are doing, but not without some drawback. Wading through things knowing that first of all, my subfloor is NOT without its imperfections that would make for a less stable "walk" (up and down movement). And there's only some much I'm willing to do and spend to make the patches and original floor all perfect. Glued down sheet goods will telegraph the imperfections to the surface visually, but better under the foot. Just thinking out loud. But then again, I will NOT install sheet goods myself, so that would come at a dear cost.
 

Joost

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I just did my bathroom floor. On top of the original floating floorboards i levelled out the floor. i stuck 10mm tile backer boards on top with tile adhesive. I then made this subfloor waterproof using a tanking kit consisting of Waterproof tape and blue rubber sealing putty. I tiled on top of this. I also sealed the grouting, i can now flood my bathroom without any risk of water-ingress. I could keep goldfish in there if i keep the door closed 😜
 

shubox56

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If I choose to go the SPC route, I will definitely chalk the perimeter to reduce (not eliminate) the water risk. Additionally, call me crazy, but I'm also considering the addition of a 6MIL vapor barrier. In this care, it's not protecting from moisture wicking through a slab, but rather, something to stop small amounts of water from reaching the underlayment/sub under the planks. Allow the water to pool a bit. Wouldn't that have SOME value?
 

shubox56

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I think I can noddle a couple of reasons that may be independent of your thoughts.

1) Nails, staples or screws could breach the moisture barrier over time.
2) Any moisture that leaks between the planking and the barrier could be a breeding ground for mold. But then again, so is the subfloor which would be worse.

Chicago Novice (AKA "dumb as a sack of rocks")

Edit addition: There's another reason why I was considering the barrier. Outside of the patched subfloor and new underlayment, the original .25" underlayment has a tacky residue as a result of removing glued down vinyl squares. I have done a decent job thus far of removing the adhesive, but there will always be a slight tackiness unless I treat it with something. Laying the barrier down would eliminate the tacky issue and allow the planks to freely expand as needed. I'm guessing that if the planks are laid over a tacky underlayment, that expansion and contraction could be lessoned and possibly lead to buckling? Or that the tacky film could interact negatively with the plank materials.
 
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shubox56

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I'm also not opposed to a premium commercial grade glue down LVP. And rather than a narrow longer plank, maybe something in the 12X24 range. Saw them in 16X32 and also a commercial grade 18X18. Maybe a bit more stable under foot and less hollow sounding?
 

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