Any housing, be it a private building, an apartment in a new building or living space in the houses of the old stock, cannot do without such premises as a bathroom, a kitchen, a corridor and a bath. They are all united by an increased level of humidity. While some rooms have frequent regular wet cleaning, in others, the floors can be exposed to prolonged direct exposure to water. This is where the problem arises: not every floor covering is “friendly” with water. So which material should you choose? A good option is waterproof laminate.
One of the leaders in popularity and frequency of use is laminate. The material attracts with a fairly democratic price, simplicity and ease of use, good heat and sound insulation, aesthetic appearance (it can imitate wood, natural stone, ceramic tiles, etc.).
The modern construction market offers laminate flooring for laying not only in living rooms, bedrooms, hallways or kitchens, but also in showers, bathrooms, toilets, and in some cases even in swimming pools and saunas. We are talking about a moisture-resistant and water-resistant laminate – two types of coating, different technical characteristics and areas of application. Let’s try to understand their features in more detail, make a comparison, and give an assessment.
Waterproof and waterproof laminate – what’s the difference?
What is special about coatings that can resist water? The answer to the question and the main difference is the base material, as well as the technologies by which the slots and cuts are processed.
The moisture-resistant laminate panels are based on an HDF board with increased strength indicators. The board itself is treated with a water-repellent compound, and on top is covered with a polymer layer. The edges of the products (outer and side parts) are treated with a special wax or resin. Thus, the most vulnerable places in the product are protected, and the moisture-repellent properties in general are enhanced. Another addition is antibacterial agents and impregnations that prevent the appearance of mold (which is especially important in high humidity).
As for the waterproof laminate, the key point here is a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) board, which itself is completely “indifferent” to water. In addition, in order to completely protect the parts from the penetration of even the smallest particles of moisture, pressing of all layers takes place under very high pressure, and the cracks and edges are covered with hot wax. That is, the construction looks like this:
- Transparent upper anti-slip layer.
- The layer is decorative.
- The supporting layer is a PVC board with air chambers.
- Hydrophobic base.
- Tar paper as a stabilizer.
When deeply impregnated, the laminated elements have a rich glossy color – the best option for installation in the bathroom. In the case of surface treatment, the protective layer will be lighter and more transparent
Laminate from LigaPol
The LigaPol company offers a large selection of excellent quality laminate for every taste and budget. For easy search on the site https://ligapol.ru/ there is a filter by price, pattern, brand, class, collection, manufacturer and degree of resistance to water. The organization has large resources, and there is always a laminate of well-known foreign brands: Alsapan (France), Belfloor (Belgium, Alloc (Norway), Kaindl (Austria), Holzmeister (Germany), Pergo (Sweden) and no less well-known domestic manufacturers : Tarkett, Kastamono, etc. Experienced managers work professionally and efficiently: consultations on the properties and characteristics of goods, assistance in choosing, loyal pricing policy, warranty documents for any type of product. Changing your interior or finishing repairs is not so difficult when you work with real pro.
Both types of laminate with such consonant names have some similarities:
- Laying technology – in both cases, lock connection.
- High heat and sound insulation. Although this is typical for other types of laminated flooring.
- Effective protection against fumes, water drops, moisture.
But the differences are also quite obvious:
- Different base – HDF wood fiber base and cellular PVC board.
- Water-resistant coating is more resistant to water. The latter are more reliable, but moisture must be removed from the moisture-resistant laminate as soon as possible.
- The difference in cost. Moisture resistant material is more affordable than water resistant material. But this is not at all a reason to buy an inappropriate coating for the purpose and premises.
There is a group of limited waterproof flooring. The models of this series are based on high density fiberboard plus an additional complex of additives of very different functionality. The panels are perfect for decorating the kitchen, so that there is no shadow of doubt, the maximum possible time of contact with water is indicated on the package.
Pros of waterproof laminate
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of one or another coating material, it will be much easier to make the right choice.
Waterproof laminated panels:
- For a sufficiently long period of time, they may not succumb to moisture or steam: water is not absorbed, deformation does not occur.
It is important to clarify that this paragraph refers not only to contact with water, but also with atmospheric moisture and water vapor
Harmless. Manufacturing materials comply with all safety standards and requirements; during operation, the coating does not emit harmful substances.
Resistant to temperature changes. At different rates, there is no deformation or violation of the coating structure. They can even come into contact with hot water.
Strong and durable. The material withstands mechanical stress, stress and minor damage, as well as aggressive detergents.
Safe. The surface of the laminate is protected by a special coating, which, when moisture gets on it, minimizes the possibility of slipping.
Hygienic, resistant to dirt. Processing and impregnation of the material with special means prevents the penetration of microorganisms, the appearance of mold and mildew, and the absorption of odors. Waterproof laminate has antistatic properties – as a result, there is no accumulation of dust or pet hair on the floor.
They are distinguished by good sound insulation and low thermal conductivity. The plastic laminate is characterized by a light weight (explanation – air chambers in the carrier layer).
- They have an attractive appearance, the outer coating can imitate various materials.
The disadvantages of a waterproof coating could be attributed to its high cost. But the money invested in this laminate will pay off very quickly, since the material has much more advantages, and, accordingly, the benefits from its installation.
How to tell if your laminate is waterproof or not?
The level of humidity in rooms plays one of the most significant roles when choosing one or another laminate. So, for example, moisture-resistant products can be safely used for the kitchen, corridor or hallway. But in the bathroom, lavatory, swimming pool, unheated room with significant temperature drops, it is necessary to lay waterproof laminate.
On packaging with a laminate, the base material must be indicated:
HDF (HDF) – the main layer of limited waterproof and moisture resistant panels – high density fiberboard.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride, PVC) is the basis of waterproof panels.
The fact that the laminate is environmentally friendly is evidenced by the additional E1 marking
In addition, if the coating has a low level of water absorption, then the box will be marked: “Aqua +”, “Aquastop”, “Waterresist”, etc. A pictogram in the form of an umbrella, water drops, a tap may be indicated. The crossed-out bath symbol indicates lack of moisture resistance.
It is important to pay attention to the swelling factor. This indicator indicates the degree of damage to the material after the daily stay of the latter in water. If the figure is 18%, the coefficient is at the border of the norm. The lower the value, the more protected the laminate from water. The swelling coefficient of waterproof laminate is no more than 6-8%.
The load class is under close supervision. Most often, for children, bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, they choose a 31-32 class laminate. But for the kitchen, corridor, bathroom, 33 class coverage is suitable. Such material is more wear-resistant, durable and the level of water resistance is much higher than that of the previous ones. The first digit of the code indicates the permissible load, and the second is the degree of protection that the material has received.
Another selection criterion is connecting locks. For waterproof laminate, the parts must be fixed together without the slightest gap. With a good connection, the water has practically no chance of getting into the joints.
If you use a cork backing on very even floors, then you don’t have to think about water getting into the cracks at all
The impregnation of the locks must be deep. If the impregnation is shallow, visually the locks are slippery and wet, then the laminate panels will not be able to fulfill their waterproof function and problems such as deformation of the coating may arise in the future.
What to consider when choosing a waterproof laminate flooring?
Designers and manufacturers go to great lengths to design and market a coating that resists moisture effectively.
Today, the range of such products is quite large. Therefore, as practice shows, the best thing to do when choosing a laminate is to contact specialized specialists. After all, it is important to consider here:
The size of the room, its purpose, functional load.
Environmental friendliness of the selected material.
- Fire and water resistance requirements.
- Impact resistance.
- Wear resistance class.
Operating conditions and real life of the coating.
Each owner, choosing a floor covering, is guided by his preferences, tastes and financial capabilities. But there is a reasonable case for different flooring materials. In this case, although the waterproof laminate appeared much later than the moisture resistant, it is more perfect and functional. Weigh all the pros and cons, take the choice responsibly and a properly selected laminate will serve for a long time and reliably.
The article was written for the remstroiblog.ru site.