Laundry Renovations

How do you waterproof a laundry room floor?

Laundry rooms can be damp, messy places. The laundry room is a place where clothes are sometimes hung to drip dry, and laundry detergent is often spilled on the floor. In this room, people take off their muddy shoes to be washed in the utility sink. Many also fail to clean their laundry room with the carefulness to clean parts of their home where people spend more time, like the living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Planning your next laundry renovations? Hitch Property Constructions has you covered!

Knowing all of this, it’s essential to choose your laundry room flooring carefully. It must be stain-resistant, water-resistant, easy to clean, long-lasting, and resistant to scratches when the time comes to replace your washer and dryer. What kind of flooring fits the bill? There are many choices. Not only are there a ton of options, but what is the best flooring for a laundry room is one of the most common questions we get, so let’s dive in a little deeper.

Why is waterproofing important?

Waterproofing regulations apply to the subfloor and some areas of the floor itself. The importance of effective moisture prevention cannot be underestimated; water damage can cause severe long-term damage to the structure of your house and make it unsound. This can be very costly to repair – if it’s repairable at all – and can cause accidents if not treated in time.

Waterproofing for subfloors

As a rule, your builder should be well aware of the waterproofing requirements for subfloors, and the correct waterproofing should be installed as a standard part of the subfloor construction. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) Volume 2 provides minimum slab requirements on the ground construction. It covers what types of materials can be used for a Damp-proof course (DPC) and the membrane and details the DPC’s necessary height above the ground or the adjacent paving. These regulations are in place to prevent water from rising from underneath your house, seeping up through the concrete and weakening the foundations. For those with stumps, new stumps should be adequately waterproofed to prevent corrosion and stump failure.

Waterproofing for other areas

Other wet areas need be waterproofed, too, such as the laundry, kitchen or any other room with active plumbing. This may include waterproofed sink areas and splashbacks and water-resistant subfloor materials like cement sheeting rather than conventional particleboard for specific regions. It’s also essential to choose floor coverings that won’t be damaged by exposure to water in these areas too. Carpet is a poor choice in a laundry area!

Remember that most of the harm to a floor may be unseen before it is too late. Burst pipes and taps can cause a lot of water to gush out quickly, but it’s the small, constant, unseen leaks that will rot the floor and do the most damage.

How to Waterproof a Laundry Room Floor

If the washing machine or its hoses leak onto the floor, the leak can spread onto the hardwood in nearby rooms on the same level or drip down onto the basement. Leaks in your laundry room can lead to significant repairs in other areas of your home. You can waterproof your laundry room floor to prevent problems in this area.

If the washing machine or its hoses leak on the floor, the leak can extend on the hardwood in rooms nearby on the same level or spread in the basement. A leak in the laundry room can result in significant repairs in other affected rooms at home.

Membrane

A waterproofing membrane — applied out of a bucket rather than as a sheet — is designed to be used under flooring to keep the subfloor waterproof. If you’re laying a new floor over an existing floor, such as tile over vinyl, you can lay the membrane directly on the vinyl. You apply the membrane similar to thin-set mortar, using a notched trowel to spread the membrane evenly over the floor surface. Press the membrane into all cracks and flooring edges to create the watertight seal. The membrane must dry thoroughly before you place flooring on top of it. If you want to use hardwood in your laundry room, the membrane is an excellent way to ensure that only the wood in your laundry room is affected in the event of a leak; it can keep the water from spreading to other rooms or seeping through the floor into the ceiling of rooms below. Hardwood itself isn’t adequate protection from water damage.

To upkeep the subfloor waterproof, a waterproofing membrane is designed to be used under flooring. Lay the membrane directly on the vinyl if laying a new floor over an existing floor like tile over vinyl. The membrane’s application is the same as thin-set mortar, spreading the membrane uniformly over the floor surface using a notched trowel. Before placing flooring on top of it, the membrane must be thoroughly dry. The membrane is an excellent way to ensure that only the laundry room’s wood is affected by a leak if hardwood is the preferred flooring in the laundry area. It can also manage the water from extending to other rooms or dripping through the floor into the ceiling of rooms below.

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring comes in vast colours and patterns and should find one that complements the home’s decor and is an inexpensive choice that helps waterproof the floor. Compared to vinyl tile, vinyl sheets provide more water protection. To make the bottom waterproof, sealing is a must for every edge of each tile. Seal the cut with caulk or replace the flooring to keep the floor waterproof once there is a ding or chip on the vinyl flooring.

Vinyl flooring is an inexpensive option that helps waterproof your floor. It comes in a multitude of colours and patterns, so you should be able to find one that complements your home’s decor. Vinyl sheets offer more water protection than vinyl tile; you must seal each tile’s edge to make the floor waterproof. For extra waterproofing, run the vinyl’s advantages up the wall 2 or 3 inches, then hide those edges with a baseboard. If you ever ding or chip the vinyl flooring, seal the cut with caulk or replace the flooring to keep the floor waterproof.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) is a high-end vinyl that bears a resemblance to real wood. Vinyl planks come in a range of colours, and most are textured and shaped like real hardwood planks. They’re waterproof when properly installed. Get help from a professional with installation to ensure the job is done right.

Vinyl Sheets

Vinyl sheets are inexpensive, long-lasting and waterproof because they’re seamless. Vinyl sheets are also very affordable compared to some other types of flooring. They’re not considered high end, but for a homeowner seeking a practical flooring option in the most understated room of the house, vinyl sheets are a good option.  

Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl tiles are a classic laundry room flooring material. They’re water-resistant, come in a range of colours and can even be textured to resemble other materials like stone.    

Tile

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is a more expensive flooring choice, but it is more durable than vinyl. Although the grout between the tiles is porous and may stain if it gets wet, it’s not porous enough to allow water to seep through to the floor below. Help waterproof the grout by painting it with a waterproof sealer. These often must be reapplied periodically to maintain the seal. Caulk the outer edges where the tile meets the wall to ensure a tight seal. Ceramic tile is waterproof and scratch-resistant and comes in a range of colours and styles. It’s durable and long-lasting, but it can be slippery when wet. 

Your contractor can help you choose a non-slip product, or you can address some of the slippery qualities by laying down a rug in high-moisture areas around the washing machine and utility sink. Grout lines between ceramic tile can get dirty quickly, so sealing the grout is an essential maintenance task you’ll need to perform from time to time.

Ceramic tile is more durable than vinyl, but the material is a more expensive flooring option. The grout between the tiles is porous indeed, and once wet, it may stain, but it’s not porous enough to allow water to seep through to the floor below. By painting it with a waterproof sealer, it would aid in waterproofing the grout. To maintain the seal, these often must be reapplied from time to time. To make sure a tight seal, caulk the outer borders where the tile meets the wall.

Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tile lasts a lifetime if it’s properly cared for and sealed. The downsides? It’s a little more costly than some other flooring types, and like ceramic tiles, the grout between stone tiles requires maintenance if you want to keep them clean.

Chemicals can also etch stone tile, and it’s porous. To protect your floors, you’ll want to keep them properly sealed. Your flooring contractor can seal your floors upon installation and can also show you the best sealer to use in the future if you plan to do it yourself next time it needs to be done. 

Hardwood

Some people love hardwood in every room. The problem with standard hardwood planks is their susceptibility to warping from moisture like puddles and drips. Plus, if your laundry room should ever flood, you’ll likely need to replace your hardwood floors.

Fortunately, some hardwood flooring types are manufactured to be highly water-resistant, with a tight seal between planks. Talk to your flooring contractor to see if this specialty product falls within your budget. 

Caulk

With any flooring choice, caulk can be your best friend. Apply a thick bead of caulk to seal the edges of your flooring, either where it meets the wall or where it meets the baseboard. Some home improvement stores offer PVC baseboards that look like wood painted with glossy white paint or stained wood; install this in your laundry room if possible to help contain any leaks. Seal around the edges of floor drains or holes for pipes, if necessary. Silicone caulk or one designed for bathrooms should help keep your laundry room floor waterproof.

Caulk can be your pal with any flooring choice. To seal the flooring edges, it is recommended for an application of a thick bead of caulk, either where it meets the wall or where it meets the baseboard. If needed, seal around the edges of floor drains or holes for pipes. To help keep the laundry room floor waterproof, use silicone caulk or one designed for bathrooms.

Concrete

Concrete flooring may already be your laundry room flooring material if your home sits on a concrete slab. It’s easy to clean and highly durable. Some homeowners like the utilitarian appearance of concrete; others try not to think about it. If you’re unhappy with the way your concrete laundry room floor looks, contact a flooring contractor for etching, staining or painting services.  

Laminate

The laminate wasn’t an excellent option for laundry rooms until a few years ago when more manufacturers started producing waterproof options. This hardwood look-alike is easy to clean, easy to maintain and worth the money if you’re in love with the look of hardwood (without the maintenance). Unlike real hardwood, it never needs to be refinished and should be highly scratch resistant. 

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood is made from real wood. Unlike a solid wood plank, engineered wood is designed in layers to improve its dimensional stability so that it won’t warp, buckle, shrink or expand like hardwood floors tend to do. Since engineered wood is made from real wood, visitors to your home won’t be able to tell the difference. Tell the flooring contractor that you’d like to install engineered wood in your laundry room so your contractor can point out the most durable options available. 

Top 10 Mistakes in Floor Finishing

Have you ever finished a floor, only to look at it and think, ‘something is wrong? Anyone who has ever applied floor finish will likely have a few mistakes that they have made during the process. Some errors are due to rushing through a phase of the job, while others cannot account for environmental factors like heat and humidity. And of course, there are those infamous ‘duh’ moments everyone wishes they could forget! Have you never made any of these common mistakes in floor finishing, have you? Check out a wide range of laundry renovations Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.

Laundry Renovations

Leaving a Little Behind

If the floor was stripped, was it stripped completely? Any areas where the old finish was not removed will show up as ugly ‘dirty patches’ when the bed is refinished. Using a professional quality stripper like Low Odor Floor Stripper will help, but proper technique is critical.

Rushing the Rinse

Are you taking time for a final rinse? Use clean water, a clean mop and a neutralizing solution like Trax-buster, which conditions floors after stripping. If the floor is not completely clean and neutralized before application of floor finish, performance and appearance issues will quickly become evident, and you may have to start over. Don’t make this obvious mistake!

Not Swapping the Mop

There’s a big difference between cleaning mops and finishing mops. Using cotton cleaning mops or applicators to apply floor finish can leave lint on the floor and cause streaking due to uneven application. Use only mops or applicators that are intended explicitly for finishing floors.

Using Dirty Tools

Always use clean tools. If a bucket is used, insert a plastic trash can liner to prevent contamination. You can also wrap the liner around the mop between coats, during breaks or at the end of a shift. This prevents the finish from drying out and reduces cleanup time.

Not Planning Your Exit Strategy

This is one of the most inconvenient mistakes in floor finishing that you can make. Be sure to start at the far end of the floor you are finishing and work your way out of the exit. After all of your hard work, the last thing you want is to realize you’ve boxed yourself into a corner and cannot get out!

Contaminating the Finish

Never pour unused floor finish back into the container. This will contaminate it and cause problems on the next job. 

Rushing the Application

Patience is a virtue when applying floor finish. If the floor is not COMPLETELY dry, additional coats of finish will soften and ‘bite’ into the previous skin, resulting in a bed with both flat and shiny areas. The only solution will be to re-strip your floor. NEVER rush the application of additional coats of finish.

Force Drying

Never force dry a floor with a fan pointed directly at it. If a fan or air mover is used, raise it or tell it above the floor to circulate the air above the floor.

Closing the Door on Your Work

Closing off a room when the job is complete can interfere with airflow, and the floor may not dry or cure properly. Keep doors open and the AC running until the bottom is completely dry.

Moving in Too Soon

Keep furniture off the floor for at least 24 and preferably 48 hours as the base continues to cure. During periods of higher humidity, it may take longer for the floor to heal. If the furniture is replaced before the floor has dried and cured, the legs may stick to the bottom.

A little foresight and planning can result in a finished floor you can be proud of. Layout your timeframe in advance, and you’ll be less tempted to overextend your workload or take shortcuts. We have a wide range of Melbourne laundry renovations services at Hitch Property Constructions. Remember that, after the finishing is complete, daily maintenance with the right chemicals and tools is the best way to keep floors looking great for a more extended period.

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