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Can I Install Laminate Flooring Under A Bathroom Toilet And Sink?

You’re finally doing that new bathroom renovation! Awesome! You’ve decided on the laminate flooring, the perfect pedestal sink, and a brand new toilet. But you know that laminate flooring isn’t waterproof… so, do you install the flooring under the bathroom toilet and sink, or do you cut around it?

Start With The Flooring

If you’re installing a new floor, pedestal sink, and toilet, you should install the laminate flooring first so it’s under the sink and toilet. Because laminate flooring floats above the sub-floor on top of underlayment, it will expand and contract slightly with the temperature and humidity of the room. This makes it impossible for any caulking around the base of the sink and toilet to hold.

If you were to install the toilet and sink first, the caulking could crack due to the expansion and contraction, making the installation look sloppy. By installing the flooring first, you will also be able to more easily switch up cabinetry or fixtures, without having gaps in the flooring.

Powder Room with Feather Step Stone Ridge Acacia
Photo by Ramona Nicolae Photography

For Cabinets and Vanities

If you’re installing cabinets or a vanity that is fixed to the flooring, you will install these first. A laminate will not be able to float under a cabinet. Install the cabinets and then use a finishing molding around the edges to cover the expansion gap.

How Do I Install The Flooring Properly?

Precision cutting is key in this type of installation. Cut the flooring around the drains fairly close to the hole. When you install the toilet, screw it down snugly, but not overly tight. If you’re installing a pedestal sink, while it’s heavy, the floor should still be able to expand and contract properly.

The most important thing is not to push the baseboard too tight to the floor, and to leave the proper expansion gap, when you install the flooring and molding. This is what allows the floor to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. If you’re worried about water spilling, you can add a waterproof glue to the locking system joints while installing. This will help create a more water-tight seal between planks, which is where the floor will be the most prone to water damage.

Traditional Bathroom by Menlo Park General Contractors Supple Homes, Inc
Traditional Bathroom by Menlo Park General Contractors Supple Homes, Inc

If you have additional questions on how to properly install laminate flooring in a bathroom, feel free to ask them in the comment section below! We would love to help you!

More Bathroom Installation Help:

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13 comments

  1. Avatar

    Hi,
    In lower level bathroom I removed the toilet which was mounted to the concrete floor. The previous owner had the bathroom carpeted, which went around the toilet but not under it. I removed the carpeting and installed some vinyl plank flooring (Lifeproof from Home Depot). My question is about the mounting flange that was on the floor, specifically regarding the height relative to the toilet. Since the new toilet will be mounted on top of the flooring, it will be about 1/4″ higher than the one I removed. Is this a problem? Or will the wax ring take care of the gap? where should the mounting flange be located relative to the mounting surface for the toilet?
    PS I do not want to move or refasten the plastic flange that holds the bolts to mount through the toilet base because we have in floor heating and I do not know exactly where the tubes in the floor are located. Thx

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Jim, thanks for the question! You will have issues if the flooring is above the where the toilet sits. The wax ring will not be enough, as it compresses over time. From my knowledge, you will need to find a spacer and remount the flange so it is 1/4″ above the flooring. This video seemed very helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-31BrkN1w. I understand you do not want to move the flange, so this could be something you will want to use a plumber for.

  2. Avatar

    For those planning to install a new floor, toilet or sink, you should remember to install laminate flooring under the sink or the bathroom. The floor helps you to fix the sink and toilet without leaving any gaps on the floor.

  3. Avatar

    Hi, I just purchased Lifeproof from Home Depot for my master bathroom. Since it is a floating system I am worry about the weight of the double vanity (about 300 lbs) over the floor considering that the planks expand. What do you think
    ?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Carola, great question! Does the vanity come the whole way to the floor like a kitchen cabinet? If so, we’d recommend installing the vanity first and then doing the flooring so it does not go under the vanity.

      • Avatar

        What about a vanity that has feet? Would that be ok if I put felt pads underneath so the floor has at least a small opportunity to move around a little for expansion and contraction? Thanks!

        • Avatar

          Hi Scott, thanks for reaching out. A vanity that has feet in no problem. Keep in mind, when you install the toilet in your bathroom, the floatation of your flooring will be very limited once the toilet is bolted to the ground. Please make sure there is a transition piece separating the bathroom from the rest of your home, to prevent any buckling or damage to the joints outside of the bathroom. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. Avatar

    Hello,
    I have some beautiful ebony plank laminate flooring left over from doing my kitchen/dinning area and would like to install the remainder in my upstairs bathroom to tie it all in but I’ve noticed over the past few yrs I’d get a little buckling at the seam if I left a little standing water that went unnoticed. Is there something I can do to prevent that other than just gluing them at install? Thx

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Kevin, unfortunately not. Since a laminate is made from wood, it will absorb moisture, water and humidity causing it to buckle. We only recommend using laminate in a half bathroom. In this case, we’d recommend going with a vinyl or tile floor.

  5. Avatar

    My laminate has sinking and soft spot near my toilet.

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