How can surface water from everyday spills, over-mopping and leaks be prevented from damaging your laminate or engineered wood flooring? Is there any preemptive action that can be taken to stop floors swelling, warping and chipping over time? We answer these questions below.

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What is water damage?

Laminate and engineered flooring is made from different layers of wood-based fibres held together with adhesive. If you soak these flooring types in water some of these layers can swell by as much as a third of their original size. This is irreversible, unsightly and unhygienic as the damp crevices within the flooring are the perfect place for bacteria to thrive. Engineered floors do tend to be more stable than laminate, however.

How can I prevent water damage?

Water seeps into your flooring through the joints between planks. This can be tackled in three different ways when you fit your floor:

1. When choosing your flooring, go for waterproofed laminate or engineered flooring that has been pre-treated with a water-resistant coating, even in the grooves. If you are looking for advice on fitting waterproof laminate flooring or on how to protect your floor from water damage, there are specialist companies that will be able to assist, such as

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2. Seal the joints with commercial joint sealer or wooden floor joint guard. There is plenty of guidance material to help you available online, for example

3. Make sure that the locking mechanisms are fitted together as tightly as possible.a

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