Installing Floating Floors in Bathrooms: Building Code Requirements
Bathrooms are often the most humid rooms in our houses, meaning the flooring you install needs to be water-resistant or waterproof.
This seems obvious – but it’s not just for aesthetic or practical reasons. The NZ Building Code has specific requirements for flooring in areas where watersplash is prevalent.
Let’s explore Woodland Lifestyle’s floating floor options and how each of the below products complies with the special regulations for floors in water-splash areas outlined in the New Zealand Building Code.
What Is a Floating Floor?
The term floating floor doesn’t define any specific flooring material. It’s an installation method that can involve various materials such as laminate. The flooring material comes as tiles or planks that interlock to form a smooth surface that rests on the underlying sub-floor. This installation process is simple, quick and cost-effective.
Floating floors are an attractive and popular choice for kitchen and bathroom flooring, however, if the underlying sub-floor is not adequately prepared, and the planks are not properly installed, the floor may not perform as expected – and may not meet the NZ Building Code.
Building Code Requirements for Watersplash Areas
The building code requires proper floor construction to prevent excessive moisture and fungal growth. There are specific clauses and provisions related to areas where watersplash is prevalent, such as kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms.
Part E3/AS1 of the Code states that “surfaces where water-splash is prevalent must be impervious, easily cleaned, and have ventilation to meet conditions for health and safety.”
It also has to “extend at least 1.5m from any sanitary item within the following listed areas Kitchen, Toilet, Laundry, and Bathroom this must also include perimeter protection from water ingress.”
In a practical sense, this means that your flooring and wall materials need to extend 1.5m past items like sinks and toilets and that they should use an approved joint system and a specific sealing method around the edge of the room.
Do Our Products Meet the Code?
All Woodland Lifestyle’s Flooring products feature an impervious and easily cleaned surface layer once installed. The surface layer of our products is made impervious and easily cleaned through a number of methods including heat-cured melamine, PVC and polyurethane resins.
Our joint and locking systems are also engineered to provide an extremely tight glueless joint that inhibits any ingress of moisture without the need for additional sealing. This provides splash protection.
When it comes to perimeter splash protection, our installation instructions specify the foam rod and silicon system for floating floors. This consists of a foam rod and a flexible transparent silicone which provides the necessary resistance to water ingress around the perimeter.
When installed and maintained as per our installation and maintenance guidelines, Woodland Lifestyle is confident that the above points allow our products to be used as an ‘alternative solution’ and meet E3/AS1 requirements. Our products also have many years of in-service history being installed around sanitary items and have performed without issue.
Floating Floors Suitable for Watersplash Areas
All ranges below are suitable for kitchen installation, however not every product is right for bathroom and laundry installation. We recommend you check specific range instructions to see where the product can be installed or call our support team for advice.
Benefits of Installing Floating Floors in Bathrooms
Great for Wet areas
As you don’t need to put down an additional waterproof membrane.
Time and Cost Savings
With floating floors, the installation process is easier and cheaper. There’s no need for nails or screws meaning you can install your floating floor in less time and at a more affordable price.
Floating Floors are Eco-friendly
Most floating floor materials are entirely eco-friendly and consume less timber than traditional hardwood flooring. Most modern products on the market use eco-friendly glues and sealants and have minimal VOCs.
Floating floors have an air cushion between the subfloor and the surface. This makes the floor partially flexible and more comfortable.
Easy Removal and Reusability
Since floating floors have no permanent attachment to the subfloor, they are easy to remove and repair. Some brands allow you to unlock, remove and reinstall the planks or tiles in a new room or house.
Choose Woodland Lifestyle for Floating Floors
Installing a floating floor in your bathroom, kitchen or laundry is a popular choice, giving an aesthetically pleasing finish to challenging wet areas around the home.