Get tips on how to install laminate flooring around a toilet. Find out why laminate flooring is a durable, moisture-resistant choice for a bathroom.
LESLIE: Margaret in Colorado is thinking about remodeling the bath , which is a great choice. It offers an excellent return on investment. How can we help you with the project?
MARGARET: I have a small bathroom downstairs and it has – it’s a bi-level and it’s a cement floor. Over that was tile composition and I had white linoleum laid over that a year ago. And when the linoleum was put down the toilet was cracked in the back, which I didn’t notice, and so it leaked underneath the white linoleum and that has all turned black around the toilet. So what I’m wondering is if I could just put tile over top of that linoleum instead of pulling it out …
TOM: Has the toilet been repaired?
MARGARET: Oh, yes. I had a new toilet put in.
TOM: OK, then what I would suggest is – can you put tile on top of the linoleum? Probably not because it’s not going to adhere very well.
TOM: But what you could put there is laminate floor  and laminate floor stands up very, very well to moisture and there are laminate floor patterns that look like tile, look like stone or they could look like wood; whatever pattern you like. But the stuff’s incredibly durable and very moisture resistant.
MARGARET: OK. It’s called laminate?
TOM: Laminate floor. Think like the laminate countertops that you used to see years ago …
TOM: … except the laminate on this floor is like 20 times tougher than the laminate that was on a countertop ever was.
TOM: The laminate floors were actually tested. There’s a test called a taber abrasion test where they spin an abrasive disk into the laminate and determine how tough it is and when you compare a laminate floor to a laminate countertop the laminate floor is 20 times thicker and tougher than the laminate countertop  and it holds up really well under water as well.
MARGARET: So I could put that then on top of my linoleum?
TOM: Yes, they are floating floors. They don’t have to even be nailed down. They just need some moulding around the edge and they look great and they all lock together so they’re pretty easy to put together as well.
MARGARET: Now, do I have to take the toilet up again?
TOM: It’s the best way to do it. Yes.
TOM: It is the best way to do it. You could floor around it but I’d recommend against it. I would recommend taking the toilet up and extending the flange up the quarter-inch or so additional thickness that the floor will take up and then put it back down. That will give you the cleanest, best-looking installation and the least chance of any leakage.
MARGARET: OK. Well, thank you very, very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.