Due to water damage I needed to repair a section of my particle board bathroom subfloor. This ruined the linoleum, which we removed. Now I want to put snap together flooring in. What do I need to do to prep flooring?

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There's a lot of problems with this

  • particle board subfloor
  • snap-in wood flooring
  • bathroom flooring

Your bathroom is a wet zone. Wood floor/subfloor and water don't go together. Add in

Due to water damage I needed to repair a section of my particle board bathroom subfloor

and you have a recipe for disaster. The water will penetrate a wood floor and wreck your wood subfloor again. What you need here is

  1. Waterproof membrane. Could be a vapor barrier, but could also be something like waterproof cement board or polyethylene underlayment. Make sure to use an approved method to seal the seams. You do NOT want to have to tear the floor up to repair subfloor.
  2. Waterproof flooring. Tile used to be the only product here, but floating floor vinyl has become more common on the market. Because it's 100% vinyl, it won't be harmed by water, and it goes down like any other floating floor. Do not use wood flooring in a bathroom (especially solid hardwood), as these floorings respond poorly to repeated water exposure.

I would rip out ALL of the particle board first. Then put in a new 3/4" plywood subfloor. I would NOT put wood-laminate in a bathroom. It will not hold-up. (based on experience of a co-worker). Perhaps LVT would hold up, but if you want real wood-- I would use old-fashioned solid 3/4" t&g oak hardwood flooring. I've had that in one of my bathrooms for 30 yrs with no issues.

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