Recently had to have a leak fixed in the bathroom which involved having the tiles around the bath/shower replaced, as well as a new shower screen installed as the old one had failed.

House was built in 2015 by a well known UK house developer and the bathroom in particular seems to have been done quite poorly! I bought it in 2019 and unfortunately the previous owner had failed to get a lot of the snagging fixed.

Anyway, the bathroom flooring is some sort of vinyl plank and is starting to lift off the floor in the area next to the bathtub. I know that when using the shower (which is mounted over the bathtub) some water can spray off you and get the floor a bit wet around the bath. I always wipe this up after but I'm pretty sure the other members of my household don't and are tired of me nagging them to do it all the time ;) I think the water is getting in the gaps between the planks.

Obviously the best solution is to have the entire floor replaced. Might have to bite the bullet and have this done but I don't currently have the funds to do this after just having a bunch of other work done.

After inspecting the flooring, I'm 99% sure it's simply vinyl planks on wooden floor glued on using some sort of adhesive.

Is there anything I can do to seal these gaps without having to replace the whole floor right now? I thought about using some clear sealant but I have absolutely no knowledge about flooring or flooring adhesives so I'm not sure what to use (or if it's even possible to fix)

Here are some photos

This is what it looks like without touching it

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This corner was relatively easy to pull away as I think the glue has been washed away, but there is a lot of resistance under the rest of the plank which is good I guess.

enter image description here

  • What material is the subfloor?
    – Machavity
    Jul 30, 2021 at 12:22
  • I think it's just standard new build chipboard, but not 100% sure. That is what it is in the other upstairs rooms.
    – Kerberos
    Jul 30, 2021 at 12:31
  • Really what you should do is replace the floor with a sheet material so that future leaks and drips cannot go anywhere, however if that's not going to be possible the easiest thing you can do is put down a nice thick bath mat to absorb it. This will buy you some time and allow the floor underneath to dry, which you need to do before you try to do anything with that existing floor as you need to glue those tiles back down before you do anything else.
    – GdD
    Jul 30, 2021 at 13:04
  • Yeah that sounds like a good idea. I've got some plastic dust sheets which you can cut to size. Perhaps I can cut a piece and put it under the bath mat as a second layer of defence.
    – Kerberos
    Jul 30, 2021 at 13:21
  • By the way... what do you mean by sheet material?
    – Kerberos
    Jul 30, 2021 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


This looks mostly like a subfloor problem. Vinyl tiles won't warp like that with moisture, but wood absolutely will. If your wood subfloor is getting wet, that's a serious problem.

Your best bet here is to pull the floor up and see what's underneath. Something is causing the warping and you need to know what that something is.

If you have wood, there should be a waterproof membrane between the wood and your vinyl. I would also consider upgrading to vinyl plank from vinyl tile. It's a superior product and 100% waterproof.

  • Instead of “subfloor”, don’t you mean “underlayment” ?
    – Lee Sam
    Jul 30, 2021 at 20:32
  • @LeeSam Possibly. It's hard to see what's down there
    – Machavity
    Jul 30, 2021 at 20:54
  • Thanks for the answers guys everyone. I’m going to get someone to come have a look at it next month and get it replaced with vinyl plank or a full piece of vinyl roll. I’ve just gone and got a large bath mat and hid a large plastic dust sheet under it so hopefully that will keep the water at bay in the meantime!
    – Kerberos
    Jul 31, 2021 at 8:43

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