Bathroom Floor Options
As with any remodeling project there are many choices to be made. When it comes to flooring, for most rooms, the choice is driven by personal taste, functional requirements and cost. When it comes to bathroom floors however a lot of other considerations have to be taken into account.
When choosing bathroom flooring, consider how it will perform under stress. And the stress event in this case involves water, lots of it. Water is so prevalent in bathrooms that it is an expectation, not an anomaly. Water is everywhere: on the walls, ceiling and the floor. Moisture will quickly ruin the wrong flooring. To make matters even worse, you eventually have to take those other factors into consideration. If moisture were the only factor, sheet vinyl or ceramic tile would likely win every time. But these additional factors, like durability, appearance, cost and ease of installation need to be considered as well.
Good Bathroom Floor Choices
- Porcelain or Ceramic Tile - With porcelain and ceramic tile, you won’t need to worry about water or moisture damaging your flooring. There are so many different options to choose from. If you’re a fan of hardwood flooring, you can even find ceramic tiles that look like wood.
Pros - Many styles and colors to choose from. Easy to maintain. Durable, waterproof, and stain resistant. Moderately priced.
Cons- Difficult to install. Feels cold and hard to the touch.
- Natural Stone Tiles - Natural stone provides a luxurious, high-end look to a bathroom. It comes in many beautiful choices such as marble, travertine, granite, and slate. It is also a highly durable floor. However, it will require regular cleaning and reapplying sealant to keep it in its best shape.
Pros - Many different kinds of stone available. Numerous textures to choose from. Highly durable.
Cons- Higher maintenance than ceramic or porcelain. Requires regular cleaning and sealing. Can be expensive.
- Marble - If it’s a touch of glamour you’re after, marble is your friend. It is the stone of choice to create a dramatic finish in a bathroom.
Pros - Compatible with underfloor heating, easy to clean, cracks can be filled. Available in a wide range of patterns and colors. Each tile is unique.
Cons- Marble is porous. Marble is very susceptible to stains. It can also scratch and chip, especially during installation. It will need sealing frequently.
- Cork - Cork flooring is a very eco-friendly, attractive flooring that can be used in bathrooms. People like it for bathrooms because it not only looks good, it feels good on your feet. Cork is also warm and soft when you step on it.
Pros - Resistant to mould and mildew, making it hypoallergenic, good sound insulation, recyclable, warm and soft underfoot, durable and sustainable.
Cons- Unfinished tiles require multiple layers of polyurethane. Water resistant, not waterproof.
- Engineered Wood - If you have your heart set on hardwood flooring throughout your home, even the bathroom, then engineered hardwood is a great option. Engineered hardwood can hold up in rooms with high humidity and moisture. And like its solid wood counterpart, there are countless species, colors, and styles to choose from.
Pros - Made of real wood. Withstands heat and moisture. Variety of options. Can be installed over existing flooring.
Cons- Tough to repair damaged boards. Water resistant, not waterproof.
Pros - Laminate is moisture-resistant, easy to clean, doesn’t need sealing and comes in many color choices
Cons- With wear and moisture exposure, the layers can peel. Laminate can’t be refinished. iI also adds less value to a property than porcelain tiles or engineered wood
Not So Good Bathroom Floor Choices
- Wall to Wall Carpeting - Because carpeting retains moisture for so long, it tends to dry out slowly within the confined spaces of bathrooms. This makes carpet a poor flooring choice for bathrooms. However, if you do wish to have carpet in the bathroom, make sure the pile is low and the material is 100-percent inorganic, such as olefin or nylon.
- Solid Hardwood - Except for its top coating, solid hardwood has no protection against moisture. Even the smallest amount of moisture that works its way into the wood will eventually rot it out. Only slightly better than carpet, solid hardwood looks great and feels warm under foot.