Whether you are planning to build a new bathroom or remodel an existing one, there are several decisions you would have to make before embarking on the project. One of the most important ones involves selecting the best flooring option for your bathroom.
Aside from being visually appealing, your chosen flooring has to be practical and suitable for the bathroom as well. That is to say, it needs to be able to withstand heavy exposure to moisture and humidity, ensuring that it will last for a long time and won’t be a breeding ground for mould and mildew. For convenience, make sure that it is easy to clean and maintain.
Does it sound overwhelming? Don’t worry; we’re here to help with the decision-making process. In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the 5 most popular bathroom flooring materials, including their pros and cons.
The Top Bathroom Flooring Options
In many areas of the home, choosing the right flooring often just boils down to aesthetics and preferences. But in the bathroom, you would have to be more meticulous, prioritizing functionality and performance above all. It also means that the visual appeal of your bathroom will only be a secondary consideration.
Remember, your bathroom is constantly exposed to water. Moisture is practically everywhere – not only on the bathroom floor but also the walls and ceiling. If you don’t choose the right material, it won’t take long before your chosen flooring gets ruined or invites mould, mildew, and other unwanted elements. Not only is it unhygienic but expensive as well.
Aside from this, other important determining factors include appearance, durability, cost, ease of installation, and ease of maintenance, among others. With that said, make sure to avoid carpeting and solid hardwood flooring. Carpet takes a long time to dry, while solid hardwood flooring is not meant to endure regular moisture exposure.
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1. Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
No list of bathroom flooring will be complete without the mention of porcelain and ceramic tiles – and unsurprisingly so. After all, these tiling options are waterproof and come in a wide variety of colours, designs, and styles. Plus, they are also durable, easy on the wallet, and effortless to clean.
You may be wondering about the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles. It all boils down to the materials used to create them. Ceramic tile flooring is made with natural red, brown, or white clay, whereas porcelain tiles are mainly produced using white clay, sand, and feldspar.
The difference in composition, in turn, affects their physical properties. Ceramic bathroom tiles tend to be softer and less dense, making them more absorbent and less durable. In contrast, porcelain tiles are more rigid and dense, resulting in a more water-resistant and heavier-duty material. Unsurprisingly, porcelain options tend to be more expensive to buy and install.
This flooring material also has a few drawbacks. For one, bathroom tiles can be cold and hard underfoot, which means that they might be uncomfortable to stand on for extended periods. Aside from this, tiles are also slippery when wet.
2. Natural Stone Bathroom Flooring
Natural stone flooring is a fantastic choice for bathrooms. After all, it marries both visual appeal and functionality. It is durable, heavy-duty, and elegant. As a bonus, it could also increase the value of your home, enabling you to get the most out of your purchase.
However, there are a couple of caveats. First, natural stone flooring can be pricey. In fact, it is probably the most expensive option on this list. Another issue is that it can be cold and slippery, although this can easily be resolved by installing radiant heating and opting for textured stone, respectively.
3. Engineered Wood Flooring
In recent years, bringing the outdoor elements into the home has been a popular design trend. Unfortunately, integrating wood in your bathroom is not that straightforward. This is because the high moisture and humidity levels in the bathroom can cause wooden materials to warp and crack. Thankfully, a variety of workarounds exist – such as engineered wood.
This type of flooring is essentially composed of two parts – a base of premium-quality plywood and a thin layer of hardwood veneer on top. The plywood base is designed to hold well against moisture, while the top hardwood layer provides the appearance of real wood. Besides being functional and aesthetically pleasing, engineered wood is also durable. However, it can be expensive.
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4. Waterproof Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl is a man-made plastic material that is fast becoming a crowd-favourite flooring solution – thanks to its durability and practicality. Aside from being 100-percent waterproof and long-lasting, it is also affordable and a breeze to install, clean, and maintain. Another notable feature of vinyl flooring is that it is available in several forms, including sheet, plank, and tile, and a vast range of designs and styles.
However, there are a couple of notable disadvantages to keep in mind. For one, vinyl flooring tends to have a poor resale value. Second, you have to make sure that the bathroom floor is smooth, even, and clean before the installation. This is because any bumps or gaps may show on the vinyl surface.
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5. Waterproof Laminate Flooring
Laminate is another budget-friendly yet reliable bathroom flooring option. Laminate flooring is made with wooden sheets, a layer of paper on top of the wooden base, and a protective, waterproof layer on one or either side of the plank. This type of flooring is waterproof, hard-wearing, and long-lasting. Even better, it is also affordable, widely available, and comes in several designs, styles, textures, and finishes.
But at the end of the day, it is important to remember that laminate flooring still has a wooden base. If the wood part ends up coming in contact with water, it will expand and bubble. When this happens, the only thing that is left to do is replace your flooring.
The Best Bathroom Flooring for Your Needs and Budget
Today, there are a dizzying array of bathroom flooring options to choose from. For the uninitiated, it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, with our curated list, you won’t have to spend hours and hours poring over different websites and guides. From the classic tiles to engineered wood to laminate, we’re sure that you will be able to find a flooring solution that best suits your needs, preferences, and budget.
To ensure the longevity of your bathroom floor, make sure to get your preferred flooring only from reputable manufacturers. Most importantly, have them installed by trusted and highly qualified bathroom experts – such as our team here at Bathrooms Renovations. Contact us today to learn more about our bathroom services or to schedule an appointment!