The Best & Worst Bathroom Flooring Options
- May 2, 2014
Over the past few decades, flooring options have drastically improved for residential homes. No more will you see faux brick linoleum or shag pile carpeting in kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. When it comes to remodeling your bathroom, you will need to decide on what type of flooring you will choose. You want to make sure it complements to overall theme of the bathroom and helps the granite countertops stand out. In addition, you will need a material that can withstand the moisture and humidity that occurs in the bathroom. Surprisingly, there are some choices that just won’t fit the bill and we have compiled a list of reasons as to what types of flooring are the best and worst options for the bathroom and why.
First and foremost, carpeting in the bathroom is not a good idea. Not only is it hard to keep clean, but it can absorb the moisture in the room and cause damage to the floorboards underneath. Due to the higher temperatures in the bathroom from hot showers and steam, the moisture combined with the heat can create mold. This is what makes carpet one of the worst flooring options for a bathroom.
Wood Flooring Options
There are three different types of wood, or wood-look, flooring that people think about placing in their bathrooms. The first, solid wood may look gorgeous, but is prone to moisture getting in between the cracks and causing the wood to eventually crack or warp. Laminate flooring, that often takes on the look of wood is a much better option, if you opt for the glued-in seam type. The glue will help prevent the water from seeping down through the cracks and causing damage to the laminate flooring and the subfloor. Choosing the lock-in-place type is not a good option, as the water can seep through causing damage. Engineered wood is the best option for choosing wood-look flooring, as it is more resistant to water and moisture. With that said, it may not be the best option in a bathroom that is frequently used for showering, but could be the optimal choice in a guest bath.
Linoleum Sheets & Linoleum Tile Flooring
Because linoleum is an oil-based flooring option, it can actually repel water. However, when using linoleum tile flooring there are seams that could allow water to seep below the linoleum flooring. With sheets of linoleum, you do not have seams, so it would be the better choice when it comes to linoleum flooring.
Vinyl Tile & Sheet Flooring
Vinyl flooring is made from plastic that is essentially waterproof. It is one of the best, inexpensive flooring options for a bathroom. With that said, there are seams in between each of the tiles that, much link linoleum tiles, can allow water to seep through to the subfloor causing damage. If you opt for sheet vinyl, you get the best of the vinyl waterproof protection without the seams.
Ceramic & Stone Tile Flooring
Ceramic and stone tile is one of the most popularly chosen materials for bathrooms, showers, tubs, and pools and spas. That is because the material is very durable, water-resistant, and has a high-class appearance. The grout seams that are ran in between each of the stone tiles keeps moisture away from the subfloor, particularly if you choose a waterproof or water repellant grout and add an additional layer of grout sealer.
Concrete flooring is not what you think it is. Stop picturing your driveway and start thinking color. Concrete flooring in the bathroom comes in a variety of different colors and shades. It has no seams, and is highly durable, especially when sealed to keep water out.
What’s the Best Choice?
As you have discovered, there are a variety of different flooring options for the bathroom. It is obvious that carpet and the wood options are out, but you will have to make the decision as to what will work best for you. It is important to remember that you pick a material that is very durable and water resistant. If you choose not to, you could be spending more money to replace not only the surface floor, but the subfloor as well.
The second point you need to consider is what is going to be the most cost effective. Although some flooring materials, such as stone can be relatively expensive, they are durable and water resistant, meaning your chances of having to replace the flooring in the near future are slim. That is, if you have the flooring professionally installed and sealed to prevent damage.
Third, you need to consider appearance. After all, that is the number one reason why people remodel their bathrooms, and likely the reason you are, too. You want to make sure that the flooring you choose comes in the right colors to match your bathroom, including your granite countertop vanity!