When it comes to bathroom renovation, a few things come instantly to mind – attractive faucets, a spacious shower area, beautiful vanity tops, proper lighting and ventilation.
However, when it comes to bathroom flooring, there’s more to consider than looks and personal style. The bathroom is one of the most used (and abused) parts of our homes, what with all the spills, splatter, humidity and moisture.
Since usage and humidity are common problems here, it’s important to choose flooring that’s waterproof and can withstand daily wear and tear.
6 Best Bathroom Flooring Ideas
While lights, looks and design are important aspects of any bathroom, the flooring makes it all come together. Since bathrooms are usually high-traffic areas with a lot of humidity, consider choosing a flooring material that’s water resistant and can stand the test of time.
Below, we have compiled a list of flooring ideas for a safe, functional and stylish bathroom.
Waterproof, stylish and cost effective, porcelain has everything you need for an attractive and practical bathroom. It’s textured like stone, waterproof like vinyl, and attractive like wood. Available in a range of colours, textures, shapes and sizes, you can easily create the look you want, including hardwood. These tiles are also easy to maintain and look very clean and stylish.
However, there are downsides. Like stone, porcelain tiles feel hard and cold underfoot, though you can avoid this problem by wearing slippers or investing in radiant floor heating. Wet tiles can also be slippery, so it’s better to choose textured ones that provide grip against slips.
Useful, attractive and affordable, vinyl has been a popular bathroom flooring choice for decades. Available in both water-resistant and waterproof varieties, luxury vinyl is a great fit for bathrooms where moisture and humidity are a problem. You mostly get LVTs (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) in beautiful wood and natural stone-looking options. If your bathroom is exposed to huge amounts of water spillage and water-logging, sheet vinyl is a better option than tiles. This is because they come in large sizes (12-foot-wide rolls) with few to no seams to allow water seepage and subfloor damage. Another advantage of luxury vinyl tiles and planks is that they can be installed directly over an existing floor, which makes installation faster and easier.
One major disadvantage is that they emit VOCs which are bad for your health and the environment. Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology, some manufacturers are offering greener, safer options.
Cork is a warm, water-resistant and attractive material that makes a great fit for bathroom flooring. Its textured surface is slightly slip-resistant, and since cork is made from harvested tree bark that grows back, it’s highly sustainable and biodegradable. It also has antimicrobial properties that resist both mould and mildew, so it is a very healthy choice.
However, cork tiles and planks create a lot of seams which can lead to dirt accumulating and water seeping in. That’s why a high-quality sealant is a must. Resealing every two to three years will protect it from regular abrasion and water damage.
If you love its elegance and can afford it, natural stone is a great choice for your bathroom flooring.
Although stones are beautiful, hard and durable, some, like marble, granite and limestone, are porous, which makes them prone to stains, discolouration and other moisture-related damage. Consider using a high-quality sealant and refinish them at least every two years.
Stone flooring can also be quite cold and slippery. While the cold can be addressed with radiant heating, the slipperiness can be avoided by choosing naturally textured stone (such as slate) or sandblasting the tiles for better texture. Note also that natural stone flooring is expensive and requires special installation techniques which add to the cost.
While hardwood is a durable enough flooring material for most areas of your home, it has limitations when it comes to moisture-prone areas such as the bathroom and kitchen. Recent advances like the use of polyurethane finishes and modern sealers have made hardwood more durable and moisture resistant.
If you love hardwood floors and want them in your bathroom, engineered hardwood is your best option. It has become a popular flooring choice for modern bathrooms because it’s quick and easy to install. It’s also less affected by moisture than solid wood flooring, is highly durable, and doesn’t contract or expand when temperature or moisture levels vary. You can also choose from a wide range of patterns, finishes, grains and stains to achieve the look you want. Regular sweeping and mopping are all you need to keep engineered hardwood floors in good shape.
Laminate has been a popular flooring choice for decades but was never considered appropriate for wet and humid spaces like bathrooms. Thankfully, manufacturers have come up with water-resistant laminate planks with a high-density fiberboard (HDF) core. This core contains water-resistant materials like wax, which prevents standing water from immediately being soaked up. Apply glue or caulk into the seams during installation to seal any cracks that could cause water seepage. For added protection against subfloor moisture, consider adding an underlayment and vapour barrier beneath your laminate floor.
Whether you live with a large family or alone, your bathroom is one of your home’s busiest areas. From shaving, brushing and applying makeup to bathing and relaxing, a lot happens here. Hence, it’s important to make it as safe, attractive and comfortable a space as possible. Amongst all the key elements, flooring plays a crucial role in its feel and functionality. While there are many flooring materials available, not all are suitable for bathrooms. Take a cue from the above-mentioned bathroom flooring materials to make a well-informed decision.