When it comes to figuring out how to refinish the flooring in the bathroom the first consideration should be water. Water or moisture is a problem for any floor in any part of the house. All options for the bathroom should be of the waterproof variety
The other things to consider are, is it durable. In other words will it stand up to daily wear and tear, the kids and pets? Will it look nice and match your overall design plan. And most importantly, how will it feel underneath your feet. No one likes walking barefoot on a cold floor.
Choices to Consider when buying flooring for the Bathroom
- Carpet – This is considered by most to be a bad choice for the bathroom. Simply put, moisture and carpeting don’t mix in any room, let alone the bathroom. Some experts say that flooring options for the bathroom should never, ever include carpeting. However, if you must have carpet in the bathroom, ask a professional installer for pertinent ideas.
- Solid Hardwood – It’s better than carpet and warm on the feet. And, it looks good, too. However, it won’t work with the moisture laden atmosphere of the bathroom. Just think what would happen when moisture hits wood constantly. You get a warped splintery mess. This installation would also require professionals who can seal the floor so that moisture won’t seep into the cracks and under-layment forcing you to tear it up and start over.
- Laminate Flooring – This flooring is manmade wood. It is not real wood; in fact it is resin impregnated paper over a wood chip base. Yet it is more resistant to water that real wood. The plank is made to simulate a type of real wood grain. On top of the plank is a melamine or plastic layer. This is called the wear layer. It is durable, resistant to water and the seams are glued together against moisture seepage. Laminate is one of the better flooring options for the bathroom. However with the wood chip base, there is always the possibility that water may work its way into the flooring causing damage. If left repaired or undetected minor damage can blossom to larger damage requiring a complete do over.
- Engineered Wood – This type of product is really good if you want the look of wood in your bathroom. It has a plywood base with the top layer being real finished wood. It doesn’t have a moisture problem. But repairing or refinishing can become a problem down the road. Engineered wood can only be sanded a couple of times and no more. This is because that finished top layer is only 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch thick.
- Stone – There are no moisture problems with stone, be it granite, limestone, or marble. The problem with stone is that it’s cold on the feet and can get very slippery. There is no traction for kids or pets or the elderly. The stone can be textured by sandblasting prior to installation and some stones come naturally textured. The biggest drawback for most people, however, is that stone costs more than most people can afford.
- Vinyl, Sheet or Tile Variety – Vinyl is the most popular solution for bathroom flooring because it is easy to work with. A do it yourself person can lay down a floor in a weekend. It also fits into most people’s renovation budgets. And there are many styles to choose from. But a downsize is that tiles eventually work their way loose Sheet vinyl would answer that problem, but can be difficult to put down properly. While it is now coming back into fashion, sheet vinyl is considered the old fashioned way to do the job.
- Ceramic Tile – Most consider ceramic tile to be the best of all worlds. It comes in a variety of shapes, styles and colors. It is moisture resistant, make that nearly waterproof. It is fairly inexpensive and looks good, having the styling and design of wood floors. Ceramic tile allows the home owner free reign on design. Doing the job with tinted grout can unleash even more creativity.
Eco-Friendly Bathroom Flooring
Eco friendly flooring should not only be made of natural materials, it should also be durable, recyclable and long lasting. Linoleum, glass ceramic tile and bamboo are three available and non toxic choices.
- Linoleum – Comes in hundreds of colors and hues and is readily available in tile form or in sheet form. An interesting fact about linoleum is that it only shows its true color in sunlight. It is a process called “blooming.” It is scratch and dent resistant, water resistant and very durable. It is sometimes called the 40 year floor. Today linoleum tiles come with the click floor option, meaning they are grooved to fit tightly without the need for additional adhesives or nails or tacks. Another nice thing about this new style linoleum is that the tiles are backed with cork, making for quiet walking.
- Glass – Ceramic Tiles -This flooring option for the bathroom was pioneered the by eco friendly design movement. These tiles are made from 100% recycled glass. The tiles tend to be translucent and come in a variation of colors and designs to fit almost any bathroom. These tiles also come sandblasted if you want to reduce slipperiness while increasing traction. It goes without saying that they are long lasting.
- Bamboo – This product is still considered somewhat unconventional in the western world, however bamboo is a great alternative to wooden flooring in the bathroom. It is naturally resilient and moisture, mildew, bacteria and mold resistant. When sealed properly, bamboo can last a very long time.
- Going Green – Because it is a small area, the bathroom is the perfect space for starting the process of greening your home. When choosing materials for the floor, no matter what material you use, you should consider moisture, heat, mold, mildew and bacteria before making your decision. An environmentally safe choice will be good not only for your family, but for those who come after you as well.