When remodelling the bathroom, a homeowner has to make plenty of decisions, some of which are easier than others. One thing that causes trouble though is the bathroom flooring – after all, there are so many bathroom flooring options available on the market that choosing the right one can, and often is, a hassle.
If you are one of the homeowners that need to make this important decision but have no clue what to choose, worry not, because ID Flooring has your back. In this article, we will go through the most commonly chosen bathroom flooring options and look at the pros and cons of each of them, as well as decide whether the installation process is something that you can do yourself, or if it’s better to leave it to the professionals.
Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles
The first position on our list has to go to both porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles, as those are the classic bathroom flooring choices – and there are plenty of reasons for that. First of all, they both are pretty affordable, which is great for those who want to remodel their house on a budget – especially since they can mirror a look of more expensive materials, such as natural stone.
Secondly, it is waterproof, which is crucial in a bathroom, where you take showers and baths. If the flooring is not waterproof, not only will it not last you long but you will also have to replace it, creating additional costs that could be avoided by choosing another flooring material. Additionally, they are both stain-resistant and durable.
The next thing we need to mention is that while porcelain tile and ceramic tile can be cold underfoot, they are also very receptive to heat, which means that if you wish to install heated flooring, this bathroom flooring material might be your best bet.
Last but not least, porcelain tile and ceramic tile is available in a plethora of different shapes and colours, meaning that no matter what style you choose for your bathroom, you are probably going to find a tile that suits it just fine.
Are there any cons to this bathroom flooring option? Yes, there is one – tiles can be slippery. However, there’s a way to ‘cheat the system’ and prevent slip and fall accidents – choose tiles that have a textured surface, or smaller tiles that require more grout than larger tiles, as it provides more traction. There are also some slip-resistant tiles available, which are worth looking into.
Now, for the installation – honestly, if you have the option, you should delegate the job to a professional, as tiling can be difficult, especially if there’s a lot of space to be covered. However, if you already have some experience, or if you feel confident in your abilities, you can always DIY.
The next of the great bathroom flooring ideas is vinyl flooring. Vinyl has been one of the most popular flooring options not only in the bathrooms, but also in other rooms for decades now, and it is understandable why.
First of all, it is very affordable, in many cases even more than tile flooring. Secondly, vinyl bathroom flooring is completely impervious, which is crucial for a bathroom. Last but not least, there are plenty of different models you can choose from. Vinyl flooring not only comes in a variety of colours and patterns but also shapes – you can choose sheet vinyl, vinyl planks or vinyl tiles. Most homeowners that choose vinyl for their bathroom floors pick sheet vinyl or luxury vinyl tiles.
It’s important to distinguish that there are two types of vinyl bathroom flooring composition – wood plastic composite (WPC vinyl flooring) and stone plastic composite (SPC vinyl flooring). Even though both of them are made with a water-resistant core, WPC vinyl is chosen more often due to being thicker and more flexible.
Although there are plenty of pros when it comes to vinyl flooring, there are also some cons as nothing is perfect. After some time, vinyl can develop curls, bumps or gaps. Vinyl plank or tiles are not suitable for use within your shower.
Vinyl flooring and laminate flooring are often confused. However, laminate flooring has a wood-chip base, which is not suitable for a bathroom floor – when wood flooring comes into contact with water, it tends to bubble up, which can lead to permanent damage and the need to replace the laminate floors. It is worth mentioning, however, that if you want to have laminate flooring in your bathroom, you might be able to find some waterproof variations of it.
Vinyl is one of the easiest bathroom flooring options when it comes to the installation process – you can easily do it yourself, with the help of a few YouTube videos.
Natural stone flooring is one of the more expensive flooring options. Does that fact make it better than tile flooring or vinyl flooring? That’s debatable – some think that it does, while others have an opposite opinion. We’ll leave the decision up to you.
Now, for the pros of this bathroom flooring option – it is definitely an extremely durable material that if taken care of properly can last you for a very long time. Stone products have a visual appeal that can be hard to replicate with other materials. Also, natural stone flooring in the bathrooms can be a good way to increase the resale value of your home, should you decide to sell it one day.
It’s important to know when you’re choosing natural stone flooring, that after a while you will have to reseal it – when that’s gonna happen depends mostly on what stone you decide to go for. For instance, limestone will need to be resealed faster than marble or granite, which can last up to five years before they need to be resealed.
Just like tile flooring, flooring made from natural stone can be slippery – however, if you choose one that’s been either honed or tumbled instead of polished, that shouldn’t be a problem.
When it comes to the installation process, it’s better to leave the job to the professionals, as installing natural stone flooring is not an easy task.
Concrete is a bathroom flooring option that is most commonly encountered in houses with slab foundations. However, if you don’t have it, you can still have a concrete slab or overlay poured in – it can be painted, polished and more later on, which means that you can personalize it to fit your bathroom’s aesthetic.
An undoubted advantage of a concrete floor is that it is completely impervious. Also, it is a very durable bathroom flooring material that can last you for a very long time.
When it comes to the disadvantages of concrete, one of the biggest ones is that it is cold to touch. It can also be slippery if you finish it with a smooth surface, but that can be prevented by leaving a bit of texture to increase traction.
Now, for the installation – it’s definitely better to leave the job to the professionals that know what they’re doing – they’ll make sure everything is done correctly so you can enjoy your floors for years to come.
The last on our list of best bathroom flooring materials is cork. It is a great choice for those who value being environmentally friendly, as stripping the bark from the tree used to produce this material (usually the cork oak) does not kill it. Since it is a renewable resource, the bark simply grows back.
Cork is a water-resistant material that can withstand not only water damage but also mold and mildew.
One of the drawbacks of having cork bathroom flooring is that when it is exposed to the sun for long periods of time, parts of it can become a different colour. However, this can be easily avoided by using curtains or blinds.
When it comes to the installation, this is one of those flooring options that are better installed by a professional, that will apply a polyurethane topcoat which will protect the flooring from big and minor spills. That way you can also choose unfinished cork flooring and finish the floor on-site instead of buying a pre-finished one.
Bathroom Flooring – What to Avoid
Truthfully, most materials will work just fine as bathroom flooring. However, there are two that you should avoid using at all costs – mainly because they can get damaged pretty quickly and force you to replace your bathroom floors again not even a year after getting them done.
The first one might sound pretty obvious, but we decided to mention it either way, and that is carpet. Carpets hold water, which can cause not only a damp room (which is an ideal environment for bacteria and mold to grow) but also eventually lead to structural damage to the flooring underneath it if you decide to place the carpet above already existing bathroom floors.
If you decide that you actually do want to have carpet in your bathrooms, make sure to choose the right one – it should be made from inorganic material and the pile should be low.
The second bathroom flooring option that should be avoided at all costs is solid hardwood floors, and the reason is pretty simple – they are not water-resistant, which means that even the smallest amount of standing water can work itself into the wood and cause it to rot.
However, if you really want to have a hardwood floor in your bathroom, you need to make sure that it is perfectly installed, which means that you have to hire professionals to handle the job. Also, finish your floors on-site instead of buying pre-finished ones, as then the seams between the planks can be flooded with coating – it will prevent the migration of water and other moisture from the top layer.
If you want hardwood floors, but don’t want to risk damaging them, a flooring option that we already mentioned – vinyl plank wood flooring – is a great alternative.
The Bottom Line – The Best Bathroom Flooring
So, what is the best bathroom flooring? Truthfully, there’s no right answer to that question, as there are a lot of things to take into consideration, including the aesthetic you’re going for in your bathroom, your budget, whether the flooring is to be placed in children’s bathrooms, guest bathrooms, master bathrooms and so on, and finally, your personal preferences.
Due to those things, every person can have a different option onwhat is the best bathroom flooring option – for some, it will be ceramic tile, for some porcelain tiles, for some sheet vinyl, while for others it might be laminate flooring. However, that’s the beauty of so many options being available – everyone can find something for themselves.
And if you’re one of the people that need to make that very important decision regarding which flooring to choose for the bathroom, feel free to browse through our offer. And if you have any questions, or would like to get a quote for the product you are interested in, feel free to reach out to us! A member of our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.