Bathroom flooring can make a dramatic difference in the look and feel of your newly remodeled bathroom. From heated bathroom floors to traditional bathroom floor tile, there are some dos and don’ts when deciding on the type of flooring that you want.
When choosing bathroom flooring, you have the same considerations as you do for flooring for other rooms in your house. Durability, aesthetics, and comfort will come into play. The main consideration for bathroom flooring overall, of course, is moisture.
1. Solid Hardwood
Solid hardwood looks great and feels warm under foot. But moisture kills solid hardwood. If you must have hardwood floor in the bathroom make sure it\’s perfectly installed, with no gaps for moisture.
2. Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a better bathroom flooring choice than solid hardwood. The surface of laminate plank is a photograph of what the homeowner wants it to look like : oak, cherry, slate, marble. On top of that layer is the wear layer which is a clear layer of melamine. Because the seams are glued together, it\’s difficult for moisture to work its way downward. Laminate is easy to clean, too. But because laminate still has the wood chip base, should it happen to contact with moisture it will expand and bubble and the only way to fix it is to tear it out.
Stone will not pose any problems when it comes to moisture be it marble, granite, limestone, and the other stone flooring options. The drawback on stone flooring though is that it\’s cold and tends to be slippery. This however can be solved by having the stone textured by sandblasting or buy purchasing naturally textured stone, such as slate. Still, stone flooring is by far the most expensive flooring option.
Granite is a coarse-grained rock comprising of feldspa, quartz and mica which give sit an attractive crystalline appearance. It is exceptionally hard, highly resistant to wear and chemicals, and impervious to water.
However, choose with care as polished varieties may prove unacceptable slippery. Rougher textures are better for flooring; even more practical are granite sets, or paving stones which can be laid like brick.
It is one of the most expensive types of stone, but tiles come at a fraction of the cost and weight. Tiles as thin as 7mm can be used on bathroom floors.
Limestone is much softer than granite. Most types are fairly light in tone, ranging from warm neutral shades of oatmeal and cloudy white to dappled blue, green and grey, but there are dark and near black varieties.
Limestone is cool and elegant. Large, even flags work in classic or contemporary surroundings, lacking the more overt stylistic overtones of marble. Some limestones wear better than others. All types are porous but may be treated to prevent staining. Limestone does not resist acid chemicals and the harder types can be slippery when wet.
Marble is the epitome of luxury. For centuries this cool, almost translucent stone, with its rich veining, subtle patterning and often vivid colours, has featured in the most elegant, lavishly decorated interiors.
Marble is a material for making a statement. It works well in the classic contrast of black and white tiling. Marble is generally hard-wearing, although colours and patterns can become dulled by abrasion and traffic. Slipperiness depends on the surface texture. For flooring, it is advisable to opt for a honed finish which obviously offers a better grip than high polish.
Slate, like marble, is a metamorphic rock quarried in mountain regions all over the world. It comes in a range of beautifully dramatic colours – dark green, blue, blue-grey, red, purple and black – and tends to have a slick, wet look due to the high proportion of mica crystals layered through the stone. Slate is by no means inexpensive, but it is more reasonably priced than either granite or marbleand has other considerably practical advantages. Unlike marble or limestone, most types of slate are waterproof, which makes it excellent for areas indoors which are likely to get wet. It is also very hard, wear-resistant and needs little in the way of after-care.
4. Sheet or Tile Vinyl
The most favoured type of flooring for home re-modelers because it is very much a do-it-yourself job. You also have thousands of style options. Sheet or tile vinyl flooring are your two options within this category. One downside of the vinyl tiles is that, after awhile, they tend to come up. Sheet vinyl is the solution to that, but sheet vinyl is difficult to install for the home re-modeler.
5. Ceramic Tile
Like stone, ceramic tile has rich, textured, solid feeling. Like vinyl, it\’s waterproof and it\’s fairly inexpensive. And like wood flooring, it looks good. There are so many different types of ceramic tiles, you can get exactly the floor you want. You can even find ceramic tile that looks like stone. It comes in sizes between 4 by 4 inch to 2 by 2 feet, and comes in a wide variety of shapes such as octagonal and hexagonal. Mosaic tiles come in pre-mounted plastic mesh sheets, so you don\’t have to individually set each tile. With tinted grout, you can be even more creative. It cleans up well and bravely resists even standing pools of water.
The downside to ceramic tile is of course it\’s cold (though radiant or heated tile is available. Also, it can be slippery. But texturing solves that problem. Smaller tiles are less slippery, because more grout is used and the grout acts as a non-skid surface.
Heated Bathroom Floors:
The latest invention in bathroom flooring is to add low-voltage heating underneath your bathroom floor. The heated floor option can be “always on” or can be set on a timer with an on and off switch so that you can turn it on when necessary. This option is very popular with arthritis sufferers, older people and people who just want to pamper themselves because they live in colder climates.
Mosaic are intricate and delicate in design with its small cubes bedded in mortar in decorative or geometric designs. Any size floor can be covered with mosaic, although in practice it tends to be used on a smaller scale, e.g. bathrooms. And although like stone and ceramic tiles mosaic can be cold to your feet, the myriad grouting joints means that mosaic is far less slippery than floors made of larger tiles or slabs of the same material.