When we bought our house our full bathroom flooring was in reasonable condition, but when I look at I now it is time for a change. Our bathroom has old peel-n-stick 12×12 vinyl tiles that is probably at least 9 years old. The flooring is beginning to show it’s age. Some of the tiles have lost the protective coating and the seams between other tiles are showing.
All in all, it is time to think about replacing the flooring with something new…but with what? There are many bathroom flooring options for homeowners to consider. So before you get started with a bathroom makeover it is a good idea to evaluate what you are looking. For myself, I want bathroom flooring that is beautiful, stylish, durable, budget-friendly and something I can install myself.
So to help me make a decision on bathroom flooring, and help you also, here is a comparison of several popular bathroom flooring options.
Laminate flooring is a manufactured product composed of laminated multiple layers of a substrate with a top thin appliqué that looks woods. Laminate flooring is an inexpensive way to get the look of wood flooring. It is also easy to install because most laminate floors have a tongue and groove system that locks together.
However, laminate flooring is not a good option for a bathroom. Water can seep into the seams between planks which can lead to the boards or sub flooring swelling.
Solid hardwood flooring is stunning and adds tons of value to a home. Hardwood is extremely durable, can be sanded and refinished, and is easy to clean.
However, hardwood flooring is more expensive and harder to install. Solid wood flooring is also prone to water issues in the bathroom because the seams between planks are not sealed. It’s not recommended for a bathroom makeover.
Ceramic & Porcelain Tile
Tile has been used for centuries as a flooring material. Made from ceramic or porcelain, tile is a strong durable material that is easy to clean, withstands moisture, and is stain resistant.
Plus, tile has come a long way over the centuries, and is available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. In addition, tile varies in price, so you can typically find a tile to fit into any size budget.
However, ceramic tile does have some cons. The grout between tiles can attract stains, mold, and can be difficult to clean. Best way to avoid this is to seal the grout after installing. For the DIY project, tile can be a little challenging for beginners.
Overall, tile is a great choice for bathrooms.
Vinyl tiles are made of a synthetic material that is thin and not porous, which is ideal for bathrooms. Vinyl tiles are very affordable and are available in a wide variety of colors, style, shapes, and sizes. There are some amazing looking vinyl tiles that look like actual wood or stone.
Vinyl tiles are durable and easy for a beginning DIY’er to install. Installing vinyl tile is typical done with a glue applied to a sub-floor. However, you can find vinyl tile options with a peel-n-stick back making installing a breeze. Vinyl is very easy to clean.
You do, however, still have the potential risk of water getting between the seams. Also, in some cases vinyl can be gouged by sharp objects, which is very difficult to repair.
Sheet vinyl is similar to vinyl tile, however the main difference is sheet vinyl comes in large rolls. This means, in most bathrooms, you can install sheet vinyl with no seams. This eliminates the risk of water reaching the subfloor and causing issues. Also, there are wide variety of colors and styles of sheet vinyl, ranging from wood, stone, and tile.
Sheet vinyl can still be gouged. Installing sheet vinyl is a little more difficult because cutting the sheet to fit around the toilet and vanity can be challenging.
Floating Vinyl Plank
Floating vinyl planks is similar to vinyl tiles, however are manufactured with a backer that interlocks planks to each other. Floating vinyl plank is very easy to install, requiring no glues or nails. Using a tongue and groove system, vinyl planks click and lock to together. Floating vinyl planks are designed to look and feel like hardwood flooring, but are less expensive.
Vinyl planks are more durable than vinyl tile and sheet. If a plank does get damaged, since the planks are not glued, you can replace the damage plank easily.
If you are looking for a more modern and industrial look for your bathroom you may want to consider a concrete flooring. Concrete floors are growing in popularity because they are durable, easy to clean, and when sealed protect against water and stains.
I have lived in an apartment with concrete floors in the bathroom and they are great. You can simply seal the concrete or you can stain it to add color.
Concrete is harder to install, and is more expensive. However, if your bathroom has a concrete subfloor, if it is in good condition you can stain and seal it for your flooring.
What’s the Right Bathroom Flooring Option
The right flooring choice all depends on what you are looking for in the end. Ceramic or porcelain tile are most commonly used in bathrooms, however if vinyl tile or floating planks are more in your budget all those are good choices for a bathroom makeover.
Any one of these options will help you transform your bathroom into a stunning new relaxing retreat. Evaluate which works best for you budget, needs, and style. Then get started with your bathroom makeover.