At Floor Coverings International Metro East we have a huge assortment of flooring options made from many different materials. Choosing the right floor for you out of this large selection can be difficult, so today we are going to talk about the choices you have in bathroom flooring – including what works well and what should be avoided.
Your bathroom floor needs to stand up to certain abuses that other floors in your home generally avoid. The number one issue to consider in a bathroom flooring material is moisture resistance. Beyond that you’ll want to take into account how slippery the floor will be when wet, and also how cold it may become in the winter. This is especially true here in the Metro East, Belleville, O’Fallon, Collinsville, and Edwardsville areas!
Tile: Porcelain, Ceramic, Glass, and Natural Stone
A fantastic (and perhaps obvious) option in bathroom flooring is tile. Whether it is made from porcelain, ceramic, glass, or one of the many natural stone materials we offer, tile is highly moisture resistant, quite durable, and an all around sensible choice for the bathroom. In terms of slipperiness, though, you’ll want to pay attention to the tile’s finish. A glossy glaze or a smooth glass tile can become slick when wet. If avoiding this is a high priority for you, you may want to consider a slightly rougher ceramic tile, or a natural stone option such as travertine. The one drawback of tile is that it can be very cold, but the use of a floor mat can largely take care of this.
Another common option in the bathroom is vinyl. This is especially true because vinyl offers perhaps the greatest range of style options. Vinyl can not only mimic the look of many tile varieties, but also allows you to create the appearance of hardwood, and it is available in many other patterns as well. Vinyl also offers this aesthetic versatility at a price point that is considerably lower than other materials. Like tile, vinyl is quite moisture resistant and easy to clean. Unlike tile, it will tend to be a bit warmer. Regardless of the bathroom look you’re going for, there is sure to be a vinyl option that will work for you.
These next options should be avoided in the bathroom. If you’re careful, or if you are just re-flooring a half bath, then they might work out fine. However, if you think there is a good possibility that moisture levels may be high at times in your bathroom, steer clear of these.
Like vinyl, laminate flooring can give you the look of hardwood without the cost. But unlike vinyl, laminate does not hold up well to high moisture levels. Laminate will swell, and its layers may potentially separate, if it absorbs too much moisture. It may also begin to peel up from the subflooring. If you can keep it dry, it makes a nice addition to a bathroom’s décor – but only if you keep it dry! On the plus side, laminate is a bit warmer than other materials.
Hardwood is beautiful, but it is not a recommended flooring option for bathrooms. Wood is a porous materials that will absorb water and expand and then shrink as it dries. This may then lead to swelling, warping, and twisting that can create gaps between the planks and make your floor uneven. Engineered hardwood (created from a combination of hardwood and plywood) does offer greater moisture resistance than solid hardwood. So, in this respect, it is a superior bathroom option that can work – again, if you keep it relatively dry! But even engineered hardwood should generally be avoided in a full bathroom.
Not just bad – ugly!
Although it is not unheard of, carpeting in the bathroom is more than just a bad choice. It’s way out of style! Sure, you’ll see it now and then, but usually in a bathroom that hasn’t been remodeled since Reagan was President. Given its fibrous top layer and spongy padding underneath, carpeting is excellent at absorbing and retaining moisture. And, of course, this makes it a terrible choice for a bathroom floor. You probably didn’t need us to tell you this, but we encourage you to NOT carpet your bathroom. Although we will admit that it is by far the warmest and least slippery choice listed here.
Regardless of what material you decide to go with in your bathroom – even if you are the one that wants to bring the carpeted look back! – Floor Coverings International Metro East has a fantastic selection to choose from. Our flooring experts will be glad to help you pick the material that’s right for you. Contact us any time to arrange a free in-home design consultation!
Photo Credit: PlusONE