Bathroom Flooring: How To Choose Your Best Option

By: Glenn Whitehead

Bathroom flooring is one of the essential elements of a renovation project. When choosing the type of flooring to use, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each type, in relation to your other bathroom remodel ideas. The following tips will help offer some insight into the advantages and disadvantages of the different bathroom flooring options available.

  • Tile-Bathroom tile is the most popular and, probably, the most practical choice available. Tile is durable, moisture resistant, and available at some very economical prices. There are also wide varieties of colors, borders, trim pieces, and mosaic accents to choose from. Going with tile, however, is not the end of the decision process. There are several different types, shapes and sizes. You must make the choice between clay, porcelain, or stone and decide on the best size, such as; 2x2, 4x4, 12x12, or larger. As you can see; there are options available to fit any need or decor. 
  • Wood-Whether or not to use wood flooring in a bathroom is a decision that should be given careful consideration. While it is beautiful and can be durable and long lasting; excessive and extended exposure to moisturecan be harmful. Before making this choice; evaluate the pros and cons of each choice in relation to your situation. Solid hardwoods, while beautiful and extremely durable in other parts of the home; are more susceptible to the effects of water than other types of wood. If you choose this option; make sure the floor is properly installed, leaving no gaps or cracks for water to penetrate, control moisture with the use of bath mats, and protect the surface with more frequent coats of polyurethane finishing. If you choose to go with a laminate; use a top grade with a protective top layer and avoid excessive or standing water, which will destroy the bottom layer. Engineered wood, which consists of a top layer of real wood over a plywood base, is the most durable and best option if you decide to use wood in your bath.

  • Vinyl-Sheet vinyl or tiles (VCT) may be the best option available when it comes to bathroom flooring. While being extremely durable and moisture resistant, it’s also available in a wide variety of colors and patterns and is extremely economical. The main drawback for most homeowners isthey believe it looks cheap. However, in recent years, manufacturers have introduced some very attractive products that make it worth giving vinyl a second look.

  • Carpet-Most everyone in the flooring or building industries (myself included) will advise you to stay away from carpet in the bathroom. The combination of fabric and water is a recipe for disaster. If, however, you’ve made up your mind to use it; there are some advantages. Many people like it for the warmth and comfort on the feet, the relatively low cost, and the ease of replacement. If you decide to go this route; use a 100% olefin, indoor outdoor for the best resistance to moisture and use bath mats or rugs to control water exposure.

Hopefully these tips will give you some insight that will help you in selecting a bathroom flooring option that suits your needs. If you've decided to go with tile, this is a great do it yourself option that can save you some money on your renovation. I recommend taking a look at a great video by professional tile setter, Randy Davis, that will walk you through the process of  doing a complete installation. The topics covered include:
  • Floor preparation and mixing and spreading thinset
  • The proper tools for cutting and setting
  • Layout and measurement techniques 
  • Mixing and spreading grout
  • Clean up and much more
The best part is; it's offered with a money back guaranty. So there's no risk. If you're considering doing your own installation, this could save you lots of time and money.

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