When it comes to planning a bathroom remodel, flooring materials might not top your list of concerns. But just because it’s underfoot shouldn’t make it out of mind.
Choosing bathroom flooring can be a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, you want the result to look attractive, but on the other, you need it to be sturdy and durable. You’ll ultimately need to find a happy medium between the two without breaking the bank.
So it comes down to three things: style, substance, and budget. Just how can you find the right flooring that ticks all the boxes?
Judging the Durability of Your Bathroom Flooring
In terms of durability, you’ll want something that holds up well against a bathroom’s public enemy number one: water. Splashes, spills, and overflows are sort of inevitable when it comes to bathrooms—especially when there are children involved. That’s why durability should be a top priority when making selections.
Fortunately, there are plenty of flooring materials that can withstand water, and at all different price points. The best bathroom flooring is nonporous, meaning it has no pores or small divots where water can leak in. It’s similar to the pores in your skin or the surface of a sponge. The larger the pores, the more porous the material is to water, air, and other fluids. Although smooth surfaces may not outwardly appear to have pores, some do. Nonporous surfaces include glass, plastic, and metal.
But of course, having glass or metal on your bathroom floor isn’t exactly realistic, no matter how advantageous it is. Instead, let’s take a look at some of what we think are the best bathroom flooring materials for your renovation dollar.
Porcelain and Ceramic Bathroom Flooring
We’re grouping porcelain and ceramic together in the same category because they are very similar in terms of material composition. Both are made of refined clay, fired in a kiln at high temperature. Both are sold as tiles, are highly water-resistant, and are largely nonporous. They’re both extremely easy to clean, and with simple care, will last for many years to come.
However, porcelain is made with more refined clay—therefore purer—than its ceramic counterpart. It is fired at a higher temperature, making it diamond-hard. It’s considered top-of-the-line and is priced accordingly. For a more budget-friendly alternative, ceramic will do just as good a job as porcelain, and it’s easier to maneuver, so you can cut it into all kinds of interesting shapes.
Natural Stone Bathroom Flooring
Natural stone looks beautiful in the bathroom, but like porcelain, it’s a bit spendy. However, it might be worth the investment. Many homebuyers value the appeal of natural stones like marble, granite, and limestone, and may pay more to add curb appeal when it’s time to sell.
Like the tiles mentioned above, natural stone is tough and durable with regular sealing. Although it’s slightly more porous than porcelain or ceramic, a quick cleanup after spills is more than enough to fix the issue. Many stones can also be cold and slippery to the touch, making it a bit of a hazard for some – except for slate, which has a naturally rough, grippy texture.
Laminate Bathroom Flooring
If you like the look of wood, laminate is a good alternative. Unfortunately, natural wood, even hardwood, is extremely vulnerable to spills and water damage and is prone to rot. On the other hand, laminate can imitate the look of wood but is nowhere near as susceptible to moisture damage. The ‘wood’ is an image layer—a picture, believe it or not—covered with a protective plastic coating.
Although leaving water on a laminate surface for extended periods may cause issues, a quick wipe up should help you avoid any problems with rotting or warping, and tight seams between the panels will keep the lower layers dry and sturdy. Laminate is also an excellent option for anybody on a budget.
Vinyl Bathroom Flooring
Vinyl is the only flooring on this list that is completely impenetrable. It is entirely synthetic, meaning it’s 100 percent waterproof, regardless of how long you let puddles pool on the surface. With all the different colors, shapes, and styles to choose from, vinyl is super versatile and extremely budget-friendly. Some homeowners and buyers might say they don’t like its look, but aesthetics are about preference. Not everything is right for everyone!
If you’re thinking about your selection and are ready to get the new look, Foley Companies can help you order and install a bathroom floor you’ll love. We make flooring easy, so you can sit back and enjoy the results. Connect with us today, and let’s talk about it!