The average person spends an hour a day or more in the bathroom. That is about 6% of our waking day and over 15% of the time, many spend at the house. Surely, that should merit finding bathroom flooring that makes that time functional and pleasant. Fortunately, there are half-dozen different types and hundreds of styles in each type to choose from.
Bathroom Flooring Tile Options
Installing bathroom floor tile is, of course, one of the most common choices made. It wears forever, very rarely cracks and can be quite beautiful. Ceramic, stone and some composite materials provide a range of looks and surfaces. Even treated concrete floors with vivid colors and elaborate designs etched in the surface are starting to make their way into some bathrooms.
However, tile does have some potential drawbacks. If it is not installed properly, it is prone to cracking. Any deviation from a flat, smooth surface creates a space between the tile and the under floor. That leads to high pressure on the tile. It also requires, in many designs, a lot of maintenance to keep the grout clean. Overall, it is one of the most functional and attractive possibilities for bathroom flooring.
Vinyl Bathroom Flooring
Vinyl used to be the overwhelming choice for the average homeowner. Though much of it was cheap and ugly, those days are gone. Vinyl sheets and tiles have evolved. They are now available in a wide range of styles that rival fine tile in terms of beauty.
Vinyl represents a lower-cost alternative, while retaining many of the functional character of tile. It is waterproof, sturdy and is ultra-easy to clean. Though tearing is a possibility over time, it will not crack like tile.
Solid Wood Bathroom Flooring
Hardwood, once upon a time the only option, is becoming a popular option again. While more expensive than some other choices, it has many advantages.
Primarily, hardwood is stunning with few materials being able to match the natural beauty provided by the grain and color of Brazilian Teak, Chinese Cherry, American Oak and others. With contemporary treatments, they shed water readily and there is no problem with mildew build-up.
Laminate Bathroom Flooring
Some clever materials scientists have found a less expensive way to get close to the same thing, however. They created laminates, which as the name suggests, are layered composites of material that can emulate the look of other materials. Some resemble grained wood while others look like a fine stone, such as marble or slate.
Laminates are sturdy, long lasting and easy to clean. They can be custom ordered in pre-cut tiles or planks to fit your specific space. In addition, you can find just about any design desired, usually at a lower price than the materials they resemble.
Other Bathroom Flooring Options
Of course, you can get the real thing. Slate, marble and other stones have been in use in baths for thousands of years. They wear forever. Some still-functional Roman baths are covered with the original material. They resist staining and can be cleaned with any number of modern chemicals.
Stone tends to be a little more expensive than other options. But the sheer beauty of the material can make this long-term investment well worth while.
Spend some time looking through the choices of bathroom flooring. What could be more fun?