Second only to the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the busiest rooms in the house, and the flooring needs to be able to handle more than the wear-and-tear of normal family life. In addition to looking great for years to come, bathroom flooring must also be budget-friendly and safe to help prevent slips and falls.
By far, ceramic tile is at the top of most every homeowner’s list for their bathroom floor; a full 83 percent of National Kitchen & Bath Association survey respondents said it was their go-to flooring choice. Still, there are choices to be made, so here’s how they breakdown:
Ceramic tile – This durable favorite gets top marks for good reason; it stands up to water, comes in almost any color and pattern, and can be textured for better slip-resistance.
Natural stone – Pricey but gorgeous; granite, marble, and slate (among others) add instant elegance to any bathroom. Tumbled stone can be a good choice because the sharp edges get worn off, but enough texture remains to prevent slips and falls.
Vinyl – Because vinyl tiles have seams that can succumb to moisture, sheet vinyl should be used instead. Vinyl in the bathroom is an economic choice because it’s durable and stands up to almost anything.
Linoleum – Believe it or not, the flooring choice of yesteryear is making a comeback. It’s an eco-friendly option because it’s made with natural materials, and it’s also economical, stands up to moisture and is stain-resistant.
What to avoid:
Hardwood – Even if the floor is sealed, hardwood in the bathroom might not stand up to the wettest room in the house without warping.
Carpet – Mold and mildew will build quickly in the fibers of bathroom carpet and so will odors. Instead of installing carpet, use rugs that can be removed and cleaned.