If you’re going to be replacing flooring in your bathroom, you need a plan that defines where you’re at, how the bathroom will be used, and how you want it to look. Bathrooms are particularly tricky due to the moisture from steam and the possibility of water on the floor from the shower or an overflowing toilet. On top of that, the flooring has to be flexible enough to handle the heat.
Flooring is a great way to freshen a room. Although there are many trends in bathroom design today, different colors and mediums can add visual texture to increase the perceived size and feel. You can also play around with trim, borders, and focal points using colors and patterns to get the right look.
Bathroom remodels are one of the best returns on your investment if you’re in the Pacific Northwest. You don’t need to remodel just for your home value, though. You can upgrade your bathroom to be more water-efficient and green by using renewable resources.
What Are You Replacing
Each type of flooring will need to be removed and then the subfloor must be evaluated for rot, mold, mildew, and termite damage. Any damaged sections will need to be replaced with matching material. And if the wood has warped, the installer will need to prepare or even sand it down if possible to provide the best, flat base for your new flooring.
Carpeting will be pulled up. The carpet tacks will need to be removed. Usually, they are glued down and can be pried up. (NEVER put carpet in a bathroom)
Tile will be the most difficult to remove depending upon how it was installed. If it was done properly, it will be easy to pry up one tile at a time. If not, the installer may need to break up the tile.
Linoleum and Vinyl
Linoleum and vinyl are the easiest to remove. In fact, it probably has pulled up around the edges due to the moisture. The installer can slice a hole, and then pull up the flooring.
What Types of Floors Do You Want?
You may have an idea of how you want your bathroom to look. Today’s floor options can provide an amazing look with an “easy-to-care” for product that can come in a range of prices. With bathrooms, you also need to evaluate how often the room is used and how it is used. And you may even what to ask yourself how easy will it be to clean and maintain?
Flooring That Doesn’t Work Well In A Bathroom
Carpeting retains moisture and dries out slowly in the smaller spaces. If you still want to carpet your bathroom, we will just say please don’t. It’s never a good idea to install carpeting in a bathroom for many reasons.
Solid wood is extremely sensitive to moisture and will eventually rot even with a protective topcoat. Additionally, solid wood will expand and contract with the subfloor increasing the likelihood of warping.
While bamboo is more water-resistant and resilient than hardwood, it can still easily be damaged by water. And it is affected by humidity and heat. Like wood, it will expand and contract and ultimately warp out of place if it is exposed to too much moisture.
Flooring That Work Well In A Bathroom
Tile provides a great range of looks and is easy to clean. It resists water well. And it can be used with radiant heat. However, on its own, it can be cold and slippery, so make sure you are careful and consider a good bath mat.
When researching stone tile, evaluate how you want the tile placed, what color grout, and how you want it to complement the counter and any additional wall tiles.
Luxury Vinyl Tile – LVT
Luxury vinyl tile or LVT is waterproof, cost-effective, and comes in a wide range of colors and textures. Like stone tile, you want to ensure the design works well with your new countertop and wall tile. There are typically two types of vinyl composition. Wood and plastic composite (WPC) is preferred as it’s thicker and more flexible and resilient than stone plastic composite (SPC).
LVT flooring is also extremely durable, can be scratch and damage-resistant. Unfortunately, it can be pierced like many other flooring types, but luxury vinyl tile is easy to replace one at a time.
When researching luxury vinyl tile, look for a thicker top wear layer. The thicker the top wear layer is, the longer your tile can last and withstand wear. Another positive with LVT is that it’s easy to clean. You can vacuum, sweep, and mop up any spills easily.
You can get the look of wood in your bathroom and not worry about water damage with laminate flooring, and it is affordable and durable. It’s also easy to clean. However if it gets water damaged, laminate flooring can’t be repaired, and you will need to replace it, so keep that in mind for how you use your bathroom.
When researching laminate flooring, look for a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) core. It’s made up of water-resistant materials like wax. This gives you time to wipe up any puddles before it gets absorbed.
Your installer should apply glue or caulk around the edges of the planks to ensure water won’t sneak down. And they can add an underlayer to act as a barrier between the laminate and the subfloor.
Engineered Wood Flooring in a Bathroom
Since engineered wood flooring floats on top of the subfloor, it can expand and contract with heat and moisture resisting warping. It’s a great choice if you want to have real wood in your bathroom. Plus it’s easy to keep clean with a quick vacuum or sweep.
The downside is if the top layer gets damaged and it needs to be refinished, you may not be able to as you could go through the top veneer level. So wipe up any puddles right away and treat your engineered wood flooring well.
And The Winner Is?
That is entirely up to you. If you’re not certain, our design experts are here to help you visualize how your bathroom could look. Bathrooms tend to stay a little damper here in Portland. So it’s essential you have good ventilation no matter what type of flooring you choose.