Whether you are selecting flooring for a family bathroom, wet room or ensuite, the type you choose can not only complement your chosen design and the accessories that make it, but transform the bathroom into the functional hub that it should be in any home. There are many bathroom flooring types to choose from, the most common options being porcelain and ceramic tiles, but there are many more materials and finishes that fall under the radar when individuals make the difficult decision of which flooring is right for them, their needs and their budget.
Here at Décor Clad, we don’t just supply a wide range of decorative cladding, our expertise in flooring also sets us apart from our competitors. Here we offer the ultimate guide to bathroom flooring so you can find the quality and finish that you have been searching for.
As we mentioned previously porcelain and ceramic tiles are very much the go-to products when choosing bathroom flooring ideas that is both suitable and stylish. Whilst often referred to in the same breath, porcelain and ceramic are in fact very different materials, and offer varying benefits for the discerning home improver, whether you are simply upgrading your existing space or starting afresh with a full renovation. As a material, porcelain is much denser than ceramic, created by the use of heavier clay which is then fired for a lengthier period at a much higher temperature. The result, a stronger and more water resistant tile than standard ceramic tiles.
As well as lasting longer and remaining waterproof, even in the steamiest of environments, porcelain flooring is stain resistant, easy to maintain, simple to install and extremely hygienic. Its uniform size and extensive selection of finishes also makes it an economical option for those looking for quality and affordability.
Stone is one flooring material trend that has grown in recent years with the age of authenticity leading many householders to opt for a more expensive and luxurious finish. Available as cladding, stone flooring – and wall coverings, if you wish to go for the complete look – is easier to install than ever, however, this beautiful material does have its drawbacks when utilised in the bathroom.
Due to the natural composition of the material, stone cladding tends to be more porous than other alternatives, which over time and with continued exposure to damp can result in waterproofing issues. Treatments can be used in conjunction with regular maintenance to prevent such issues, but for many this can be one step too far in the pursuit of a beautiful looking yet practical bathroom. Despite its high price tag, there are a long list of finishes available when choosing stone tiles and when treated with a further polish, householders will enjoy a stunning finish that, with the right level of maintenance, can last a lifetime. As with engineered wood flooring, stone flooring is not suited to elderly people as it does not offer a good enough level of slip resistance and is not soft underfoot.
Want a wood or stone finish but don’t have the budget for the real thing? Effect flooring is an excellent option and you’ll be surprised by just how good it looks. There is a plethora of wood effect and stone effect flooring finishes that you can choose from meaning you can find flooring to suit your wider bathroom design. Effect flooring combines the best of both worlds, delivering the natural finish you want and the stain, scuff and water resistance every bathroom needs. Effect flooring is also very easy to install, with many products simply clicking together for quick fitting.
In comparison with real wood and stone flooring, effect products are warm underfoot and suitable for use across various environments, from family bathrooms, ensuites and wet rooms to kitchens, utility rooms, dining areas and playrooms.
Formally known as luxury vinyl tile, LVT has come a long way since its heyday in the 1970s and is no longer the cheap looking, garishly patterned imitation flooring you may remember. Luxury vinyl is waterproof and much softer underfoot than the stone and porcelain materials it aims to emulate. For individuals looking to install underfloor heating, LVT is a flooring type that looks great and allows heat to be distributed evenly. For bathrooms that are of an unusual shape or particularly large in size, vinyl can be an easier option due to its value for money and easy retrofitting. Despite its thinness, the latest luxury vinyl flooring products are more hardwearing than you may think and many manufacturers offer guarantees of up to 20 years.
Rubber is a flooring type that is often confused with vinyl but its advantages and disadvantages make it a very different product. Like effect flooring, its warm underfoot and longevity makes it the perfect flooring material for a multitude of environments, and rubber is often used in playrooms as well as bathrooms. Its versatility is also complemented by the wide range of colours, patterns and textures available, and rubber is the ideal way to inject some personality into rooms with white washed walls and unassuming sanitaryware.
Certain rubber flooring types can be slippery however, making some not suitable for use in bathrooms used by young or elderly family members.
Whilst real wood flooring is not suitable for use in the bathroom due to its slippery nature and dirt harbouring heavy grooves, engineered wood has been specially developed to unlock a selection of benefits.
The structure of an engineered wood tile is very different to the real thing, and the engineered alternative is made from several layers of timber, instead of the single layer found naturally. The advantages of using engineered is that, unlike real wood, this product is less prone to movement when exposed to the high levels of humidity commonly found in bathrooms. Engineered wood may be more costly than its cheaper laminated cousin, but it does not warp or swell making it a better option with simple maintenance the route to an issue-free and beautiful looking flooring type.