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Deciding On The Best Flooring For Your Bathroom

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Deciding on the Best Flooring for Your Bathroom

Some home trends in bathroom floors are much more practical than others. Although some interior design professionals recommend high-end flooring materials such as marble, recycled glass and encaustic cement for the bathroom, this article will outline a number of durable options that are substantially more affordable.

As you conceptualize your well-outfitted bath, you're the interior design person, at least in the beginning stages. There is much to consider. Of course, you'll want to invest in a material that matches your existing design, isn't easily damaged, and doesn't require a lot of maintenance. You're sure to gain valuable insight as you go over the following flooring home trends. If you're ready to decide upon the ideal material, remember to enjoy the process—this is going to be fun!

Hardwood

Although you may love the look of solid hardwood, and have it installed in other areas of your home, you'll want to be careful about choosing this material for your sanctuary room. Let's face it -- hardwood is beautiful, warm, and rich-looking, yes. But rooms with plumbing are much more prone to moisture and standing water than other rooms in the house. For this reason, genuine hardwood isn't generally recommended for use in kitchens and restrooms.

Should you choose to go ahead and install it anyway, the hardwood is likely to expand and contract due to high humidity levels. Eventually, the wood will begin to crack and warp. Having gone to all of the trouble of having the hardwood installed in the first place, you surely wouldn't want to have it all demolished in a few short years and replaced with a more suitable material. A well-ventilated and rarely used half bath or guest bath is an exception, but if your lavatory gets a lot of use or contains a shower or bathtub, you might consider some of the other home trends in floors for the powder room.

If you must have hardwood in your powder room, however, you could go for engineered hardwood planks. It's made from a plywood base that is overlaid with real wood. This material tolerates moisture better than natural hardwood. Even so, a busy loo is probably not the best place for this material.

Porcelain Tile

Now if you're still stuck on wood but don't want to deal with all of the moisture-related problems, take heart. Home building materials have come a long way, and now science has come up with wood-look tiles. And guess what? You will find that a wide selection of these are made out of the title material.

You might be surprised at porcelain's resemblance to real wood, especially when the floor has been completely installed. And you'll be happy to know that these tiles are completely waterproof and resistant to scratches and other potential day-to-day damage. Given all of these advantages, you'll still want to be careful about dropping anything heavy on these types of tiles. The impact could seriously damage a tile or two to the point that they would need replacing. Think about it: if you drop a plate, the impact shatters it.

These tiles come in all designs and sizes, however, not just wood-look planks. You can find them in a plethora of hues, including earth tones, white and gray, and popular square sizes range from 12” x 12” to 24” x 24” and beyond. If slightly rectangular or glazed tiles are your thing, you'll find much to choose from there, too.

And don't forget that the tiles can be laid in patterns that give a more upscale look to your floors. Having the tiles installed in, say, a herringbone or stacked pattern can cost more at the outset, but the end result could be well worth it. Maintenance will be a breeze with just a soft mop or vacuum. This material continues to be a popular option because of its durability, style and cost-effectiveness.

Ceramic Tile

Another viable option is ceramic tile. It's important to note here that there are only slight differences between the two tiles, including the price. Porcelain tile is higher-priced than its counterpart, and there is also the fact that the tiles are considered to be more water-resistant than ceramic tiles are because of their density. These tiles are, therefore, thought to be more durable as well. Do remember that both kinds of tile are included in the same broad category.

With all of that in mind, you might give serious consideration to adding this type of tile to your space. This tile resists stains and scratches, especially when topped with a protective glaze, and it comes in a beautiful array of designs and colors.

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Laminate

Laminate consists of four layers that are fused together: wear, decorative, core, and balancing. Some of the advantages of laminate are that it resists dings and scratches, and it's easy to clean and install. You may even choose laminate pieces that look like tiles. Laminate is also budget-friendly.

Now for the downside of using laminate on your floor. Laminate will warp if exposed to excessive moisture, so standing water can be a costly hazard. The material can also be slippery, so care must be taken to quickly clean up those occasional spills.

If you choose laminate for your floors, however, you'll want to avoid the kind of laminate that just snaps into place. Unfortunately, it will do nothing to prevent the seepage of water into the seams. Once it reaches the floor's sub layer, the end result is the dreaded warping. Instead, invest in laminate material that has seams that are glued down. The glue will act as a deterrent to water seepage.

You'll find laminate in various shapes, finishes, and textures. You might even be able to install this particular flooring yourself if you're handy.

As you can see, each of the materials above can be a great choice, and you're sure to find something that fits your design tastes as well as your overall budget. Once you decide what you want, the process should go very quickly. Good luck and have fun redesigning your bathroom floors!

Guest Contributor, Julia Ellison