Bathroom Renovation 101 - Flooring

Grand Master Greg from G&C Plumbing and Heating was put on the case last week to talk flooring. Specifically, what floors work best in bathroom renovations. The people want to know – what are the advantages and disadvantages of the different kinds of ‘tile’ you can put in your bathroom.

“Well, the list is really endless when you are thinking about style, price, and functionality. But, it’s a bit like a Rubix Cube to find the best fit for each bathroom, so let’s take a look at the best options,” said the Grand Master.

Vinyl Tiles

“Inexpensive and easy to install, vinyl tiles have come a long way since you stood on them in your grandma’s kitchen,” said Greg. The material is popular because of its safety, comfort and durability. And, you can’t beat the price starting at $.95 per square foot!

The only negative Greg can think of, “That feeling that you installed something that is made to look like something else.”

Which is…

Ceramic Tile

“There are so many types of ceramic tile with different shapes, sizes, and textures, you can really do pretty much anything. And by selecting a tinted grout you can get even more creative” said Greg. Prices start at around $1.09 per square foot.

Like vinyl, ceramic tile is waterproof and durable but feels more solid. “It can feel colder than vinyl, but a nice radiant floor can solve that,” said Greg.

There are no notable downsides to ceramic tile, according to Greg, unless you pick out a slippery one, but the grout can act as a non-skid surface.

Stone Tiles

“Limestone, marble, granite and slate, and stone tiles are available in colors that range from creams to blues, reds, greens and golds and textures just as numerous including cleft, tumbled, sandblasted, etched and flamed variations – if you can afford it, stone tiles look amazing,” said Greg. Stone floors are by far the most expensive.

“They are also a bit needy,” said Greg and require more maintenance than ceramic tile with regular cleaning and sealing.

Downsides in addition to the price – Stone is cold and tends to be slippery. This can be solved by having the stone textured by sandblasting or buy purchasing naturally textured stone, such as slate.

Now here are a few you wouldn’t normally consider.

Wood Floor Tiles

Not for the faint of heart, or those willing to let kids have a big tub in the bath. “Once water penetrates the finish, it will stain—for good,” said Greg who recommends the wood parquet tiles be carefully sealed around the room perimeter and at all other joints with at least two coats of polyurethane.

“This is not for your family bathroom, but maybe a super awesome powder room,” said Greg.

Linoleum Floor Tiles

“Retro is in,” said Greg, and linoleum is made of linseed oil, cork powder, wood flour, ground limestone and pigments giving it the power to naturally inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Average cost per square foot: $4.

“Installation is simple with click-in-place plank designs and it looks great but is sure is pricy” said Greg.

Cork Tiles

“Finished cork tiles are great,” said Greg. They’re warm and feel nice on your feet. They also come is a variety of colors. Average cost: $2 per square foot.

“If you purchase unfinished tiles, expect to protect them with two coats of polyurethane,” said Greg as a possible downside.

Glass Tiles

“This is about as big of a statement as you can make,” said Greg. Installed right, a glass floor will hold up well and can resist slips if textured or installed with lots of grout joints. Prices vary all over the place here.

Enjoy floor shopping. Next we’ll close out our Bathroom 101 series with thoughts on timing (specifically how long it takes to remodel and why) and efficiencies you should expect to find with your new bathroom.

Happy remodeling!


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