Choosing the right kind of flooring for your bathroom has to strike the perfect balance between what looks good to you and what works on a practical level. If you are thinking about a bathroom renovation, you should look at all the options available to you before you make a flooring decision. You also need to consider the installation costs, as some materials need to be laid out by specialists to get the desired effects, which could add a fair amount to your renovation budget.
In terms of aesthetics, there are plenty of options to choose from, and with technology improving all the time, you are guaranteed to find exactly what you want within your budget parameters.
Wood: For Warmth and a Vintage Look
While laminates and solid wood flooring are not good practical choices for a bathroom, because they warp, swell and discolour when they come into contact with water, hard woods like bamboo and teak can work really well, adding warmth and richness to your bathroom. There are also bathroom-specific laminates on the market that have been reinforced to prevent typical problems from arising.
Wood looks good in classically designed and modern bathrooms, but works especially well with wall paper and ornate bathroom furniture. Wood, unlike tiles, is warm to the touch and can be a more comfortable flooring choice underfoot.
Terracotta: For A Rustic Or Country-Inspired Look
Terracotta ceramic tiles are easy to keep clean and work especially well in bathrooms that are more rustic in their design aesthetic. They are available in a range of neutral colors and can be used to contrast with different colors in any bathroom renovation. They are hardwearing and cost-effective and make a practical choice for bathrooms that are used frequently or used by children.
If you still want to go for a tiled look but want something that looks more luxurious, then a glazed porcelain tile would be the next step up. They have a softer appearance but are very scratch resistant and also easy to maintain. They are also available in a wide range of colors, and can be used in bathrooms that are more classically inspired.
Remember that tiles are cold underfoot, and if you live in a cold climate, you could investigate having under tile heating installed before you tile, to make the bathroom more comfortable. Make sure you get professional advice into which tiles are best to deal with the heating mechanism before you go ahead with any work.
Polished Stone and Concrete: For A Classy Look
If you want a sophisticated look for a bathroom remodeling en-suite to the master bedroom, then polished concrete or stone could give you what you desire. They both have a neat and even appearance and work well with any décor, provided that they are well looked after and do not get too wet too often.
Stone: For a Classic Or Modern Bathroom With a Difference
Using materials like granite, limestone, slate and even marble can introduce interesting textures into your bathroom remodeling. They are high quality materials and might be a little more expensive than synthetic alternatives, but using natural stone is a long term investment. They allow you to have both uniform color and an eye-catching pattern, and can be used to contrast bold and bright colors to complement neutral tones.
Stone flooring needs to be well sealed to prevent water from seeping in, as all natural stone is porous in nature.
Marble: For An Upmarket Bathroom
If price is not a problem for your renovation budget, marble is one of those classic materials that really will stand the test of time. It is unique and offers both textured pattern and color to both floors and walls. It is ideal for traditional or classic bathrooms, but can also be used as a contrasting base for bright colors in modern bathrooms, especially if it is used on the walls as well.
Marble has been used for centuries by royalty and nobility, especially in architecture. It is an expensive investment, but each piece and pattern is unique and worth the investment.
Cork: For a Retro Bathroom
Cork became popular in bathrooms in the 1960s and 1970s and has recently seen a revival in modern and traditional bathrooms. Cork is an eco-friendly material, because it is made from wood shavings, so no trees are actually chopped down to make it. It also has excellent antifungal properties and is resistant to mould.
Rubber: For Practicality
If you need flooring for a family bathroom, then rubber could be your best bet. One of its advantages is its warmth underfoot, but it is also easy to keep clean and waterproof. On a safety level, it is also slip resistant so it is ideal for use in bathrooms used by children. There are also plenty of options available in terms of patterns and textures. Digital imaging means that the look and feel of natural wood and stone can be replicated in rubber, vinyl or linoleum at a fraction of the cost of using the real thing.
Metallics and Glass: For Glamour
If you want something more glamorous and flamboyant from your flooring, there are metallic-effect tiles available that refract light and have an iridescent sheen to them. They add an element of luxury and also work well in bathrooms that are spa-inspired. They are also ideal for use in showers and to create borders and patterns with.
Mosaics fall into the category of glass tiles, and they can be used to introduce patterns and details to solid or neutral colors. They should be professionally done for the best effect and you should be selective with where you incorporate them, for the most impact.
Tips For Small Bathrooms
If you want the size of your bathroom to appear bigger, think about having the same tiles on the floor and walls. The continuity of the effect makes the space look bigger than it really is. Try to stick with medium and large tiles; if they are too small, they can have the opposite effect.
Maximizing natural light by using blinds and mirrors can also make a bathroom feel bigger. Stick to lighter colors, as darker tones can make a small space feel even smaller.
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