Tiles don’t fade and porcelain tiles will last longer that alternative options if laid correctly.
Tiles can withstand the everyday splashes that come with a bathroom environment.
If correctly installed, a tiled floor will last for years and years.
See my other articles for more information on tiling a bathroom floor.
Vast choice of bathroom tile designs & types – ceramic, porcelain, marble, slate etc.
Some floor tiles can be slippery when wet – use special textured floor tiles to remedy this.
Bathroom floor tiles are not recommended for those with joint problems.
Very unsympathetic to sub-floors that deflect under load.
See Tiling on wooden floors – prep for more information.
Light coloured grouts on floors can become dirty quickly – use a darker grout if possible.
See my article on choosing tiles for your bathroom.
Price is largely dependent on tiles chosen e.g. ceramic floor tiles start from £15/m2 and porcelain or stone tiles may be £35/m2 +. Then there is the costs of preparing the sub floor and laying the tiles to consider.
Ceramic tile flooring is usually the cheapest tiling option.
If using laminate, only ever use specially designed ‘for bathrooms’ laminates, and bear in mind the AC rating which goes from unrated (poor quality) to AC 5 (commercial grade excellent quality)
Quickstep Laguna has sealed surfaces and rubber joints do deal with humidity issues.
Aquastep is made from resins (not wood) and boasts 0% swelling in moisture laden environments. This makes it the best choice for bathrooms in my opinion.
Fitting both recommended laminates is a glue-less process, requiring no over-boarding, that allows both to be immediately walked on after fitting.
Aquastep can be installed immediately without having to acclimatise to current conditions and can be lifted and re-laid if necessary.
Bathroom laminate flooring is generally warmer underfoot than floor tiles.
Some can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating – check with the manufacturer.
Very contemporary design options are available e.g. ship-deck.
Aquastep can be fully recycled at the end of its natural life.
Do not buy cheap laminates for bathrooms: It is a false economy as it will not last!
Transmits more sound to the rooms below than cork or vinyl floors but Aquastep boasts 30% less sound transition due to its honeycomb internal structure when compared to other laminates.
Vinyls don’t harbour dust or mites like carpet so is a good choice for allergy sufferers and those with asthma.
Vinyl flooring can withstand everyday splashes that come with a bathroom environment.
Edges can be sealed against the skirting with clear silicon.
Cheapest bathroom floor covering to fit.
Quickest floor to fit, can be immediately walked on.
Vinyl flooring is generally warmer underfoot than tiles with no additional heat source.
Many design options available from tiled to wooden floor effects
This means you can have the look of wood without any of the practical limitations associated with it (and for much less money).
Vinyls’ soft nature reduces the transmission of sound to the rooms below.
Tramlines can appear through the vinyl if the floorboards underneath are not levelled out by nailing down hardboard prior to fitting.
Cheaper vinyls can fade. Check this when buying.
For the purposes of this article I have not included vinyl tiles as I believe them to be cheap and not fit for purpose as any moisture leaching into the gaps between the tiles can cause problems.
Rubber bathroom flooring can also be fitted in a similar way to vinyl but prices start at £50/m2 + fitting, and it is recommended that floors need to be over-boarded with plywood 1st to give a smooth surface. www.therubberflooringcompany.co.uk
IF finished with a high quality lacquer (done at the manufacturing stage.)
Many design options available.
Softer & warmer underfoot than tiles – dropped items won’t smash, and will benefit those with joint pains or arthritis.
Similar to laminate flooring – some are also glued down.
Many contemporary designs now available.
20 year warranty on better floors (often thicker – 10mm rather than 4mm).
Cork flooring’s soft nature reduces the transmission of sound to the rooms below.
Carpet retains bathroom moisture and can rot and smell.
Carpet around a toilet is also not hygienic, particularly when males are present, and is harder to keep clean.
Consider cork or vinyl instead for a warm, soft feel or gel backed carpets as a last resort.
Solid wood flooring
Moisture or spills in your bathroom will cause a solid wood to expand and contract leading to buckling and floor failure – Use wood effect vinyls or bathroom specific laminates such as Aquastep instead.
These are not designed for humid bathroom environments!
This is what happens to ‘standard’ laminates when water gets into them:
As you can see there are a myriad of choices for bathroom flooring, so just decide on what is most important to you (i.e. budget, longevity, aesthetics) and use this comparison article to refine your choice.
If you have recently renewed your bathroom flooring and would like to leave a comment that you think could help other readers, then please leave it below.