In the UK, the most popular floor covering is timber. In homes, it sells more than any other alternative, be it ceramic, stone, vinyl, porcelain, carpet or laminates. The largest rooms in the house are downstairs, and they’re the ones that tend to have natural wood flooring. But what’s the best flooring for bathrooms?
Water, Water, Everywhere! Bathroom floors don’t experience large amounts of traffic, dirty shoes, heavy furniture or searing sunlight, challenges that can inflict damage in so many ways. However, worse than those is a constant attack from water, cleaning chemicals, soaps, and inaccurate visitors. There is splashing, spilling, dripping, leaking, and overflowing.
For practical reasons we wouldn’t consider putting carpet onto a bathroom floor. As pleasant as it is to walk on barefoot, it harbours everything unpleasant in a bathroom and is not hygienic.
Timber is an option. It will need to be exceptionally well treated, and will require periodic maintenance. Should any moisture ingress beneath its surface, be it the exposed side, or down the sides of the plank between the joists, we’re looking at swelling, cracking, and buckling. A replacement floor in other words.
Laminates can be used, but bear in mind that only the 100% waterproof ones will work. And it’s the surface that is doing the heavy lifting here – the ends that have been cut to fit up to the wall will still be exposed.
Stone slabs or tiles are another possibility, but it’s worth noting that chemicals within the stone itself can react with chemicals in soaps, shampoos and indeed urine. These can change colours within the stone, or eat away at its surface.
We give a nod to vinyl tiles, or luxury vinyl planks. They’re 100% waterproof by their nature, and are easy to maintain. Like tiles, they’re available in a myriad of colours and designs.
But the best choice, and we will admit to bias, are tiles. Glazed ceramic or porcelain is fully resistant to all these forms of attack and is the best flooring for a bathroom. Furthermore, they’ll usually have been produced to match the bathroom wall tiles. Crucially, they’re the best option for walk-in shower areas, to create a perfectly seamless, modern floor. They’re also an excellent choice for installing with underfloor heating.
1st Place: Ceramic tiles are the best flooring for a bathroom.2nd Place: Vinyl Flooring.