Waterproof flooring for bathrooms is more than an option. It’s a must in a room where water is splashed and spilled all the time and high humidity is the norm. Fortunately, there are several floors that are durable enough to take all the splashing and humidity of bathrooms while still looking great.
Water resistant flooring vs. waterproof flooring for bathrooms
First, it’s important to know the difference between water-resistant flooring and waterproof flooring for bathrooms. Water-resistant floors can hold up to spills, but may be damaged by puddles and minor flooding. Waterproof floors are built so water is not absorbed, making the flooring essentially “immune” to water damage. While waterproof floors may not be damaged by water, subfloors under the waterproof flooring are still prone to water damage.
There are also other differences and similarities. Because waterproof floors tend to be more durable, water-resistant floors are typically cheaper than waterproof flooring. On the other hand, water-resistant and waterproof floors come in a variety of styles that fit with the décor of any bathroom. Some floors, such as laminate and wood floors, are available in water-resistant and waterproof products. (Ask a local flooring professional specifically to see waterproof flooring for bathrooms.)
Sheet vinyl is a popular waterproof flooring for bathrooms because they are waterproof and durable. This bathroom floor is also available in a variety of colors and styles that complement any décor. Some sheet vinyl products even resemble wood flooring, making it an easy way to add the look of wood to a bathroom without worrying about water damage.
Sheet vinyl is also easy to clean, requiring only a regular sweep or vacuum and occasional mop. Because it’s a complicated glue-down installation, sheet vinyl is not an easy do-it-yourself project. However, the glued down installation does limit the amount of seams, which means that there are less places for water to seep through and damage.
Pros: Waterproof, durable, easy-to-clean, available in a wide variety of colors and styles, affordable
Cons: Not an easy DIY project
Tile is a common waterproof flooring for bathrooms because it is stylish and durable. Some tiles may need to be sealed to withstand water; ask a local flooring professional about sealing when selecting tile for a bathroom. There are several different types of tile floors available, such as ceramic, porcelain, travertine, and slate. These tiles are available in a wide variety of colors and shapes perfect for every bathroom.
Like sheet vinyl, some tiles resemble wood flooring which allows homeowners to add the look of wood without worry about water damage. Unlike sheet vinyl, tile is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project. It usually needs to be installed with grout over cement board.
Pros: Waterproof, durable, easy-to-clean, available in a wide variety of colors and styles, fairly easy DIY project, porcelain and ceramic tiles are affordable
Cons: Some tiles need to be sealed, travertine and other tiles tend to be more expensive
Just as the name suggests, waterproof hardwood floors are built to withstand water and high-moisture environments. Best yet, these durable products give homeowners the opportunity to add wood to a bathroom while minimizing the risk for water damage. Waterproof hardwood flooring is available in a wide variety of styles and colors, though it is typically the most expensive waterproof flooring option.
Hardwood flooring is not an easy do-it-yourself project, so it is typically best to contact an experienced local flooring installer about installation. The finished product, a warm and beautiful wood floor, is beautiful and may even add value to the home.
Pros: Waterproof, durable, easy-to-clean, available in narrow and wide planks and a variety of finishes, may add value to home
Cons: Not a DIY project, most expensive bathroom flooring option
How to choose the right bathroom flooring
- Set a budget.
- Measure the room.
- Visit a local flooring store.
- Consider the care and maintenance needs of the floor.
- Select the right style bathroom flooring.