Bathroom renovations can be tricky projects because you have to find a way to make the most of a relatively confined space. They’re not meant to be the most attractive rooms in a home, but they’ll still be used quite often. The real challenge in finding the perfect balance of appeal and functionality is choosing the right flooring for a bathroom. Bathroom flooring normally comes down to a decision between tile vs. wood flooring. Basically, it all comes down to:
The safe bet
When debating between tile and wood flooring, tile is the safer option for bathroom flooring.
Why? Because it’s better for an area with surrounding plumbing and constant water use. Regardless of whether it’s ceramic or porcelain tile, it’s not likely that you’ll run into issues if you have tile flooring installed in your bathrooms.
Porcelain doesn’t get its name until it has an absorption rate of under 0.5%. Any absorption rate slightly above that mark and it gets labeled ceramic. The point is that water doesn’t have much of an effect on tile. The mist created by showers won’t affect it, nor will an overflown toilet. It could probably even handle a busted pipe just fine as well.
Tile is able to withstand the main thing that poses a threat against bathroom floors. Additionally, tile gives bathrooms a nice look. Tile continues to be a modern flooring type and can be found in a variety of colors and designs. If anything, its looks are great for bathrooms because they don’t experience as much foot traffic. Therefore, tile and tile grout won’t fall victim to unwelcome dirt.
The risky bet
The problem with hardwood is that it’s a naturally porous material (meaning that it’s vulnerable to water). Long-term exposure to moisture can ruin the looks of a hardwood floor. So, using the prior examples of mist created by the shower, an overflown toilet or a busted pipe, hardwood has a much lower chance at survival. Moisture will seep through the gaps and make its way to the core of the plank. Once this happens, cupping, crowning and/or cracking can occur.
Other than the moisture problem, wood flooring is a great choice. It has a nice appearance and is durable. You just have to determine whether or not you want to risk around 25-30 years of quality flooring to an unexpected water issue.
There are more durable “wood-like” alternatives to real hardwood flooring. Laminate, vinyl plank and engineered hardwood flooring are all options that make for better use in bathrooms. All types are layered with various forms of plywood and fiberglass, making it harder for water to make it to the core.
Engineered hardwood planks are topped with a layer of real hardwood. Therefore, it’s a great choice if you want flooring that has both the appearance of real hardwood and the water resistance of laminate or vinyl plank flooring. But, because engineered hardwood looks so similar to real hardwood, you’ll find it priced similarly to real hardwood.
In the end, it’s up to you, the homeowner. Tile flooring or hardwood flooring…you can take the safe route with tile or the risky one with hardwood. Or, if you’d prefer a middle ground, you could go with laminate, vinyl or engineered hardwood flooring.
Nadine Floor Company
Whichever option you choose, know that Nadine Floor Company is just one phone call away. Give us a call at (469)666-4530! We have a wide variety of flooring options for you and we can even complete an estimate and installation. Visit our website—nadinefloors.com—and check out our blog for more flooring input.