Choosing the right flooring for any bathroom is a big decision. When you think you’ve narrowed the search down to your favorites, take the time to collect samples and put them through a series of simple tests. If you test bathroom flooring samples before committing, it will help give you peace of mind that you have made the most stylish and functional choice for the space.
Recommended Bathroom Flooring
Bathroom floors are prone to more water and humidity than any other room in the home. As such, the flooring in the space needs to be water resistant, stylish, and safe to walk on when your feet are wet. Some of the most highly recommended bathroom flooring options include:
- Porcelain Tile: This man-made product is crafted of clay and comes in countless different style options. You can choose porcelain tile designed to look like natural stone, hardwood, and a variety of different designs. The many different shapes and sizes available make it easy to get a customized look for your space.
- Luxury Vinyl Flooring: Luxury vinyl flooring is an inexpensive and easy-to-install man-made product that is growing in popularity because of its incredibly durable and waterproof design. It is often made to resemble the look of hardwood floors. Because it is easy to cut with a razor knife and clicks together in seconds, it is a desirable choice for anyone looking to install bathroom flooring as a weekend project.
- Natural Stone Tiles: Natural stone tiles provide a timelessly elegant look. Natural stone comes in many different varieties, including marble, travertine, limestone and slate. The durability of these tiles varies based on what type of stone you select.
How to Test Bathroom Flooring Samples
Bathroom flooring can show sights of wear and tear faster than most other rooms of the home, especially when an inferior material is installed. Shop the many different bathroom flooring options available and order samples of your top three to five materials. Once you have them at home, test the bathroom flooring samples to see how they respond to water exposure, humidity, and daily life. Finally, evaluate the look of the flooring size, shape, and finish once it is in the space it will decorate.
Water can be extremely damaging to many different types of flooring and it is unavoidable in a bathroom setting. Make sure the flooring you select is strong enough to hold up to plenty of spills and splashes by testing it for water absorption. Expose the samples to standing water for an extended time and look at what expansion or damage occurs as a result of the water.
Assess the Style
One of the biggest tests of a flooring sample is how it looks in a space. Place all the samples you choose in the bathroom and assess them against the cabinets and other finishes of the space. Look at them at various times of day to see how the color changes in different light settings. Take all the chosen decorations into consideration and make sure the samples match all the components.
Warm water flowing from the shower creates a humid environment in the bathroom. Make sure the samples you have can hold up to moisture and humidity without too much expansion. Measure the flooring samples carefully when you receive them and place them in the humidity of the bathroom after a long shower. Measure them again to see how much they expanded when exposed to all the steam. Too much expansion can cause installed flooring to buckle or warm with time. This is especially prevalent with hardwood or engineered wood planks.
Don’t be afraid to put your flooring samples through their paces and test them for durability. Use a variety of materials to try to dent, scratch, and otherwise disfigure the surface of the different types of flooring. Drop a weight on them, try to scratch them with heels, or drag a set of keys across their surface. A flooring sample that marks up easily is no as likely to stand up to the test of time, especially in homes that have dogs, children or a lot of activity.
The bathroom floor needs to be safe beneath the feet when you step out of the shower or bath. Rub your hands over the surface of the flooring to see how slick it is. The amount of texture and the finish all play into the slip resistance of the installed flooring. It is always a good idea to lay down bath mats right outside of the shower and tub to absorb standing water and help prevent slips and falls as well.
Test the Durability
Scratching is one thing but prolonged durability is entirely another. A bathroom is used multiple times a day and as such, will be subject to a lot of foot traffic. Make sure you are making a durable choice by dropping a variety of things on the flooring samples, especially near the edges and corners where flooring can be the weakest. Inspect the samples carefully after each test to see what, if any, damage occurred.
Bathroom flooring will last for a number of years, when you take the time to choose a material designed to hold up to the daily rigors of the space. Collect any of the materials you are considering and test bathroom flooring samples to make sure they perform well. Sometimes, a few tests and seeing the samples in a space will result in choosing a different material than you originally expected.