By Suzanne Fred. Bathroom Flooring. Published at Monday, February 05th, 2018 - 19:24:37 PM.
Tile as a bathroom floor is easy to maintain, attractive and available in so many options. But it can get awfully cold. Radiant heating uses a hydronic or electric system to warm the floor from underneath. Hydronic systems involve rubber tubing that is installed under the floor and a hot water heater is used to heat up water, which circulates through the tubes and radiates warmth up and through the floor. Electric radiant heating is more economical and simpler to install—plus, it’s ideal for heating a single room if you’re not investing in a whole-house system. A thin electric panel containing heat-resistant wire is installed under the floor. Using a thermostat and timer, you can rev up the floor temperature when you use the space.
Plastic laminate tiles (more commonly available as planks) are also a good choice, especially if you’re remodeling. Similar to the laminate material that covered kitchen countertops for a generation or two, the tiles don’t significantly raise the height of the existing floor, which makes it easier to plan transitions from room to room. While durable and easy to keep clean, laminate falls short when it comes to moisture. Standing water can infiltrate the fiberboard core, causing the material to expand and buckle. With laminates, it’s critical to caulk gaps along the walls, around the tub, and surrounding other fixtures to prevent water infiltration.
Cork is warm to the touch and very easy on the feet, and the tiles come tinted in a variety of colors. Installation is not difficult, but if you purchase unfinished tiles, expect to protect them with two coats of polyurethane. Generally, cork tiles are installed with a troweled-on adhesive, but click-in-place floating floor products are also available.
Hardwood floors that are sealed will combat moisture damage and can provide a uniform look if the rest of the home has wood flooring. And basic vinyl is easy to wipe down and highly affordable.
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