Types Of Flooring For Your New Bathroom

Written by bprescottJanuary 31, 2012
A floor with two different types of flooring

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is durable, water resistant, and easy to clean. Available in sheets and 12-inch square tiles, vinyl flooring is a composite material made up of a sandwich consisting of the top wear layer, a mid layer, and a backing layer. Printed floors are made by taking a picture of a pattern and placing it on a foam layer that is then placed on the backing material. On inlaid floors, small vinyl granules are placed directly on the backing. On both types of floors, the wear layer is placed on top of these layers, and all the layers are fused together with heat and pressure.

For the most durable vinyl flooring and one that will resist damage, choose a top-quality floor with a vinyl inner layer or an inlaid floor.

When shopping for vinyl flooring, read the installation and maintenance information supplied by the manufacturer and compare the installation requirements, especially if you plan to install the material yourself. Some vinyl materials can be installed over existing surfaces, and some require underlayment.

Wear surfaces

There are three types of wear surfaces on vinyl tile and sheet goods: the original no-wax surface, urethane, and enhanced urethane. Each manufacturer has a unique name for its wear layer, but all of them fall into these categories. The thickness of the wear layer isn’t as important as what the layer is made of. The real function of the wear layer is to maintain a scuff-free, easy-to-clean surface. The following list introduces a few options:

  • Vinyl no-wax: The original wear layer on most vinyl products, this finish is somewhat stain resistant and resists scuffs. Sooner rather than later, it will require regular washing and occasional floor polishing, especially in heavy traffic areas. This type of wear surface is found mostly on lower-priced entry-level floors.
  • Urethane (PVC): Urethane wear surfaces do a better job of resisting scuffs, scrapes, stains, and heel marks than vinyl no-wax surfaces. This surface retains its new look longer and requires less scrubbing and waxing.
  • Enhanced urethane: Vinyl flooring with an enhanced urethane wear layer is the best at resisting household stains. Maintenance for the most part consists of sweeping the floor with a broom and an occasional mopping with an approved floor cleaner or vinegar and water.

Plank and tiles

Vinyl tile and planks are an easy-to-install flooring options, and because the tiles or planks go down piece by piece, they’re easier to handle than a large sheet. The square tiles come in many patterns, and planks are manufactured into rectangular strips that can simulate wood boards, and other surfaces. Some tiles and planks have a self-adhesive backing that only requires peeling off the protective paper backing and pressing them down. Vinyl without the backing requires spreading an organic tile adhesive over the floor with a notched trowel and then setting the pieces in place.

Sheet vinyl

Sheet vinyl is manufactured in rolls that can be up to 12 feet wide. Because most bathrooms are under 12 feet in any one dimension, most can be covered with a single sheet. Unless your bathroom is rectangular in shape, have a professional floor installer measure the room and determine the correct amount of vinyl you need. Consider the pattern match of the flooring for any area where you’ll need to make a seam. Aligning the patterns may require additional material.

From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



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