Landlight, personally I advise against using anything but tile in a bathroom or other wet area (kitchen, laundry, etc.). The amount of moisture and relative abuse these areas see is best dealt with by tile.
Negative on the wood floor, any wood floor in a bathroom. To much moisture. While the look may be real nice, way to much work to put down and worry about issues.
However if your thinking about a powder room with no tub or shower, go for it.
As an admitted treehugger, I was excited about the idea of bamboo flooring, as bamboo is an abundant and fast-renewing resource, and it is very strong and durable. However, most bamboo flooring has been processed so much that the final product negates the green positives. Also, all the bamboo flooring I have seen (admittedly fairly cheap stuff) scratches really easy.
Here is a great article by a regular Hometalker about the downsides of bamboo.
Also, I agree with those guys about the moisture concerns.
Steve...very interesting article re: Bamboo. Thanks for sharing. And for the other comments, many thanks guys. You both have sent me in the right direction.....ceramic replacement it is.
With thousands of tile varieties available ( ceramic, porcelain , natural stone) your options are a gazillion times more plentiful. Wood is only available in a dozen or so specie.
From a durability a common sense approach wood is not the best.
Since I wrote My blog post on bamboo and "greenwashing" I found this study that compares just the transports embodied energy...bamboo lost again to concrete's Manufacture AND Transport...no less. Which is considered a very high energy product.
That may be right about the cost. But bamboo is not a wood.
Bamboo is grass
Once I viewed a house in FL that was very badly damaged by hurricane surge of 20 feet - walls knocked out, timber hanging, just a wreck, except the floors - you guessed it, bamboo. Not even curled or buckled. I have bamboo in my kitchen.
avoid bamboo or any type of wood for this application is my suggestion. If you do decide to use it be sure to seal it properly and maintain it according to directions to keep water from penetrating. Again I would avoid it altogether.
Sheila above beat me to the punch. There are many ceramic and porcelain tile "wood planks" that we've used successfully in several projects. The final product is darn near an authentic wood floor look, without the wood floor worries. The results can be beautiful and I'd encourage you to research this idea.
We used the ceramic 'wood plank' tile in the kitchen, kinda unforgiving when dropping plates or other crockery on it, but it lasts. One caveat, make sure the underlayment is solid and use the epoxy thinset adhesive. We put marble 12" squares in the bathroom with the epoxy thinset and have had no problems with staining or cracking.
We have bamboo all through our 2 story house...I love it!! hard wood durable. Sooo pretty! It's also the "Green" floor. Bamboo grows fast and dosne't damage the enviroment. I have pix on my FB page but I can't figure out ohow to download them...:(
Excellent point, John. As these tile planks are generally narrow and long, the underlayment condition is of paramount importance. If used in a basement or slab condition, leveling may be required; and in a typical wood-frame environment I recommend Durock (or equal) for a solid substrate. Mitigating deflection and providing a flat, level surface will deter cracking over time and are a must!
Beverly...hate to bust your bubble on the "Green" aspect of Bamboo. Yes is does grow much faster than say an oak tree. But the process of turning this "grass" into "wood" is a very energy and chemical intensive process. The "farming practices" to grow bamboo are also quite detrimental as in many cases native diverse ecosystems are being clear cut to grow mono-typic stands of bamboo that then require aggressive agricultural processes, fertilizer, erosion control etc.
To put the icing on this greenwashed "cake" the Embodied energy to transport bamboo 1/2 way around the planet makes bamboo even more energy rich than the Manufacture AND Transport of Concrete which is a high energy input product in it self.
The embodied energy values can be found here.
From a "greener" perspective using native domestic hardwoods which contribute far less "carbon" to the products "carbon foot print." That and the fact that you would be supporting a USA grown and produced product.
The US timber industry is far better managed than nearly all of the third world operations and finding FSC (forestry stewardship council) certified material is not too tough.
As a final note...having a "real" wood floor that can be finished over and over...and thereby Outlive 3, 4 or even 5 bamboo floors...is indeed the better choice. In my many years of refinishing floors I have yet to see a bamboo floor last just a fraction of a real floor.
Ive been installing floors for 16 years and a quality pre-finished hardwood or bamboo flooring is ok to put in a bathroom as long as your installer does his job properly.
Bamboo will work but tile is always the best in wet areas! It cleans up easy and will last a lot longer in wet areas. Bamboos range widely in quality so make sure you know what you are getting.
I love the look of tile, buy everyone is talking me out of it.
Only you can talk yourself out of it! :-)
If that's what you love, get it! Your house, you have to live with it!
There really isn't a "right" or "wrong", just what's right for you. Pretty much any floor finish (within reason) if installed properly will be just fine. If you go with what you truly love, there will be no regrets down the road.
Melanie...tile where?....Tile is the hands down best for kitchens, baths, laundry, entries, utility rooms. In some climates it is even good for bedrooms...ie: tropical beach type homes. My home only has carpet in two of the back smaller and out of the way bedrooms...every thing else is tile or hardwood...tile in all of the baths kitchen etc.
BTW who is trying to talk you out of tile?
Tile in the bathroom. Some relatives and friends have said not to get it. I really like the look of it. I have 3 kids, and i worry about it chipping or cracking if something gets dropped on it. Its our only bath. I want something easy to clean and durable. Our home is older and the walls and ceiling are the old smaller tiles. We are planning to remodel soon. Our floor is vinyl. How often do tiled floors need regrouted?
With proper prep (ie: backer ..set and screwed over a sound subfloor) the grout will last 20 years or more. Sealing it every couple of years will make your cleaning regime easier. I've seen tile that was 30 and 40 years old and still going strong.
In many installs I have done the addition of a radiant heating element adds a very nice touch.
We have gas in our home, can we put only the radiant heating in the bath, and about how much extra do you think it costs? My husband would be doing all the work.
If you have an unfinished basement, or access to the subfloor thru a drop ceiling, you can add radiant flooring to the entire level of the house. See www.suntouch.com.
When installing the radiant floor in a tiled situation, extreme care must be taken in laying the mesh and covering with thinset..........one nick in the wire and you have major problems.
In terms of cost, overall you are looking at approximately $1.50 per sq ft which cover all materials, thermostatic control and a dedicated 20AMP electrical circuit.
And there is nothing like a warm tile floor in the winter months when step on it.
Another company is "warmly yours" http://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/ If have installed both of these (suntouch too) these system are designed to install above the subfloor. I have suntouch installed in my master bath...its great.
I've used Warmly Yours for years now with great success. I continue to use them to this day. Excellent product, pricing, and customer service.
Best of all, it's an electric mat requiring very little prep and installs easily on top of the subfloor as described by KMS. It's not really sufficient for primary heating, but will make tile floors feel warm underfoot per its design.