Bathroom flooring

Lori Gay
by Lori Gay
As most of you know, we are building a house and you have helped me through many decisions. I am working on flooring for master and guest bath. Let me tell you up front that I HATE grout and anything to do with it so that has put me in vinyl land. I just wanted to know if anyone has any advice when looking at vinyl flooring what to watch out for or stay away from.
  8 answers
  • Stay away from vinyl. It always looks fine when its first put down, but as it ages it becomes scratched and begins to become harder to keep looking shiny and new. Grout can be controlled by selecting stone or tiles that are much larger and with properly installed methods can minimize the amount of grout if any needed. Grout is not all that difficult to deal with on floors. With solid surface type floors you get a solid feel under foot, can be easily heated from below, will last a life time and is by far much less maintenance over time then vinyl that will wear out and need replacement.

  • Shari Shari on Apr 05, 2013
    I share your opinion of tile and grout. I DETEST it with a passion. You could not pay me any amount of money to voluntarily put it on the floor. I don't even like it in the shower surround but obviously have to deal with it there. As the "cleaning woman" in my home, I want something that is very low maintenance. I also want a flooring that is reasonably priced, durable, quiet and soft to walk on. Tile/stone and grout are absolutely none of these things, in my opinion. Vinyl fits these requirements for me. I also don't care if vinyl doesn't "last a lifetime." Flooring trends, styles and popular colors change so it's nice to be able to stay somewhat current by changing the flooring every 10-15 years without breaking the bank. Vinyl is affordable enough to do that. Also, if you do decide you want a change, there is a lot of labor (and mess) involved in removing/replacing tile whereas oftentimes vinyl can be laid directly over pre-existing vinyl. I highly recommend you check out the Trafficmaster "Allure" vinyl planks sold at Home Depot. (I've mentioned my love of Allure many times here on HT.) Allure looks like wood but is a great option for bathrooms, where real wood or laminate is not practical or recommended. In my previous home, I had a Naffco brand vinyl plank flooring in the bathroom. It was much more expensive than the Allure and I did not like it nearly as much. When my "ship comes in," I'm planning to replace all the laminate flooring in my house (which I hate almost as much as tile) with the Allure vinyl planks. Here's a link to a HT discussion about vinyl I commented on and I included a couple pictures of the Allure vinyl plank flooring in my bathroom: A lot of people turn their nose up when vinyl is mentioned but don't let anyone talk you out of it if that's what you think you really want. Vinyl flooring has come a long way in recent years.

    Vinyl Flooring
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Apr 05, 2013
    I share your dislike of tile floors with grout also ! We put vinyl in the master bath and the hall bathroom and they are so easy to maintain. The hall bathroom is the teenagers bathroom so it gets a lot of abuse and it still looks like new. Our powder room on the first floor has tile and grout and I absolutely despise it and it never looks neat and clean

  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Apr 05, 2013
    Understand and feel your (painful) decision. May I suggest you look for "rectified" tile!? What this means is the tile has gone through more precise sizing during the manufacturing process so that you can have a near butt joint in your tile installation! Since your construction is new .. installation should be easier. Discuss this with your builder... better yet, the tile installer. Some installers charge just a little more because the underlayment/mud, etc must be perfect - otherwise its near impossible to hide the ups and downs. Advantage... 1/16" grout line. Tile edges are square.. near perfect.

  • LandlightS LandlightS on Apr 06, 2013 The above link is from a HomeTalk post about an epoxy base grout which requires no cleaning and is non-staining. It may be your answer to maintenance free grout.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 06, 2013
    You should pick a grout color that compliments the tile and is NOT WHITE. I have had tile in my kitchen / hall and home office now for over ten years and it looks just like it did when I installed it....the reason the grout is dark brown. The mottled natural color of our granite floor also hides dirt. We can go months will out having to "mop" it. We vacuum it along with the rugs in the living room about once a week and clean up "spills" as they may occur. With over 20 years of installing tile the biggest problem people make is expecting light colored grout to stay light colored. Once you get your brain around that impossibility tile will be the best option.

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Apr 06, 2013
    @Lori Gay while I understand your distaste for cleaning grout, I agree with @KMS Woodworks in regards to the grout colour. We have put tile in after having vinyl floors and I love it. Our tiles are a mottled design with off white, golds and browns with a coordinating tile in the shower and grout is not white, but a beige colour which doesn't show the dirt. For the shower I find using scrubbing bubbles foam spray does a great job with minimal effort - removes scum and lime easily with just a few swishes with a nylon scrubby (usually used for body scrubbing). Thanks for posting and I do hope you let us know your decision with pics :)

  • Lori Gay Lori Gay on Apr 07, 2013
    Thank you for all the advice... back to the flooring store I go. At least now I have some options to think about. Stay tuned for the final result. :)