Bathroom flooring needs to be tough, strong, and able to withstand the worst rigors of moisture, stains, and mildew. At the same time you want a floor that will last a long time in this environment, saving you the hassle and expense of having to replace it every few years. Ideally this floor will also be at least relatively easy to keep clean, and maintain, even in a harsh bathroom environment.
Ceramic Bathroom Floors
Ceramics are extremely durable materials, made from fired clay mixed with sediments. In their natural state they are porous and susceptible to stains. However a glass glaze coating can be applied to their surface to create an impermeable layer of protection over the face. This layer can be printed with nearly any color or pattern desired, and it makes the tile proof against mold, stains and water.
Ceramic tiles can theoretically last for decades, especially if they are cared for and maintained. In some cases polished or very glossy materials may scratch, ruining the look over time. Flatter, more multicolored patterns will tend to hide those blemishes better, or avoid them altogether.
Durable Concrete Bathroom Flooring
Concrete is an extremely hard material, that is often found beneath existing floor coverings in ground level bathrooms. f an old flooring installation is looking poor, it may be more cost effective to simply remove it and treat the concrete below, than it would be to replace it with something else.
Concrete will need to be treated with a sealant before it is suitable for use in the bathroom, as it is porous in its natural state. However once it is protected, concrete should be simple to care for and maintain. All you will have to do is damp mop it occasionally with a mild detergent to disinfect and keep it clean.
Natural Stone In The Bathroom
Like many of the other hard tile flooring materials, natural stone is a great bathroom flooring choice. However it does need to be sealed with a penetrating below surface sealing agent, and then a finishing agent, which will create an invisible layer of protection over the material. As long as that sealant is applied on an annual basis, a stone bathroom floor can last indefinitely.
You will probably want to avoid polished stones such as marble and granite when choosing a bathroom flooring option, as these can be quite slippery when wet. You also need to pay special attention to soap spills that occur, as acidic substances can cause a stain reaction in stone. The choice of a multicolored material such as slate can be a good way to hide dirt and blemishes.
Long Lasting Brick Flooring
Brick is another hard surface tile flooring solution that can stand up to the rigors of a bathroom for years, as long as it is properly treated. This requires the regular application of a special brick flooring sealer, to clog the pores that occur naturally within these baked clay pavers.
Brick is as hard as stone and ceramic and yet it has a rustic feel that is earthy and soft, giving you the best of both worlds. There are numerous paver patterns available, and bricks can also be stained to take on a variety of colors, giving you a wide swathe of decorative options for this space, without having to sacrifice durability.
Mosaic Glass Bathroom Tile
Glass probably isn’t the first thing you think of when considering durable flooring materials, but mosaic glass tiles can actually be quite hard and last a long time. The glass used for floors is fired to be extra hard, and resistant to cracks and breakage. At the same time glass is impervious to water and stains, and is a simple matter to disinfect, making it ideal in bathroom environments.
There are some major drawbacks to mosaic glass flooring. First it can be very expensive compared to some of these other durable alternatives. Despite the fact that it is quite hard, it is also difficult to repair the tiles if they do break, which can leave a cutting hazard in the room.