Flooring in most bathrooms today is made of ceramic tiles, and there’s a strong reason why – It’s inexpensive, durable, easy to maintain, and safe. However, modern flooring technology is able to emulate the ceramic tile floor quality with use of some other materials, of which some are traditional and used in old bathrooms.
Cork floors were historically popular in bathrooms, before being replaced by durable ceramic tiles. Today, they’re back in style thanks to their high level of safety, low allergenic properties and the fact that they’re environmentally friendly and highly renewable.
Cork is the bark of cork oak, and once removed, the tree keeps living and is able to reproduce more cork in several years time. It’s a fully renewable construction material. It has a distinctly soft feel, and offers a fairly cushioned walking surface. Cork flooring may be a bit expensive, but is very durable and resistant to water.
Vinyl flooring is another option, and is very cheap and easy to replace with another of the same type which features a different style and colour. Vinyl floors are easy to maintain, allergen-resistant and of course, easy to stand or walk on. It can be fitted to virtually any bathroom or other space in the home, and can emulate the look of ceramic tiles, parquet, bamboo and almost any other flooring.
Modern vinyl flooring doesn’t contain carcinogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) many associate with vinyl, which gave off a distinct smell when new. However, it’s still a non-renewable product made of petroleum.
Laminate flooring is another quick, easy and affordable option. Yes, it’s also a synthetic material, but is very resistant and durable if properly installed. One of the best things about laminate flooring (besides the price) is that these can simulate any flooring – from wood, through granite and cobblestone to ceramic tiles.
It’s so easy to install that no professionals are needed, and you can do it on your own if you have enough time. You will get a long lasting floor which is water-resistant, scratch-resistant and easy to clean. However, it’s a hard surface which can be slippery depending on the kind you use, so many people use rugs or carpets on certain high traffic areas.
Although many modern flooring boast “non slip” or “slip resistant top wear”, these all become slippery when your feet remain wet after taking a shower or bath. Bathroom mats are irreplaceable. These can come in a broad variety of materials: oak, bamboo, straw, cork, rubber, textiles, even stone from the ocean or rivers. There is a plenty of options which can match any bathroom.
Besides security against slipping, bathroom mats (depending on material and texture) may provide warmth, massage or a soft touch. The best is if you have several mats to choose among depending on how you feel. All water-resistant mats can be used inside the shower cabin to improve safety and comfort.