Which Flooring Should I Use for a Master Bathroom?

by Karen LeBlanc

Which Flooring Should I Use for a Master Bathroom?One of the surest signs of the American Dream is for you and your spouse to have a bathroom of your own, one separate from its high-traffic hall-bath counterparts. Having this inner sanctum is nothing to take lightly, and any renovation project that includes building one out should include every detail.

Among those details is the flooring. The choice that most quickly comes to mind, of course, is ceramic tile. However, you do have other options to consider. If you’ve thought beyond tile and asked, “Which flooring should I use for a master bathroom?”, we have a few suggestions.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile: American Standards

Simple and waterproof, these earthen options are among the most prevalent in new and remodeled master bathrooms. If you’re springing for radiant heat beneath your floors, ceramic and porcelain prevent that heat from dissipating as it moves upward, keeping the floor warm and your bunny slippers happy. If there’s a downside, it lies in the grout, which can blacken over time with dirt and natural oils from foot traffic.

Hardwood Floors: You Read Right

This one might raise a few eyebrows. Your first thought may be that in a high-moisture milieu, using hardwood flooring—which can absorb that moisture—could lead to disastrous outcomes. And it’s true: without the proper care, it could. However, if you do take the necessary precautions for hardwood flooring in a bathroom, you’ll find that this choice will lend your master bath a sense of calm and refuge with which tile and grout can’t compete.

Vinyl: You’re Not Setting Records

Vinyl flooring is increasing in popularity as the surface of choice for bathroom remodels. It’s more affordable than tile and able to approximate other natural surfaces—the merits here are clear. When it comes to which flooring you should use for a master bathroom, however, the answer is a bit murkier. This may be a better choice for a new basement bathroom, as even the best-designed vinyl surfaces don’t lend the requisite sophistication a master bath deserves.

Stained and Sealed Concrete: Think Outside the Tile

Unless “unfinished basement” is the aesthetic you’re after, an untreated concrete floor would be one of the worst possible options at your disposal—perhaps second only to the utter fallacy of installing shag carpeting in your bathroom. That said, a ground-floor buildout could accommodate a stained and sealed concrete floor, which marries utility and simplicity with a deceptively attractive appearance. Once you’ve given the concrete a waterproof, textured coating, you’ll enjoy a surface that’s creatively distinct from the bathroom floors you’re used to seeing.

Natural Stone Flooring: the Best, at a Price

If you are looking for sophistication, it’s hard to go more upscale than natural stone flooring. Granite, limestone, and marble provide distinction and elegance to any master bathroom—as long as you’re prepared to pay accordingly. These options build upon tile’s waterproof quality and ease of cleanliness with supreme durability. Natural stone will last for years, but the upfront expenses could be cost prohibitive. Is it worth it? That’s up to you and your budget.

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