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How to choose bathroom flooring

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As discussed in this short BBC piece, people in the UK are abandoning traditional bathrooms for more individual installations. This appetite for the less formulaic extends to bathroom flooring, where we are seeking style as much as function. As much as we might like the idea of that wood floor in our newly refreshed bathroom, though, there are issues like damp and condensation, which make this type of flooring entirely unsuitable. So, what do we need to bear in mind?

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Who will be using the bathroom?

At first glance, this is a slightly odd question, but it’s actually a vital consideration. Young children, for instance, are liable to leave splashes and puddles in their wake, making carpet tiles a poor choice for your bathroom. Similarly, if there are elderly people in your household, you will need to think in terms of non-slip flooring, like rubber and vinyl.

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How damp is my bathroom?

All bathrooms, of course, get wet and condensation is also more or less universal. There are degrees of dampness, however, and you need to factor this into your final decision about which flooring to choose. Should damp and condensation be a particular problem in your bathroom, you will need to avoid carpet and carpet tiles, opting instead for vinyl, ceramics or laminates. Solid wood is hugely attractive but, as mentioned above, it is inappropriate for bathrooms. Engineered wood flooring, though, which can be found at such sites as, is an attractive and practical solution.


Your final choice will largely be informed by your budget. In general terms, vinyl will be the cheapest option, but it can degrade quite quickly so it may not be the most economical choice over the longer term. Ceramics, slates and tiles vary in price and, if you shop around, you might find a great deal on these products. Engineered wood floors won’t normally be a budget option, but they are durable, long-lasting and easily maintained, so they are arguably the best value over their lifetime.