Bathroom flooring is a big concern for homeowners — mainly because not every flooring works in that area. Bathroom flooring must possess a few distinct qualities, including water resistance, slip resistance, and more.
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP) are increasingly popular flooring options. But is LVT for bathrooms a good idea? What are the pros and cons of LVT for bathrooms? Let’s discuss.
Can You Use LVT in Your Bathroom?
LVT is an excellent choice for bathrooms because they possess a number of qualities to battle excess water and moisture. LVT is water-resistant, so you can clean it with water. LVT is becoming a popular choice for bathrooms because it offers a softer and warmer underfoot compared to ceramic tiles or stone flooring.
Luxury vinyl planks and luxury vinyl tiles replicate the look of hardwood or stone. You can recreate the same look as natural flooring with luxury vinyl without dealing with the drawbacks of stone and hardwood flooring. For example, fluctuation in humidity levels and standing water can damage hardwood, whereas stone flooring gets slippery and becomes a health hazard in wet areas. In addition, LVT is more affordable and easier to install than other flooring options.
What to Look for in Bathroom Flooring?
Bathrooms are regular recipients of water splashes and humidity fluctuations — and it means your bathroom flooring requires special attention. Not every flooring is suitable for the bathroom. Installing the wrong bathroom floor can either mean you will be spending an extensive amount of time maintaining them, or you will be looking at a hefty replacement cost at the turn of the year.
So, some of the non-negotiable qualities to look for in bathroom flooring are –
Waterproof or water-resistance
It’s inevitable that there are going to be wet spills on your bathroom floor. You are also looking at an area with very high humidity fluctuations. So, your floor needs to put up with it. Make sure the flooring of your choice is 100% waterproof. Water-resistant floors typically tackle moisture-caused problems such as mold and mildew quite well.
Wet spills and standing water mean slippery floors. Accidents on slippery floors account for around a million ER visits per year. If you don’t want to become another number in the statistics, choose anti-slip bathroom flooring.
Durability is another important consideration when you are choosing flooring for bathrooms. Bathrooms are, beyond any doubt, a high-traffic area. The bathroom floor is likely to be cleaned and scrubbed using abrasive cleaners and brushes.
Easy to clean
How easy a bathroom floor is actually to clean is something you need to keep in consideration as well. Let’s be realistic — nobody likes spending a ton of time cleaning bathrooms. Consider how easy it is to maintain the flooring. Does it need special ongoing maintenance? Will you need to deal with grout lines?
Ease of installation
Whether you are remodeling or flooring your new bathroom, installation is expensive. Choosing flooring that is easy to install will save you time and money in both DIY installation and professional installation. Interlocking planks and tiles are a great example of easy-to-install floors.
Worst Flooring for Bathroom
As we have already mentioned, your bathroom flooring needs to possess a few properties. On the contrary, flooring materials excluding those properties are the worst flooring option for bathrooms. Some examples are –
- Carpet: The dense fabric of carpet absorbs moisture. It also dries very slowly if you spill water on it. The worst part is that you can never really “clean” carpets — meaning a growth dish for bacteria, mold, and mildew.
- Hardwood: Hardwood simply cannot handle moisture and wet spills. Even sealed hardwood floors can resist moisture on the top-most part only for a short amount of time. It can also buckle and crown due to fluctuations in the humidity level.
- Linoleum: Linoleum is another flooring material that is susceptible to moisture-caused damages. Moisture can penetrate through linoleum which damages the inner part of the flooring.
What is LVT?
LVT is a high-quality flooring material that mimics the appearance of natural floorings. Although first introduced in the market as commercial flooring, it quickly gained popularity in residential use. Luxury vinyl comes in both tiles and plank forms. The most significant advantages of LVT are it is low-maintenance, affordable, highly durable, and elegantly designed — all at the same time.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) were first developed in the 1970s as a way to improve the realism of sheet vinyl. It gained popularity in the 2000s when the glue-down construction, aka “dryback,” emerged as a low-cost alternative to laminate, hardwood, and carpet. Luxury vinyl is typically made of four main layers of PVC vinyl. The manufacturing process of LVT has been perfected over the years, and various compounds are mixed with the PVC to improve its durability.
Today you get two main types of installation with luxury vinyl – glue-down LVT and interlocking vinyl planks and tiles. Interlocking vinyl planks and tiles have unique tongues and grooves on their edges to create a seamless interlocking system. With glue-down LVT, you will need to apply the glue to the substrate and lay the tile over it. There are also loose lay vinyl planks, although they are not recommended for bathrooms.
LVT for Bathrooms: Pros and Cons
LVT for bathrooms is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. The key reason being LVT holds almost all of the quality to be the best bathroom flooring.
The main reasons LVT is an excellent choice for bathroom are –
Pros of LVT for bathrooms
- Waterproof: Luxury vinyl planks and tiles are constructed in multiple layers, the top being the PVC wear layer which keeps any water or moisture from penetrating the floor. Most natural floorings are not suited to handle water spills or humidity well. LVT offers the water resistance that is a must for bathrooms while replicating the aesthetics of the natural floor perfectly.
- Slip resistant: Ceramic is the most common flooring choice for bathrooms. However, ceramic tiles can become extremely slippery when wet. Whereas in comparison, LVT does not get as slippery when wet. On top of that, LVT has a soft underfoot that can cushion your fall in case of an accident.
- Comfortable: Luxury vinyl is one of the few flooring options suited for bathrooms that still have soft underwood. The natural look of LVT also adds warmth to the room. It offers better insulation in comparison to other popular bathroom floorings, such as ceramic tiles or stone flooring.
- Easy to maintain: Luxury vinyl flooring is some of the easiest bathroom floors to maintain. LVT is waterproof, stain-resistant, and durable — meaning you don’t have to worry about scratches or dents. It also allows you to clean up spills easily. Additionally, ongoing maintenance only calls for regular sweeping and mopping.
- Easy to install: Luxury vinyl, especially interlocking vinyl, is extremely easy to install. You basically only have to lay the tiles and lock them in place. You can also install LVT over tiles and other existing floors, which makes it even easier as you won’t need to remove any floor coverings.
- Plenty of options: Appearance is one of the most appealing aspects of LVT. You will get an abundance of possibilities with LVT. Luxury vinyl planks and tiles can replicate the look of any flooring, starting from hardwood, ceramic tiles, and even stone flooring. The print layer of luxury vinyl is responsible for creating a luxurious and natural finish.
Cons of LVT for bathrooms
- Difficult to repair: Although it’s not so much a drawback since LVT is highly durable, it’s challenging to repair LVT if it gets damaged. In case of any damages, you will have to replace the damaged tiles entirely.
- Low resale value: LVT is quite affordable and easy to install, which can turn into a con if you are selling a house. So, if you are thinking about selling your home anytime soon, we recommend opting for another flooring material, such as ceramic tile, with higher resale value.
- Non-biodegradable: Luxury vinyl is made of plastic entirely, which means it’s not biodegradable. Since the environment is an immense concern right now, homeowners should pay attention to this aspect.
Do you have any questions about LVT for bathrooms? Comment below and let us know!