What Is The Best Flooring For A Bathroom
What is the best flooring for a bathroom? Glazed porcelain tile is the best for a bathroom. This includes all bathroom flooring, shower, tub, wall, and backsplash areas. It’s waterproof, very stylish, extremely durable, and relatively inexpensive. A lot of porcelain tile today has the look and feel of stones and travertines. Porcelain tile comes in an array of colors, styles, sizes, and textures.
One of the greatest features of porcelain tile is its water absorption rate. Porcelain tile is part of the general ceramic tile family with one notable difference: its water absorption rate. The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) and The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certifies types of tile as “porcelain” if these tiles have a water absorption rate of 0.5-percent or less. See below for the ratings.
Porcelain tile ratings
- Non-vitreous (Low density) – Tile with water absorption of more than 7.0 percent.
- Semi-vitreous (Medium density) – Tile with water absorption of more than 3.0 percent, but not more than 7.0 percent.
- Vitreous (High Density) – Tile with water absorption of more than 0.5 percent, but not more than 3.0 percent.
- Impervious (Extremely dense) – Tile with water absorption of 0.5 percent or less. This is where porcelain tile is generally categorized.
The water absorption rate is really important in wet areas such as bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms, kitchens, outside areas, and where there is a high-water table or where the soil consists of clay, sand, or can liquefy.
Porcelain costs a bit more than ceramic . . . for good reason – it will last, and it withstands moisture! Water damage is perhaps, the worst thing for a house and can cause serious and expensive damage to the house and illness to the occupants.
Where should I shop for porcelain tile?
Be very careful when shopping at big box retailers, stores that offer amazing deals and low pricing, stores along tile alley/tile row in Anaheim, and anything on clearance or on special. I’ve seen far too many folks bamboozled at these types of locations. Hire a Contractor (like DAD’s!) who knows tile to help you make smart choices. Don’t destroy that beautiful new shower before it’s even started by purchasing bad, incorrect, or mislabeled tile.
This next part is really important. So, please follow along carefully. The porcelain tile itself is part one of a five-part installation equation. When installing floor tile in a bathroom, you must pay carful attention to the following:
Cement substrate: Is the cement floor level, free of potholes, and clean of all adhesives, mold, mildew, grout and moisture? Wood substrate: Is the wood floor solid (no squeaks or bounce), level, no damaged boards or sections, and clean of all adhesives, mold, mildew, grout and moisture?
Underlayment for the tile
All cement floors must have a properly installed crack isolation sheet/moisture barrier (CIS/MB). All wood floors must have a properly installed cementitious board or cement substrate. The underlayment also includes using the correct thinset immediately under the tile.
If the box does not say porcelain tile (make sure it arrives direct from the supply house boxed), don’t accept it.
If the tile is porcelain but the grout is not high early strength, ANSI certified and exceeds A118.6 or A118.7 standards, you’re wasting your money. Why? The porcelain tile may be waterproof, but your grout will not be!
Tile installation requires professional experience. Do it wrong and you can easily experience cracking tile, loose tiles, and grout coming out. Common problems associated with incorrectly installed tile floors result in serious mold, insect, and toxic airborne pathogens that can make you and your family very ill or worse. Installing tile incorrectly can be very dangerous for both you and your house.
I hope this helps answer the question “What is the best flooring for a bathroom”.