Bathroom Flooring: Vinyl Floor Tiles Or Ceramic Tiles?

There are several flooring options for bathrooms that can be installed by anybody with a certain degree of familiarity with DIY, but two of the most popular ones are without a doubt vinyl floor tiles and ceramic (or porcelain) tiles. Both have their advantages and their disadvantages, and choosing one over the other will depend on your needs and DIY skill level.

Bathroom Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl tile (or sheet vinyl flooring for that matter) is a popular choice for bathrooms for many reasons, but the main one is without a doubt its great pricing. Even luxury vinyl tiles are considerably more affordable than any other flooring material, and with adequate care and a proper installation can last for years.

Laying vinyl floor tiles is something that anybody can learn, as it’s a very accessible DIY project (however, in order to avoid having the bathroom out of use for days it’s worth getting help if you are new to DIY). Self-adhesive vinyl doesn’t even require the use of adhesive, and if you are after a traditional look for your bathroom you can also install vinyl tile with grout instead of as a seamless surface.

Laying Vinyl Flooring
Laying Vinyl Flooring (Photo credit: Jacob Whittaker)

Once installed, vinyl can last for a few years as bathroom flooring, and it’s a very comfortable choice as, unlike porcelain or ceramic, it’s warm to the touch and can be purchased with effective non-slip coatings, perfect to avoid accidents after a bath. However, you will need to be careful about your cleaning methods, as harsh cleaners will take away its glossy appearance.

Ceramic Tiles For Bathrooms

Ceramic has always been a popular choice for bathrooms, and the fact that properly installed it can last for decades makes it a cheap choice in the long run. It won’t increase your home equity as marble or granite would, but it’s a good choice in the medium price range. Porcelain is also totally waterproof, immune to humidity and impossible to scratch, though it can crack if something very heavy lands on it.

In terms of cleaning, you can clean porcelain and ceramic with almost anything and it will still look good. This is one of the reasons it’s a material used in schools, hospitals or public places, as it can be disinfected easily. Vinyl is much more delicate in terms of handing.

6"x6" porcelain floor tiles
6″x6″ porcelain floor tiles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Porcelain and ceramic flooring for bathroom has a beautiful, stone-like appearance and can look similar to more expensive materials such as granite. If you are after a classic look for your bathroom, grouted ceramic tiles will give it and if you are good at DIY you may want to try and install it yourself. However, keep in mind that botching the job can be expensive, and unless you measure things carefully you may end up with uneven rows of tiles.

If you are unexperienced at DIY, looking for a very cheap solution for your bathroom or want to create a really funky look with textures that aren’t found in ceramic, vinyl tiles are probably the best choice. If you have more money to spend, want a more classic look or want a DIY challenge, porcelain tiles are a classic that never goes out of fashion and will give you great service for years.

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