Vinyl Bathroom Flooring Options

Installing Sheet Vinyl Floor 93190845
Installing Sheet Vinyl Floor. Getty / Dorling Kindersley

These days you have some wonderful bathroom flooring options available in vinyl. Gone are the ugly sheet vinyl floors of yesterday (well I suppose you can still find them but at least it's harder!). In the tutorial Resilient Bathroom and Kitchen Flooring I discuss a number of resilient flooring options that can be used in the kitchen, bathroom or other rooms in the house; materials including vinyl flooring, linoleum, and cork.

In this article "Vinyl Bathroom Flooring Options," I want to summarize the main options you have available to you in vinyl bathroom flooring products. Vinyl floors most commonly come in these types which I'll discuss in more detail below:

  • Vinyl Tile Floors (self-stick)
  • Vinyl Tile Flooring (glue-down)
  • Vinyl Plank Flooring (self-stick)
  • Vinyl Sheet Flooring (loose lay or glue down)


Resilient Vinyl Tile Flooring (self-stick)

Characteristics:
Self-stick vinyl tile flooring is durable, affordable and is a good choice for bathroom flooring or kitchen flooring use. It comes in a vast array of styles such as geometric patterns and realistic wood, stone and ceramic looks. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and maintain if it has urethane wear layer. Lives of these floors may range from 5 to 20 years depending on the quality of the tile and quality of the installation.

Construction:
The construction of vinyl tile flooring generally consists of these elements:

  • Urethane or similar wear layer (used on premium tiles).
  • Protective clear film layer for durability and protection from rips and tears.
  • Printed and sometimes embossed design layer which can range from realistic looking natural materials to unique patterns.
  • Vinyl tile backing layer providing tile structure, strength, and durability.

    Installation Difficulty: Easy

    Installation Method: Self-stick adhesive protected by removable plastic sheet.


    Vinyl Flooring Tile (glue-down)

    Characteristics:
    Vinyl tile flooring is durable, affordable and comes in a vast array of styles such as geometric patterns and realistic wood, stone and ceramic looks. Vinyl tile flooring is easy to clean and maintain if it has urethane wear layer. It may be used as bathroom flooring or kitchen flooring. The lives of these floors may range from 5 to 20 years depending on the quality of the tile and quality of the installation.

    Construction:
    The construction of vinyl tile generally consists of these elements:

    • Urethane or similar wear layer (used on premium tiles).
    • Protective clear film layer for durability and protection from rips and tears.
    • Printed and sometimes embossed design layer which can range from realistic looking natural materials to unique patterns.
    • The vinyl tile flooring backing layer provides tile structure, strength, and durability.

    Installation Difficulty: Intermediate

    Installation: See Vinyl Tile Bathroom Flooring (glue-down) for installation instructions.


    Vinyl Plank Flooring (floating, self-stick, e.g., Trafficmaster Allure)

    Characteristics:
    Allure floating vinyl plank flooring is a great vinyl floor product for bathroom flooring or kitchen flooring when installed properly, but failure of the adhesive strips may occur if not properly acclimated before installation to room temperature above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Unlike self-stick vinyl tiles which have 100% adhesive under the tile, this floating plank vinyl flooring is adhered only at the edges, dependent upon on just 10% of plank area for adhesion. Plank vinyl flooring sold under the name Trafficmaster Allure is durable, very affordable and is easy to install as it floats over the sub-floor. It also comes in a broad variety of realistic wood, stone and ceramic looks for great bathroom flooring or kitchen flooring options. It is easy to clean and maintain and comes with a 25-year limited warranty (based on proper installation). Like any product, the life of the floor will depend on the quality of the installation and in this case also depends on proper acclimation to an acceptable temperature range in the space before, during and after installation.

    Construction:
    4-mil (thin) urethane wear layer. Patterned vinyl upper layer and vinyl under-layer that is offset 1" creating an adhesive edge along 2 sides of each flexible plank.

    Installation Difficulty: Easy

    Installation: See Vinyl Plank Bathroom Flooring for detailed installation instructions.


    Sheet Vinyl Flooring (loose lay or glue down)

    Characteristics:
    Sheet vinyl flooring has long been a favorite in homes for areas receiving heavy use such as the bathroom or kitchen. It is durable, affordable and comes in a large variety of styles such as geometric patterns and realistic wood, stone and ceramic looks. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and maintain if it has urethane wear layer and is a great choice for bathroom flooring. Sheet vinyl floors can also last much longer than vinyl tile. The life of a sheet vinyl floor may range from 20 to 30 years depending on the quality of the vinyl flooring and quality of the installation, compared to 5 to 20 years for a vinyl tile floor.

    Construction:
    Sheet vinyl flooring typically comes in 6 foot and 12-foot rolls. The construction of sheet vinyl generally consists of these elements:

    • Urethane or similar wear layer.
    • Protective clear film layer for durability and protection from rips and tears.
    • Printed and sometimes embossed design layer which can range from realistic looking natural materials to unique patterns.
    • Felt or fiberglass backing layer providing structure, strength, and durability.

    Installation Difficulty: Advanced
    Installation: See Sheet Vinyl Bathroom Flooring (loose lay or glue down) for detailed installation instructions.