Ok, so it’s a bit previous to be declaring such a warmongering title, but I do believe it’s only a matter of time before people realise quite how things have changed in the vinyl flooring world.
There was a time when the very concept couldn’t be approached without a sneer, and an acknowledgement that anyone who chose this option for their floors was likely devoid of taste or creativity. But oh my friends, don’t be hasty. Take a look at this, and then think again.
First of all is the wood effect look.
All around the house, wood can be a wonderful, warm looking and feeling surface to have as your floor. We have sanded boards over two floors, and new engineered planks in the kitchen. However, I’ve admitted some of the drawbacks of these, too, where the gaps between boards let in arctic-style draughts, and even engineered boards can be temperamental when faced with dramatic changes in temperature. Damp is another huge threat to wood’s good looks.
If you scour photo galleries of beautiful bathrooms, you’re sure to see some Eastern-inspired wet rooms with spectacular examples of woods as shower trays and wet room floors. But practically in a more moisture-ridden climate, this sort of thing simply wouldn’t work. I don’t advise people to have wooden floors in their bathrooms unless they are convinced of their ability to keep damp towels hanging well away, drips to a minimum, and splashing from shower or bath constantly under control. Even in this case, you would do best to have engineered planks instead of solid wood, because the high level of humidity from showers and baths is likely to cause bowing and warping.
You could consider vinyl.
Vinyl is not scared of water, and you can happily install it in any bathroom. The glue seals it completely and of course it doesn’t react in any way to puddles of water on its surface, because it’s impervious. There are no settling in periods, no extreme reactions, obligations to re-varnish or re-sand.
Here are some of my favourite brands:
First up is one of the most expensive, Amtico, who boast high quality and an enormous range.
Karndean is another well-known and long-serving brand, with some particularly realistic woods:
One of my favourite brands for their innovative styling and realistic designs is Harvey Maria.
There are plenty of other brands out there: one I haven’t used but looks attractive is Avenue Floors.
And representing the commercial ranges (but with a domestic arm too) is Polyflor.
Huge variety here, and choosing your ‘wood’ colour is just the beginning. As you’ve seen from Karndean’s attention to edges, and the mixing up espoused by Polyflor and Amtico, you can literally cut and paste your designs to be as individual as you dare.
You might remember I did exactly that with our guest bathroom, which uses Harvey Maria ‘Tan’ planks surrounding a jaunty blue striped ‘rug’ that sits under the bath.
Am I beginning to change your mind? We’ll tackle stone effects next time. So if the ceramics are just too chilly for you, maybe there’s a cosier solution.