Luxury vinyl flooring is a reliable and attractive option for any room in your home, but it’s especially effective in rooms where water tends to splash around.
Slip-resistant, practical, and stylish, waterproof vinyl is perfect for outfitting a powder room, basement guest bath, or a busy kids’ bathroom. Whether you’re remodeling or starting new, the bathroom is a great space for a vinyl flooring project.
If you’re shopping for bathroom vinyl flooring, you may feel like this is your one chance to get it right. In this article, you’ll learn how to choose LVP and LVT flooring the easy way. By the end, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to select beautiful vinyl flooring for your bathroom.
The Benefits of Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Luxury vinyl flooring is easy to install, simple to maintain, durable/100% waterproof, and comes in many attractive colors and styles.
Easy to Install
One of vinyl flooring’s main benefits is that you can enjoy a new floor in a day’s time. Vinyl material is easy to cut using simple tools, and the flooring is quick to install. You can DIY or hire a flooring professional. The cost of installing LVP or LVT is also very affordable compared to other types of installations requiring nails or glue.
Simple to Maintain
LVT and LVP is a cinch to maintain. With smart cleaning, your bathroom vinyl floor will look just like it did on day one, year after year.
Durable and 100% Waterproof
Modern LVP and LVT is made with technology that provides a resilient, 100% waterproof surface and core, so liquid won’t ever penetrate the material.
But if moisture gets underneath the floor and into the subflooring, you’ll likely run into problems.
Just remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, and you’ll be set.
Variety of Colors and Realistic Textures
Modern vinyl comes in a range of colors. And thanks to new technology, the surface can look and feel like wood, stone, or ceramic tile.
Learn more about luxury vinyl pros and cons.
How to Choose Luxury Vinyl Bathroom Flooring
When you begin shopping, be cautious if every recommendation is for the most expensive products. Don’t automatically assume that the most expensive product is also the best.
It’s better to do a little research, explore your options, and then order samples of your favorites to test at home.
As you shop, it’s helpful to know the difference between WPC (wood-plastic composite) and SPC (stone-plastic composite) core types.
WPC has a more cushioned feel and reduces the sound of footsteps, but it’s also more susceptible to scratches and dents. SPC is typically thinner and more expensive than WPC and known for having a better resistance to impact.
Underlayment works as a vapor barrier that provides soundproofing and added cushioning. Every luxury vinyl plank and tile comes with an attached underlayment.
Always use the underlayment system that goes with the brand you purchase. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions exactly to keep from voiding the warranty.
Vinyl flooring manufacturers have step-by-step directions and guidelines for an optimal installation. Wondering about additional underlayment for extra protection? It will depend on the product and who makes it.
That’s why it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions!
LVT vs LVP
Deciding between tile and plank is a matter of taste. They’re constructed the same but have different dimensions and unique looks. LVT often resembles stone and tile while LVP generally takes on the look of hardwood. Both can be a great choice for your bathroom.
Visualize the Floor & Order Samples
Want to get a good idea of what your bathroom will look like with different flooring? Take a picture and upload it to our flooring visualizer. Then try out the different options. This will help you to more quickly find the perfect pattern and color.
Many flooring manufacturers offer online visualizers where you are able to see how your new bathroom will look.
Before you commit to any product, test it for performance. Order samples and see for yourself how each one performs. Investigate thickness, wear layer, and the locking system.
Thickness and Wear Layer
The overall thickness and the wear layer are important aspects that determine quality and durability. The most important factor is the thickness of the wear layer (also called the mil layer).
Wear layer is measured in mils, and 1 mil is equal to .001 inch. 20 mils = .020 inch. Saran wrap = 1 mil. A standard garbage bag = 1.7 mils.
Avoid vinyl flooring with a wear layer of less than 8 mils. A thin surface is less durable and not very comfortable to walk on.
Your lifestyle will help determine what thickness works best for you. Put the wear layer of each sample to the test, so you can accurately gauge its dent, scratch, and stain resistance.
Walk all over the samples. Drop heavy objects on them. Write on them with a marker and see if you can clean it off.
This is the only real way to know exactly what you’re getting and what you can expect from your investment in the coming years.
A good way to determine the strength of the floor is to test out the tongue and groove locking joints for toughness. If you can easily crumble or break them by applying reasonable pressure with your hands, it’s time to move on to another product.
A hardy locking system means reliability. Once you’re sure you have it, you can be confident and happy knowing your floor won’t come easily apart after it’s installed.
Don’t Worry About Every Detail
Learning about vinyl flooring can quickly leave you feeling more confused than when you started. This happens when you focus on unnecessary details.
Unless it interests you, don’t worry about…
- R Value: the thickness of the insulation in inches divided by the thermal conductivity of the insulation. It measures the material’s resistance to heat flow relative to its thickness.
- STC (Sound Transmission Class): a rating measured in decibels that gives you an idea about sound reduction.
- IIC (Impact Insulation Class): an acoustical rating of how the floor and ceiling blocks noise from entering other spaces.
This information is not important for 99.9% of people who just want a nice new floor. But you’ll probably encounter these terms.
Manufacturers have already taken these factors into consideration in the design and development of their products, so you don’t have to.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were one really great luxury vinyl flooring brand?
COREtec offers beautiful, premium LVP and LVT with a patented core and proven 12-20 mil wear layer. Installed properly, these floors won’t warp or buckle.
As a floating floor, there’s also no need for glue or nails. The weight and width of the material keeps it perfectly secure.
Once installed, you will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between COREtec and real wood, stone, or ceramic tile.
Each plank also has an attached cork underlayment that deters mold and mildew while adding warmth and reducing noise.
It’s been our experience that customers love COREtec floors. They’re functional, stable, and look incredible in bathrooms.
View our COREtec LVT and LVP.