A list of the best and worst materials for flooring, walls and countertops in your bathroom remodel.
There’s more to consider with a bathroom remodel than with your average renovation. Bathrooms are susceptible to things like water damage, mold, mildew and slick surfaces. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst materials for your bathroom remodel, so you can be sure you’re making the right choices.
Choosing a flooring material is one of the most difficult parts of a bathroom remodel. You want a material that will stand up to water droplets and hot steam without getting slick.
Embrace: A few go-to options include slip-resistant tile, rubber and linoleum flooring. If you choose linoleum, use sheet flooring instead of linoleum boards, which have more cracks and are susceptible to moisture seeping through.
Avoid: Wood flooring isn’t a good choice for bathrooms because it warps under wet and steamy conditions. And slick substances like stone or porcelain can be dangerous when damp. But the worst choice for bathrooms is carpet. Carpet will mildew, mold and lead to water damage in the subfloor. It’s downright unsanitary in bathrooms.
Unlike floors, it doesn’t matter if your walls are slippery. So you have a bit more flexibility when choosing wall materials.
Embrace: Ceramic, porcelain and stone tile are great waterproof options that add personality to your space. Try installing decorative tile around areas that are exposed to a lot of water, like above your shower and behind your sink. And for walls that are farther away from water sources, paint is a good choice — so long as you avoid flat matte shades, which show every speck of water.
Avoid: The least favorable material for your bathroom walls is wallpaper because it may peel from the constant steam. A solid vinyl wall covering can add texture without moisture issues. And you also won’t have any issues if you use wallpaper in bathrooms that don’t have a shower.
Luckily, when it comes to bathroom countertops, there’s a relatively small margin for error. Most countertop materials are waterproof, which gives you a wide range of options to choose from.
Embrace: Laminate, solid surface, glass, stone and quartz are all popular options that should be able to withstand moisture and normal wear and tear.
Avoid: You may want to avoid installing tile countertops in the bathroom. Grout gets dirty much faster in these heavily used areas, and things like colored soap, makeup and lotion can stain it. If your heart is set on tile, consider going for a dark grout color to disguise grime. And stay away from copper countertops if you’re not up for the regular maintenance they require.