When choosing the right flooring for a bathroom, there's more to keep in mind than personal style. Some very specific factors come into play.

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When choosing the right flooring for a bathroom, there’s more to keep in mind than personal style. Some very specific factors come into play: Is your flooring impervious to water? Will it stain easily? Is it safe when walking across with wet feet? Here are some of the top contenders in bathroom-floor surfaces:

Carpet — Many people think that carpet isn’t a reasonable option for potentially waterlogged bathrooms. However, all you need to do is make some careful choices. As long as your carpet is water-, mildew- and stain-resistant, you’re good to go.

Ceramic Tile — This type of flooring is durable and hygienic, but make sure you pay close attention to the porosity rating — it’s critical in a space such as a bathroom that requires something that’s moisture-proof. The porosity classifications range from impervious (the least absorbent) to vitreous, semi-vitreous and, finally, non-vitreous (the most absorbent).

Laminate — Made of layers of materials literally bonded together for strength — laminate flooring is compacted under pressure to create the final product, which is then transformed into planks. The surface of a laminate plank is actually a photographic image, printed from film onto a thin decorative layer, which is in turn protected with a wear layer.

Hardwood — Even hardwood floors can be a viable option in the bathroom if they’re finished to be water-resistant; a few good coats of clear gloss sealant will keep it watertight. Part of the charm of this flooring option is that it lends a sense of warmth to your bathroom.

Stone — Natural stone — such as marble and limestone — is one of the most expensive flooring options, but its timeless beauty makes it well worth the cost. Cut into tiles, typically 12 inches square or larger, stone is easy to care for and durable, but it does require a strong sub-floor. It also has the potential to be slippery when wet, especially in a polished form. As an alternative, stone can be honed (ground flat but not polished) or textured (by sandblasting); keep in mind, though, that unpolished forms may require a sealant to prevent stains.

Vinyl — Long one of the most popular choices for bathroom applications, vinyl comes in sheets or tiles. Tiles are usually easier to install and it’s simple to replace just one. On the downside, a vinyl-tile installation has many more seams, which creates more places for germs to grow. Both options, however, are easy to clean and effectively resist stains and moisture.

Courtesy of Heather J. Paper on hgtv.com