Laminate or vinyl: which is best for your bathroom?

Date posted: 02/08/21

The days of carpeted bathrooms are thankfully long gone. Modern bathroom flooring is hygienic, water-resistant and easy to clean, but is it better to use laminate or vinyl? Let’s weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Laminate bathroom flooring

Laminate now features heavily in every room of the home and shows no signs of losing popularity. It used to be the case that there were only a few laminates able to withstand the high levels of moisture in the bathroom; now, there are hundreds of designs to choose from. This makes it easier than ever to find a colour and style you like and that complements your bathroom’s decor perfectly.

If you are tempted by laminate in the bathroom, just be aware that it needs to be properly installed to ensure it is as watertight as possible. Even correctly installed, laminate isn’t 100 per cent waterproof and you should still mop up any splashes and spills as soon after they occur as possible. If water is left on the floor for long periods of time, it can still seep into the joins between the boards and cause swelling and discolouration. If this is likely to be a problem, such as if you have a very busy multi-person household, you might prefer to opt for vinyl instead.

Vinyl bathroom flooring

Vinyl has long been a popular choice for bathroom flooring because it is hard-wearing, tough and water-resistant. It has also long been a great choice if you are on a tight budget. Vinyl flooring is available in so many different finishes that it is possible to get just about any look you want, so don’t worry about being limited to the same few designs that everyone seemed to have in the past!

Like laminate flooring, vinyl needs to be installed properly to ensure it is watertight and long-lasting, but it is often the most practical choice in busy homes. Vinyl is very easy to clean and you can use a number of general-purpose household cleaners on it – but always check the label first. Vinyl is generally warmer to walk on barefoot than laminate, so bear this in mind if you have a cold bathroom and will be glad of the extra warmth in winter. Although vinyl is a hard-wearing flooring, some very cheap brands might not be as durable as you would like, so always choose a reputable retailer.