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Replacing flooring can be a costly venture. As you research, the options can definitely become overwhelming when factoring in labor, tools, materials, and more. The potential of a wallet catastrophe has you wondering if you could just install new flooring yourself. But what is the easiest to install bathroom flooring? We've done the research and have some information for you.
The easiest flooring type to install is vinyl tiles or vinyl planks. Many vinyl options come in peel and stick or interlocking planks, making installation quite straightforward. Along with being easy to install, vinyl flooring can be inexpensive in comparison to other options.
Now that you know the easiest to install flooring option, let's discuss how to install vinyl flooring as well as the costs involved. Continue reading to get all the details!
Easiest Flooring Options For A Bathroom
One of the great things about vinyl flooring is that it comes in several different options and all are easy to install. In fact, with vinyl flooring, an underlayment (padding) generally isn't necessary, so that's a whole step you don't have to take. Either option comes in a variety of colors and patterns, with a look that can simulate real wood or even stone. If installed correctly, these floors can look much more expensive than they actually are. And due to their easy installation, this DIY can be done in an afternoon in most cases.
Interlocking Vinyl Planks
Interlocking Planks are likely the easiest option for vinyl flooring. Since the planks fit together, it creates a tight seal against potential spills and takes some of the guesswork out of lining up and installing flooring. This type of flooring is good for someone new to flooring installation or a novice do-it-yourselfer.
Peel And Stick Tile Or Planks
Peel and stick tile or planks are just as they sound. The vinyl has an adhesive already on the back. All you have to do is peel the backing, line up the tiles, and stick them in place. This is a super convenient option for someone who wants to go the do-it-yourself route.
How To Install These Flooring Options
Let's look at the details for installing these bathroom floors.
Before installation, place your planks or tiles in the room where they will be installed. This will allow the planks to acclimate to the temperature and humidity within the room in which they'll remain permanently.
Ensure that the subfloor is even. If it is not, it might become necessary to install underlayment to even the surface and avoid warping of the vinyl. Remove any baseboards and check to ensure the walls are straight as well. This could affect the ease of installation. Be sure you begin at a wall with a straight line.
Measure the walls and mark a chalk line with a gap of 5/16 inch from each one to ensure the trim fits when you reinstall, as well as accommodate any expansion of the vinyl flooring. Mark the center of each wall and mark lines between them with a chalk line.
Cut the tongue off the first row of vinyl planks or tiles. The tongue is the piece that sticks out of the plank normally used to connect to the next row. Since this first row will be against the wall or trim, this extension needs to be cut off. For this cut, you can use a utility knife.
2. Place the First Row
Once you've placed the first row and begin the second, keep in mind that the snap points must be staggered at least 6 inches apart. The joints should not be any closer. When starting the second row, begin with a shorter, cut piece. If you had to cut a piece at the end of the first row to fit the room, you could definitely begin the second row with the other part of this piece. This would also avoid excess waste.
To connect the rows, insert the tongue piece into the groove of the previous row and snap into place. Repeat and continue to move forward minding the 6-inch stagger and the gap against the walls until you are done with the room.
3. Peel and Stick Option
For peel and stick installation, follow essentially the same steps but instead of snapping the planks or tile into place, peel and stick the pieces of flooring to the subfloor.
Cost Of Installation
The cost of vinyl flooring begins around $0.50 per square foot. Keep in mind, if you have someone else do the install for you, it will add about $3 to $10 per square foot depending on the going cost of labor in your area. This would significantly increase your cost.
What's The Best Color For A Bathroom Floor?
Light colors and cool tones are the most traditional colors for a bathroom floor. Bathrooms are sometimes the smallest rooms in the house, and light colors make them seem larger and more open. Not only that, light and neutral colors reflect light in the bathroom and make the space brighter. This is a definite advantage for a bathroom that might have little to no natural light via a window.
Of course, the color you choose is a personal preference. The most important thing is that you pick a theme and stick to it, ensuring the hues used make a cohesive whole.
Do You Put Flooring Under The Toilet?
Flooring should be installed under the toilet. This is because in the event you have to get a new toilet that is a different shape or size, there won't be any gaps around the new toilet you install.
You should not install flooring under the shower or tub. An expansion gap needs to be left just as it does from the walls when installing flooring. The exposed edge can be covered with caulk or molding.
The new flooring should be installed under the sink. This is due to a similar reason as installing it under the toilet. If you purchase a new sink, it can be installed without leaving gaps around the new fixture. Additionally, the vinyl floor expands and contracts at times with changes in temperature and humidity. If there was a gap between your sink and the floor, this could become more noticeable with the size changes.
For more information on the tile around the bathroom sink, read our post, Should You Tile Behind Bathroom Sink?
What Is The Best Direction To Lay Your Bathroom Floor?
To decide which is the best direction to lay your bathroom floor, take note of the main light source in the room, such as a window. The flooring should be in the same direction as that main light source as well as the most frequently used entrance. If the bathroom has more than one entrance or window, opt for the direction that makes the installation the easiest.
Vinyl flooring is the easiest and most cost-efficient flooring to install. Because of the easy installation, this is a project you can very likely complete on your own in as little as one afternoon. With the wealth of options available, you're sure to find the best pattern and color for your bathroom. Enjoy your new floor!
Want to read about bathroom tiles? Check out our article, Do Bathroom Tiles Need To Be Sealed?