Basement bathroom flooring suggestions

I’ve got a semi-go-ahead from Mrs. R to redo the basement bathroom in a sort of steampunk style, but I need some advice on flooring.

The current flooring is self-stick vinyl tiles, which, because of the general dampness, have come loose. The ones which haven’t come loose have effluorescence crystals growing in the cracks between them.

Once in a while, say every five years or so, there’s actual water standing on the floor.

There’s not much chance of my being able to improve the drainage to prevent water from getting under the floor.

So, given that I’ll have a dampish floor, what would be the best floor treatment? More vinyl tiles? Vinyl sheet flooring? Bare concrete, stained? Something else?

I went thru this very thing about four yeas ago. Those vinyl tiles actually get pretty brittle with age. The best method I found was to hit them with a hammer and let them shatter. Then I was able to just shovel them up. Get the floor clean before you put anything down as any staples or nail heads will cause the new flooring to have bumps.

I used Allure Ultra plastic strips on my floors and like it a lot. They snap together and they have a lot of different styles to choose from. I was able to use wood grain in the main area and a tile like grain in the laundry room and around the bar. It’s also water resistant in that if you snap it together correctly water will not get in between the cracks. Pretty durable to, kids haven’t been able to really scratch it yet.

Tile is the standard age old solution for wet areas. Thinset mortar is pretty much oblivious to moisture. There are options of Ditra membrane and acrylic or epoxy grout if efflorescence is likely to be an issue.

I’ve done a few acid wash stained concrete basement floors, but this is usually done with pristine slab not old floor.

Vinyl plank is durable and water resistant but tile is still going to cope better with moisture issues.

There are epoxy and thick polymer concrete coatings for basements and garages that look really good but I don’t have experience with their tolerance of wet substrate. It is probably pretty decent though.

For steampunk, I would suggest a broken glass mosaic. I wouldn’t ask your wife before taking all of the glassware out of the kitchen and breaking it into nice shards.

Ceramic tile. Properly grouted it will be water-tight. I am assuming you can apply the tile directly to a concrete slab.

I considered that as well but decided against it because its not really durable enough for my basement use. I could see the kids dropping stuff on the floor and cracking ceramic tile.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. So tile is the first choice; but I’m a bit reluctant to use it because we had tile in the kitchen and it was slick when wet and pretty fragile. Not to mention expensive.

What is the second choice?

Some tile is better for a wet environment like a bathroom (or a shower floor). Usually, there is a bit of a texture to grip your feet.

I have seen interlocking plastic tiles which would fit right in with the steampunk look and be easy to DIY. Something like this

I helped my daughter do their entire basement in a Steam Punk motif.
We acid stained and sealed the entire basement floor. Not hard to do, easy to achieve professional results, easy to clean and very durable. If at sometime in the future they want to go another design direction the floor is easily covered up.
The only caveat is the slab needs to be in pretty good condition.

I didn’t do stained concrete like Beau (that looks sweet!) but I did my basement floor - including the laundry room/dog washing area - in paint, then with speckles (from a garage floor kit) and then acrylic and it’s peachy keen. I get it as wet as heck with the dog washing, and have gotten it wet a couple times from bad plumbing, and it has no problem. Water runs right to the drain.

Not steam-punk-y but you can be creative with paint. We used deck/porch paint. The key is in the acrylic over.

What about slate? It’s a lot rougher than glazed tile. If it’s the least bit cold where you live consider a floor heating system

The dude is concerned about the expense of tile and you suggest slate and a floor heating system? :dubious:

Just a suggestion. Go the stained concrete. You may need to have the floor ground - so you have a really nice flat and clean surface. You can DIY this, hire the gear. I could then imagine sitting down with a box of masking take and masking up a huge blueprint, or something similar, on the floor. Now that should be pretty steampunk. Your biggest cost might be masking tape :).

Not like Ceramic, try stone.
More durable.
Will be cool. A plus in warm places, a minus up north.

There are non slippery tile options; unglazed, textured, and stone as mentioned. A bathroom is a pretty small area; 25-40 sqft, so you are not talking a lot of material. If you live in a city there should be a tile supplier (or several) that will have a clearance room of lot leftovers. You can usually get stone or porcelain for a couple bucks a foot from these places. Take a stroll through and you may see some pretty cool stuff. Another advantage of tile is you can do tile base instead of baseboard - an excellent choice if the floor is going to get wet.

I like bob++ 's suggestion of those plastic ‘tiles’ / floor mats. There are some products for garages that are pretty interesting. A friend did his in a heavy plastic sheet product that looks like diamond plate

There is also fibre reinforced resilent floor products like Tarket Fiber Floor. These are much tougher and thicker than typical vinyl floor and do not have to be glued down - you can just cut it and lay it in place. Most patterns are lame fake tile / hardwood like typical vinyl floor, but there are some random / granite style commercial patterns that look very good and are not tacky. We did our rental property in this stuff and it looks really really good.

And since we are talking steam punk how about some alternative materials? Actual diamond plate metal sheet for instance? Concrete pavers? Rubber pavers?

They’d need to be dropping hammers head first and hit specific spots. Broken tiles are less common than “careful, that tile ‘dances’*”, IME and I live in a country where tile is the default floor; then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if contractors Over There don’t place it right (the ones I’ve seen doing it in “House Porn” programs didn’t use the same techniques I’m used to). Or you could look into cement tiles, made from dyed concrete.

  • Wasn’t properly set with the concrete on a X pattern, so it tilts when you step on one of the corners.

We certainly have flooring tiles available here that are fragile enough to crack from lesser abuse. I’d suspect that your countrymen wouldn’t accept the cheap consumer products of this type because of the considerably longer tradition of using them in architecture there. I’m sure you’d have some insight on that.

Dunnow, there’s a brand I see often abroad and wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot-pole myself (they’re unusual sizes so you’re “branding” the whole room, and thinner than usual), but I don’t really have much in the way of “how to tell whether a brand of tile looks decent”.

Hammers, yes dropped hammers are a possibility. That and weights, the boy is getting into weight lifting now. You really can’t predict what kids are going to use to destroy something, but odds are high in basement that something is going to happen when I am not around.

Actually I like the idea of the interlocking plastic tiles as they can easily cover an untreated cement floor, easy to take up and wash clean after a flood and pretty decent to walk on in socks. I have the gym type mat in the workout area of my basement, I just wish the kids would actually stay in that area to work out instead of having to be 3 feet away from the TV.

Only thing I don’t like about the plastic tiles is placing furniture like table legs on them. They tend to pucker.