A Guide to Picking Shower Floors

April 19, 2016

While it may be easy to get hung up on your space’s style and color palette, it’s a detail for which function is important. Not knowing the cost, slip resistance and upkeep of what you’re buying can send your investment down the proverbial drain. To help you decide on the best option for your shower, here are six common types of shower floors at a glance. 

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1. Marble

Marble is a soft stone with a timeless look. The two most popular finishes are polished (classic gloss) and honed (matte finish).  It is one of the most sought after bathroom flooring option on the market today.

Pros: The biggest advantage of marble is its beauty. It’s luxurious, elegant, and romantic all at once. Marble is also incredibly versatile. It can be made in many different shapes, from subway tile and herringbone to basket weave and standard four-by-fours.

Cons: Based on its use, marble scratches easily. A long lasting sealer is a must, which can be provided by a professional installer, such as Lensis Builders, Inc. Honed marble has better scratch resistance than polished marble. In general, its slip resistance isn’t the best compared to tumbled travertine or porcelain tile.

2. Travertine

It’s hard not to find a style of travertine you love, whether it’s chiseled, honed, polished or tumbled. This natural stone has the best of earth’s creams, browns, grays and golds packaged into designer tiles that can be found homes across the world. 

Pros: Home buyers love travertine, and not just because of its veins and swirls. They also appreciate the slip resistance it offers, particularly that of tumbled travertine, as well as how long it lasts. Travertine equates to long lasting value to your bathroom remodel.

Cons: Travertine is porous, so it must be sealed by professional installer, such as Lensis Builders, Inc. It is recommended that you seal it every one to two years unless your sealer lasts longer. Other than that, your main concern is staining. Anything other than a mild detergent can affect the stone’s surface. Be careful how you clean it and be careful of the soaps and shampoos you use, avoiding heavily dyed cleansers.

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By Celtic Custom Homes

3. Glass

Cool, clean and contemporary, glass mosaics can insert a pop of color or stroke of glossy white on your shower floor. 

Pros: Glass tile as flooring is incredibly easy to clean. Just grab Windex and a cloth to give it a quick wipe-down. Its translucent surface can keep your shower space light and open. It almost always looks high-end, no matter what you actually paid for it. 

Cons: The slip resistance is minimal, which could be a deal-breaker. Older or very cautious homeowners should seek something with a better grip if they’re set on a glass shower floor. You may want to consider a glass and stone mix tile that would have the look of glass, but also the grip of natural stone. 

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4. Porcelain

Porcelain is the preferred tile choice for look and budget. Made with a dense clay body, porcelain tile is durable and waterproof, and lasts for decades. 

Pros: Porcelain tile is highly versatile. It can survive detergents, scratches and long-term water exposure. It can be finished to have an authentic wood, stone or marble appearance. It accomplishes all of this without being high-maintenance.

Cons: Grout can be a problem. Rectified porcelain can keep grout joints small, but grout will no doubt be there for you to clean. It can get slick if it doesn’t have a textured surface. Make sure to use a high quality sealer at the time of installation to promote longevity.

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By London Basement

5. Wood

Wood can bring warmth and exquisite style to your shower floors. It also lets homeowners create a flat, smooth shower entry.

Pros: Wooden shower floors have a sleek, minimalist look perfect for contemporary shower spaces. They sit slightly above your shower base and have slats, which allow for good draining when they’re installed correctly. Moisture is less likely to fester. Wood also wears well if you maintain it (make sure you follow maintenance instructions regarding how to seal it). 

Cons: We all know about wood and water. Long-term exposure to moisture can cause wood to warp, discolor and fade. You won’t have direct access to your shower drain either. Wood is considered a higher maintenance flooring choice. It needs to be refinished and stained every 2 years.

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6. Pebbles

With a soothing touch and an organic look, pebbles can help create a spa-like retreat in your bathroom.

Pros: The texture of pebbles offers sufficient slip resistance because of the grip it provides to your feet. They have fairly broad appeal to home buyers. Just as with other natural stones, you can’t beat their one-of-a-kind beauty.


Cons: There’s a lot of grout to clean, and it’s a large part of your floor’s aesthetics. While slipping isn’t a concern, the hard, rocky surface is. It can hurt your feet and be difficult to stand on while you’re showering, if you have a medical condition. In areas with hard water, a chalky film can develop on the surface of pebbles, which will require daily maintenance.

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By Laura Bohn Design Associates

 

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page. 

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