What Floor Is Right for the Kitchen and Bathroom?
These days, a lot of imagination goes into kitchen and bathroom designs. These rooms need to be functional, but they also need to look good, so that they’re a pleasure to stay in. We’re also moving away from finishing materials that have traditionally been associated with them. In addition to ceramic tiles on walls and floors, as well as waterproof paints, we are now also seeing wooden floors and various types of panels. But is it a good idea to experiment with the finish in these damp rooms? Of course it is! With us, you will find the perfect solution to finish your kitchen or bathroom floor and see how easy it is to complete your project.
Damp Rooms – What Should You Bear in Mind When Designing Your Kitchen and Bathroom?
Kitchens and bathrooms are quite specific rooms. They are often damp, as they have higher humidity and often higher temperatures than other rooms in the house. Kitchens are also exposed to soiling and staining that can occur during food preparation and the floor can be damaged accidentally. After all, who hasn’t dropped their sandwich on the floor or inadvertently knocked a dish off the table?
This is why it is so important to choose the right finishing materials not only for the walls, but also for the floor. So what would be a practical floor for a bathroom or kitchen? The material should:
• be moisture-proof;
• be resistant to temperature fluctuations;
• be resistant to mechanical damage;
• give a nice-looking finish that is consistent with the rest of the interior;
• be in keeping with the latest interior design trends, yet with a versatile look;
• be easy to keep clean;
• be easy to install;
• be non-slip;
• require little special care or maintenance.
Are Panels in the Kitchen and Bathroom a Good Solution?
Looking at the above parameters, it is not surprising that many people opt for ceramic tiles. But how about replacing them with something else?
What are the alternatives? There is some talk of wood being used damp rooms. But there are several issues here, which mean it is not always a good idea. When it comes to parquet floors or wood panels, it is important to bear in mind that not every species of wood will be moisture-proof. Exotic wood species are recommended for rooms with higher humidity, and these are relatively expensive compared to other materials available on the market. Remember that their installation usually requires the help of an expert and they will need regular maintenance, e.g., oiling.
So what to choose? Rigid-core vinyl panels could be an interesting solution. They are made using a technology that allows them to remain completely waterproof. This makes them safe for use in rooms with high humidity. Even if you spill some liquid, you just need to wipe it quickly and they will not become deformed. Thanks to their structural reinforcement core, they are resistant to mechanical damage. The top layer of the panels has a UV-cured ceramic coating, which makes them resistant to the stains, scratches, and scrapes that can occur during normal use. The R9 non-slip certification is an added bonus – it means that you can walk on them safely even when your feet are wet after a bath or a shower. This minimizes the risk of slipping.
What Should You Bear in Mind When Deciding on Panels for Your Kitchen and Bathroom?
If the information we have gathered for you convinced you to experiment a little and use panels in your kitchen or bathroom, there are a few basic details to keep in mind.
The most important thing is that the panels are designed for use in damp rooms, i.e., they have a high resistance not only to moisture in the air but also when in direct contact with it. You will find information about this on the product packaging. Also note that the same flooring in the kitchen and bathroom will give your home a pleasing, consistent look.
The correct positioning of the panels is also important. Keep in mind that these rooms have highly variable conditions. The panels can therefore move more intensively than elsewhere in your home. It is therefore important that the expansion joints at the walls and at the entrance to the room are properly executed. Find out more about expansion joints and how to make them in this article.
Here, we’ll just say that a properly executed expansion joint will reduce the risk of the panels warping or being damaged due to material expansion. This can occur under the influence of moisture and temperature fluctuations often found in both kitchens and bathrooms.
Don’t forget that the other elements used to finish the floor, such as the skirting boards or their covers, should also be waterproof and scratch resistant. What is important here is, above all, their resistance to moisture and mechanical damage that can occur during regular use. It is also worth choosing skirting board models that allow you to hide and protect cables. Make sure that the underlayment for the panels is suitable for the bathroom or kitchen. This is particularly important if the room has underfloor heating.
DIY Panel Installation in Your Bathroom and Kitchen – See How Easy It Is
A kitchen or bathroom makeover usually means a lot of work and is quite time-consuming. Panels have yet another advantage here– quick and easy installation. You can easily manage it on your own or with the help of one other person. No specialised skills or tools are required here. Another advantage of rigid-core vinyl panels is that they can be cut with a carpet knife. Bear in mind that if you plan to lay panels in the kitchen or bathroom, which are quite demanding rooms, it is advisable to use adhesive. This will prevent water and moisture from penetrating the floor finish, which, in turn, will prevent mould from developing under the panels and an unpleasant odour from escaping from under them.
When preparing for the installation of the panels, pay attention to the conditions recommended by the manufacturer. In the case of the Vilo rigid-core vinyl flooring mentioned above, it is recommended that the air temperature at the time of laying is between 15 and 24℃.
The rigid core in the rigid panels also means that they can be installed on an uneven surface, without the need for a self-levelling screed. This is a necessity in models without the core. Remember, however, that the unevenness must not be greater than 2 mm. And if you have tiles on your kitchen or bathroom floor and don’t want to remove them, you don’t have to! Panels with a rigid core can be laid directly on top of them. There is no need to use putty on the joints here, as they will remain invisible under the panels.
Once you have all the materials and tools ready, start by laying out the film. The next step will be to cut and lay the underlayment. Then, position the end joint of the panel to be mounted at an angle of 20° to 30° in relation to the end joint of the already mounted panel. Place the panel approximately 5 mm from the long joint. Raise it by 25o while applying pressure. This will ensure that the panel slides in and locks into place. Place the tongue in the groove and lay the subsequent panels in rows. You may find our instructional video quite helpful – watch it here.