The bathroom environment creates special requirements not called for in other rooms of the house. Perhaps the greatest problem moisture – both from splashing at the lavatory and in the shower and from condensation. Some measures can be taken to control, such as proper ventilation, but the primary means of contending with the problem has surface that can withstand moisture and be cleaned easily.
Finishes for the walls
Materials use to finish bathroom walls must be able to withstand moisture and be easy to clean. Other factors to consider are whether the material has excellent light reflectance and, of course, whether it is pleasing to you from a decorating viewpoint.
The choice of wall finishes ranges from paint and wallpaper to ceramic tile and plastic laminates, with variants such as plastic tile, plastic coated hardboards, and fabric-backed wall coverings. Large mirrors can be used to cover entire walls to give the effect of spaciousness.
Plastic laminates, usually used on the kitchen counters, have been successfully applied to bathroom walls. The range of colors and patterns available makes for interesting decorating possibilities. Sheet vinyl is having a moisture-resistant backing also is used on walls and counters.
Paint used on bathroom walls should be moisture and mildew resistant. Ordinarily, gloss or semi gloss enamel is used. It must be applied by the manufacturer’s directions to obtain the most satisfactory result.
Wallpaper is becoming more and more flamboyant, and the bathroom often is chosen as a room in which to try the lovely new papers. Teenagers might particularly enjoy this if the home has a bathroom solely for their use.
The moisture-proof adhesive should be utilized in applying the wallpaper. Manufacturers of wallpaper specify the adhesive to be used.
Sometimes the are that you live in will dictate the type of wall finish to be utilized in the bathroom. Some areas require tile baths because of humidity and insect problems.
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Cost is certainly a factor in choosing a wall finish, but many times a long-lasting wall finish correctly installed is well worth the extra cost at the beginning. In the event of resale of the home, and attractive bathroom with a quality wall finish is more appealing to a buyer than a wall finish that he may have to repair or replace in a few years.
The choice in floor covering
Selection of floor-covering material is probably more important for the bathroom than for any other room in the house because of the continual exposure to moisture.
The choice is usually between two broad categories, non-resilient material such as ceramic tile; and resilient material such as asphalt, vinyl-asbestos, rubber, and solid vinyl. It is not a good practice to use linoleum below ground level because of moisture problems, but asphalt, rubber, or vinyl floor material would work all right if installed with waterproof adhesive.
Many of the floor materials used in bathrooms come in sheet sizes, which many people find easier to install. There are fewer seams through which moisture might sleep.
The choice of flooring may depend upon your skill in installation if you plan to do the job yourself. Follow many manufacturer’s instructions for the type of adhesive and method of installation. Many of the troubles that develop in floor coverings can be attributed to poor installation.
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You may decide to carpet for the bathroom. There are moisture-resistance, easily washable rugs made for use in bathrooms. Indoor-outdoor carpeting is another possible choice.
Even though you intend to install carpet, the floor covering material should be in good condition or moisture soaking through the carpet may cause permanent damage to the floor support structure. Worn floor covering may be hidden successfully by carpeting, but it should not be worn to such an extent that it no longer protects the sub-flooring.
Light or neutral shades of color for the flooring offer the most flexibility in decorating and make a small bathroom appear larger. Select materials in color that you will not tire of quickly.