Are you ready for a new bathroom floor? Perhaps your taste is willing to accept a new pattern or design to match recently painted or papered walls, but your wallet may be telling you to wait until the economy takes a turn for the better. If you have been successful in managing a few fixer-upper projects around your home in the past, you may be able to install new bathroom flooring for a fraction of the cost that you would have to pay professionals. All you need are a few simple guidelines and quality floor tile or linoleum.
First, decide what type of flooring you want for your bathroom. Tile works especially well, because any of the pieces that become rotted, mildewed, or damaged are easy to replace without taking up the entire floor. Just be sure to buy extra tiles when purchasing the initial batch so the replacement pieces will match their original counterparts. Linoleum may be cheaper, and some people find it a smoother application and fit than tile. But linoleum can be a little trickier to replace if one part becomes damaged, because you will have to cut away the broken part and cut the precise shape and size of replacement tile, which is no small feat.
Next, buy your supplies at the hardware or flooring supply store. Ask the sales associate for suggestions or help when you go shopping for bathroom flooring needs. Read the directions on the adhesive container as well as guidelines that come with the tile or linoleum. In addition, you can check with the sales associate at the store or visit the manufacturer's website to get help in planning the installation. If you have not already, check out tips for removing the old flooring, and repair or replace the sub-floor.
At home, lay out your materials, choosing a time when other family members will be away or occupied in another part of the house. Open the windows or run the whole-house fan to provide adequate air circulation to offset fumes from the adhesive and flooring product. Start in the corner furthest from the doorway that you will exit after completing the job, and this is where to begin laying the new flooring.
Remove any debris from the exposed sub-floor. Remove or cover wall coving to keep it from getting stained by the adhesive. Then apply the adhesive according to the package directions. After this, lay the linoleum or tile, taking care to put it neatly in place. Make sure it is secure and will hold steady until the adhesive dries. Take a clean towel or rag and use it to wipe away excess glue from between the tiles or around the linoleum. Keep everyone off the new flooring until the adhesive has set.
After installation, follow manufacturers' guidelines for cleaning and maintaining your new bathroom floor. Never use cleaning chemicals, especially bleach or ammonia (which should not be mixed, by the way, due to harmful vapors that can result). You may be able to dust mop your new floor daily or weekly, and scrub it every week or two to keep the new floor looking great.