Judging by the answers I've received so far, it would appear that
travertine tiles would not be the best choice for our bathroom.
"Roger" ( firstname.lastname@example.org)suggested that we consider cork. Any
one out there familiar with cork?
How would cork compare to ceramic tile (or, for that matter, to
hardwood), in terms of durability? Maintainance? Would our pet (a
husky) damage it? Would a cork floor require an underlayment ? If so,
what type? Since cork is a natural
insulator, should we forget about radiant heating and revert back to
forced air (which is what we currently have)?
Cork is O.K. for floors. It is warm, comfortable to walk on, helps the room
acoustics, dry mops easily and is not hard to install over a plywood
underlay. Cork expands and contracts more than other materials (moisture
and temperature), so tiles have to be "acclimated" and they are a bit harder
to lay. I had a whole house with floors of cork tile, including bathrooms,
for several years.
It is, however, a bit harder to maintain and the surface layer (some kind of
plastic finish over the cork wood itself) can be scratched. We had to be
careful with it in the bathrooms and kitchen because the installer said that
water could work its way into the cracks and possibly damage or raise the
tile. That never happened, but it was always a concern and maybe that's
changed anyway with the newer finishes. You should ask. Color choices with
cork are very limited.
For bathrooms or where floors are often splashed or wet, nothing can beat
ceramic in my view because "water happens" and I don't like to spend time in
crisis cleaning situations when the sink or toilet overflows. My present
house is all ceramic tile with area rugs for softness and accents and
non-skid vinyl in the laundry room. It's been a great low-maintenance
flooring approach with no water or pet worries.
I looked at travertine tiles, but they seemed a bit soft and dirt can
accumulate in the surface. Porcelain tile is rugged, but it scratches and
is very slippery when wet. Ceramic tile can be obtained in numerous
textures, colors and styles. If you use any kind of ceramic, I would
suggest not using white grout. It gets dirty unevenly and is a constant
maintenance problem. Instead, use a fairly dark color that contrasts with
the tile. Some installers recommend sealing the grout (not the tile). I
didn't do that and now, more than a year after installation, the grout looks
that we consider cork. Any
We had ceramic tile in our bathroom, but for some reason what appeared
to be adequate subflooring was not and we were always having cracked
tiles. When we had the bathroom redone six months ago we put in cork
and we are really happy with it. No more cracks. No more cold floor.
And it looks good.
Ours came with some polyurethane, and I put on three or four coats after
the tiles were laid, and we have had no problems with water leakage
attendant to normal bathroom use. There was a small bottle of coloring,
so I think they are acknowledging that the floor could be cut or
scratched with abuse. I anticipate the flooring will last quite a
while. Our cat hasn't hurt it; we don't have a dog. I don't have
underfloor heating, but I recall reading that there was some type of
limit involved when using cork flooring and underfloor heating: I think
the heating could be no higher than x degrees (I've forgotten the number
but it seemed to be higher than what would be comfortable).
Based on our experience so far, I plan on using cork flooring when we
redo the kitchen.
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
Consider limestone in lieu of travertine, wood in lieu of cork. Any finish
can be used over radiant heat, if installed properly. Consider stamped,
stained concrete or epoxy flooring, to simulate whatever color/texture you
desire. Good luck.
that we consider cork. Any
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