Real linoleum or ceramic/porcelain tile

naturalmomFebruary 21, 2013

Hi -- I'm re-doing three bathrooms: a powder room (hygienically located right off the kitchen!), a hall bath with a tub/shower my 5 kids use, and the master bathroom, which merely has a shower, in which I occasionally put a little Ikea baby tub for my littlest kids to play/bathe in while I clean the bathroom or just for fun.

I would love for the powder room to look very SPARKLY and gleaming, to exude a feeling of cleanliness and luxury, but to do it cheaply. I love the look of basket-weave tile, hex-tiles, etc. but don't love cleaning grout, especially with boys with inflated opinions of their aim. Does real linoleum stain or retain odors? By the way, I'm not talking about vinyl -- most of you all probably know that, but when I entered "linoleum" as a search, I got lots of vinyl results.

If you don't mind just give me your votes. All tile, all linoleum, tile here, linoleum there?

Thanks in advance, O great wise and aesthetically astute ones!

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mongoct

Lino can discolor a bit and hold urine odors, but if you do wipe it down regularly it can perform well.

Glazed tile will be the most impervious, especially if you use an epoxy-type grout. If you are intimidated by epoxy grout you can use a regular grout and when needed, follow it with an epoxy-type of grout sealant or colorant. Along the lines of Aqua-Mix's grout colorants.

As to linoleum itself, I have installed Forbo tiles and sheet lino in kitchens and bathrooms. In a worst-case scenario, sheet might be better due to no seams. But sheet is usually not DIY if that is your goal. Forbo has a "Topshield" finish which has, in my experience, proven to be pretty durable.

Not to go beyond the bounds of your question, but the best way we found to not have to worry about urine on the floor was to have the kids clean the bathroom floors. When a 5-year old learns young...well, an ounce of prevention...

It's not that your 5-year old has to be given a bucket with bleach water or TSP. Just get them on their hand and knees with a wet paper towel. When the clean-up water hits the urine and the lovely urine smell starts to waft up their nostrils...they learn quickly. Then when they are done "cleaning", you can follow with the real cleaning.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:13PM
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enduring

Mongo - Brilliant!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:59PM
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dekeoboe

We have linoleum in our bathrooms. I haven't noticed any stains or odors.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:19PM
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treasuretheday

Naturalmom, I don't have any first-hand experience with linoleum but I do agree that a glazed porcelain tile with epoxy grout would seem to meet your needs. We are in the middle of DIY'ing the floor in my son's bathroom renovation with Laticrete Spectralock and are finding it to be easier to work with than we were expecting.

Mongoct, that's excellent advice and something that I'm already planning to do when this project is done. Do you think they are still trainable at 14? lol

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 8:02AM
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naturalmom

Thanks for all your responses!
Dekeoboe: do you have boys?
Mongoct: that is a great idea! I have a spray bottle of a health-food-store-type cleaner in the bathroom, which I do make the boys use if they forget to put the seat up. Unfortunately, I don't notice the floor issues until cleaning day.
It sounds like the consensus may be to use tiles, because of the odor retention issue.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:11PM
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dekeoboe

naturalmom - no, we don't have any children.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 7:39PM
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remodelfla

I used to put little pieces of colored tissue paper in the toilet and make a game of trying to "hit" it. However... once they get a bit older you're necessarily in the bathroom with them. As to the boys cleaning the floor... I remember one time getting on them for making a mess. I hear hysterical laughter and they duct taped sponges on the hand and knees and were "skating" all over the house.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:10PM
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prairiemom61

We just installed ceramic hex tiles from Lowes, with TEC grout with sealer. Easily cleaned. The 18 yr old high grade vinyl was discolored and I think, held odors.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 10:29PM
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mongoct

" Do you think they are still trainable at 14? lol"

Last summer I "trained" a couple of my son's friends. They were both 20! Some kids are plain and simply lazy. Others have simply never been taught.

Everyone is welcome over our house. I built it to be the "hangout place" when my kids were growing up. 'Tis better to know what goes on in your house instead of wondering what's going on in someone else's house.

The lessons? Pretty simple: My wife is not a maid. My house is not a hotel. My kitchen is not a restaurant. Don't make an unnecessary mess. And if you do, clean it up.

It's never too late to train others to create less work for you.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:15AM
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carolynsuetoo

OMG! The reading of this thread was funny and full of good advice. I too have wondered the same thing about grout versus using a linoleum without any seam issues. MONGOCT, you said it! THANKS!!!! Well said!!! My handicapped sister will wait too long after her adult diaper is already wet, thus making a rather large flow hit the floor. She lives with mother and her young adult son. My older brother is replacing all the floors and has mentioned ceramic tile on her bedroom floor. That's why the search that landed me here. For a puddle, large puddle that might have been there for several hours (get my drift), easier clean up and less porous; linoleum might be better than grout, right? Please offer suggestions, thanks so much!!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:21AM
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mongoct

If standing urine on the floor is a concern, then your best bet would probably be a porcelain tile with epoxy grout. Epoxy grout will be completely impervious to liquids, and would be a safer bet than lino.

If you already have a tiled and grouted floor with cement-based grout, a low-cost remedy would be to clean the existing grout, then use a product like Aquamix Grout Colorant over the existing grout. AGC is an epoxy colorant, so it'll give you an impervious "skin" of epoxy over your current porous grout.

Just an idea...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:16PM
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