Vintage Bathroom Floor Ideas That Aren't White?

phelansmomJuly 25, 2012

We own a 1907 Victorian Cottage with only 1 Jack and Jill bathroom (6x9) in need of a new bathroom floor. The previous owner installed a white, grey and burgundy peel and stick vinyl tile over layer #2 of vinyl (seen at Home Depot). Under vinyl layer #2 is a new subfloor over the original vinyl and finally a Douglas Fir floor.

Our heavy claw foot tub plus radiator make the vinyl a terrible choice for our bathroom plus the vinyl tile seams are starting to separate...biggest reason though is it is not our style or a color we would have ever chosen so the style and flow of the rest of the house stop.

This husband and I agree that we never want a white floor again. We are a very active but clean family..and cleaning this white floor is making me crazy! Seriously everyday. We are passionate about old homes and are interested in maintaining a period feel..but even though the lovely white marble or ceramic hex & octagon tiles make me family would probably get tired of me yelling at them to baby the floors.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a durable alternative that still has timeless vintage appeal? The bathroom floors will meet up to refinished Douglas Fir floors and the room only has 1 medium window facing the east.

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Fori is not pleased

Is it possible to salvage the original fir floor?

Have you looked at (real) linoleum, like Forbo's "Marmoleum? It can be done with patterns--a simple stripe following the walls might be nice.

Or, most sensible probably, do the hex or similar in a grey and black. Or maybe throw in some vintage colors from the Kohler shades of potties timeline (lavender!):

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:17PM
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What about encaustic (or encaustic-look) tiles?

You can also do those patterns you covet in a different color.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Fori-Would you believe our house is actually painted Lavender! I didn't realize Kohler stocked Lavender. We thought about salvaging the Fir but the other 2 rooms that we had professionally refinished were a the end my husband is still not a fan because of the wood putty in the gaps..I love the character though. I forgot about Marmoleum..Is it ok for high moisture areas?

Marcolo-That is why I love this forum...sometimes I get stuck in the same old thought process! I will do some searching for Encaustic tile ideas. I am also seeking other colors in the octagons and hex..We just visited the Kendrick Mansion in my town and I have loved their 2" hex tiled bathrooms. Sigh!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Fori is not pleased

Marmoleum is okay with moisture. Floods, not as well, but if your bathroom is small enough to not have a seam and you don't leave puddles on it for days it should be fine.

I suspect a fir floor that has been through all those layers might not be useful.

Lavender tile though...mmmmmm! :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:32PM
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We installed Marmoleum in our 1906 era bathroom and love it. It doesn't get cold like tile. We do not have heated floors and we love it. We did a border and feel like it fits right in.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:45PM
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I have the same dilemma. I do not want a white floor for the main bathroom that will serve 5 of us (3 being kids). I have been mulling the idea of doing a 2 inch hex floor in travertine. Will that blend with a vintage style? Still not sure, but I thought I would put it out there for you to consider as well.
Marcolo, those tiles are beautiful, but look expensive. Are they? I will check out your link.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:11PM
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I have a couple samples of 12x12 faux cararra marble, and I think they look pretty good in my vintage house. My husband vetoed marble basketweave, and basically anything that looks busy. So the larger scale marble look is growing on me. It's white, but not uniformly white so I don't think the cleanup issue would be so significant.

I love Marmoleum - had it in a previous bath - but I'm hankering for heated floors, so tile is what I'm doing this time.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:44PM
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kmcg - FWIW, my friend has 12 inch faux cararra and she says its a nightmare to keep clean. They may not be uniformly white, but they are mostly white.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:57PM
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I have been looking on Houzz for some Marmoleum ideas..While I was looking I came across this beautiful floor. I love it! Maybe I can recreate it with Marm..I doubt the existing Fir will work out plus I agree the Marm. might feel warmer in the winter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floor Idea

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Not sure what era this would mimic, but what about a basket weave in a beige color with dark accents?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Here is the Marmoleum floor in our vintage bathroom. If I had it all to do over again, I may have chosen a black border but the red works too.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Would you be interested in wood? It can be done in the bathroom if you do it right.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:25PM
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    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:32PM
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Thanks again to everyone for your help. I am leaning towards wood in the checkerboard pattern and considered cork in the same pattern but thought the cork might be risky knowing our how splash happy things can get. I have also ordered a sample of darker grey marble 2" hex just to see if something darker would be ok.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:11PM
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