Flooring for cottage - water proof & winter proof?

qwimjimFebruary 28, 2012

Hey everyone, my family has a cottage in the north east, though it's more home than cottage. We're renovating it this spring and I'm having trouble figuring out what to do for flooring. It is insulated but not lived in during the winter where it can get down to -30C. Lino & vinyl would do the job but they aren't exactly charming materials. We'd like to get something more "woody", or at the very least that looks like wood, is water resistant (we're on beach), and can withstand the temperature changes in our area (-30C to 30C). Any ideas?

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Porcelain tile that looks like wood will be very durable, and about as waterproof as it gets. The grout will need sealing though because it's porous, but that's not a bad job to do if you give everyone their little squeeze bottle and do it as a family.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 6:50PM
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Cool, haven't seen that mentioned before. This isn't a DIY job though, it's a big reno/full gut so will be done professionally.. we're just having a hard time figuring out what kind of flooring will survive the winters and can withstand all the wet feet from the beach in the summer.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 7:40PM
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Hi. I have to disagree, vinyl can be charming and very functional! I looked at flooring for about a year and a half before I decided on wood look vinyl. I tried samples of every brand of laminate made, and each one would show buckling from melted snow or water drips if left overnight. I did not want that, especially with the cost. Those things are just going to happen! Didnt want cold hard tile either. I didn't want to mess with dirty grout lines and that happens too! I didn't think I wanted vinyl, my mind said yuch and cheap....wrong!). I have had my floor for a year now and I am very happy with it! It is in all of my house and looks and feels good! I picked Mannington. It looks so real, even has little dents to make it look old. Here is my floor with minimal seams:

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:41PM
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killinsnakes, that is nice - do you mind sharing what floor that is, and how was it installed (professional or DIY, glued down etc)?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 12:38AM
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Mannington Premium Naturals Carolina Oak Chestnut is the floor I had put down. It was installed professionally with an underlayment also. It is so realistic looking and very easy to keep clean. It is not real shiny either, so not all dust shows! After looking at all types of flooring for over a year, I could not be happier with my choice.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 2:33PM
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You should not use vinyl with your temperature change inside the home. You are asking for trouble and the manufacturer will agree. The tile floor is good, and you should use spectralock and no need to ever seal it. Duraceramic would work as the limestone will not allow the shrinkage. Even laminate with an oversized 3/8 inch gap would make it through the conditions in my opinion and I hate laminate...but it should work for you. Of course carpet will work...Nothing that is mostly vinyl. No konecto..no vinyl flooring...no engage ...you need to be safe and careful with the environment it is going into. Tile will work without a hitch.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 9:00AM
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I have seen genuine linoleum stand up under those conditions. Vinyl tiles and vinyl sheet flooring also. Designer II inlaid vinyl flooring by Armstrong (no longer made) has withstood 15 years of Vermont wintering with no ill affects whatsoever. Of course, no one walks on the floor during the dead of winter.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 2:49PM
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I had Armstrong Designer Solarian in my home for many years. However, at the back sliding door, I had a moisture leak that got under the edge and caused it to come loose snd bubble up. You might find a seal that works for you but watch out for the possibility of moisture getting under the vinyl. In our new washroom, we put porcelain tiles rated for outdoor use and used epoxy grout that does not absorb moisture and cleans up in a breeze.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Another vote for the wood look tiles, I just installed a 6x36 wood look tile plank on my entire first floor. It looks amazing, a dream to clean, won't scratch or dent. Porcelain is frost proof too. Mine is smooth, but there are several textured options that would work well if you're concerned about a slippery surface.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:06PM
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We about to embark on a similar redo- very very old carpet at an Adirondack lake house.
Now that my inlaws are no longer spending the warmer 1/2 of the year there, the house is closed up and opened only for individual weeks throughout the winter and the warmer months.

We felt the carpet would get damp from humidity in the closed up house in the shoulder seasons and retain odor that was musty. The floor is over a crawl space, we never get frank moisture in the house. We are opting for engineered hardwood.. Tile would be a huge temperature sink in the winter! We debated putting tile in the kitchen, but agreed with unanimous advise that wood throughout would be warmer both aesthetically and practically. At least the throw rugs can easily be cleaned.

Engineered hardwood is designed to withstand below grade installs, so we hope this will all work out. It is used a lot up there.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 12:14PM
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I'm not so sure about travertine because the tiles I have seen are more porous than porcelain tiles which are fired until the crystals melt to form a solid matrix. Most exterior tile is porcelain because most do not absorb water and they can be extremely storng. Also the patterns available are of every sort and can be had in many finishes including sandblasted where wet slipryness is a problem.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Install vinyl planks and tiles with an epoxy flooring adhesive and it's not going anywhere. I have installed LVT (laminated vinyl tile) in three season rooms and have had no issues whatsoever. Of course, I happen to know what I'm doing.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Three coats should be sufficient to provide a good surface seal. Always read the instructions before applying it to check and see if it recommends priming the surface. For severe cases of water penetration, foam injection should be used to seal basements. The process involves applying a foam material to the outer walls. When it is injected the foam trebles in size and fills gaps automatically.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:00AM
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glennsfc do you have any photos? I am trying to decide between glue/stick-down vinyl planks and a floating vinyl plank floor. Interested to hear advantages of either!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:01AM
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I will search for a photo and put it up here if I find one. What I did with that floor was to border 18" X 18" LVT in a stone design with 3" LVT woodlook planks. I also custom cut some of the 18" x 18" tiles to look like belgian block for a border and grouted those with Laticrete Spectralock grout.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Did you have any issues with odor or off-gassing? I have read some complaints about terrible "fumes" from the vinyl floors, which makes me hesitate...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Never had an issue with fumes and vinyl tile flooring...although I have read about problems with vinyl recently. A commercial grade LVT (laminated vinyl tile) product should be fine to use. Avoid cheap vinyl products from Indonesia and China.

Most vinyl tiles will emit latent gasses when opening the package and when newly-installed. These odors dissipate rapidly, although with cheap flooring...perhaps not.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Isn't it all made in China?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:39PM
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I would love to see your flooring...please post pics.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 4:14PM
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