Obviously, water is a primary feature of any bathroom, and when designing a bathroom, function and durability can be enhanced by choosing materials that are water resistant. Some materials are more water resistant that others and here are some tips to keep in mind if a bathroom remodeling project is looming on the horizon.
Start with the Walls
Even for walls that are nowhere near the shower or tub, dampness can be a problem. One of the easiest ways to protect walls from moisture is to paint them with a gloss or semi gloss paint finish which will help to seal water out of the surface. If installing new walls in the bathroom, use green board, which can be used in place of drywall and is water resistant. Then cover the walls with a high quality primer to help seal the walls before adding the final layers of paint to the wall surface. To help keep the walls from succumbing to the moist atmosphere of the bathroom, use paint formulas that have been specially formulated to be both mildew and water resistant. This type of water protection is most important around the shower and tub. Another great option is stone, glass or ceramic tile because they are extremely water resistant.
Fixing the Floor
Next, consider the floor in the bathroom, because it is a place that gets wet quite frequently. While it may be nice to snuggle toes into carpet in the bathroom, it is not the best surface to have in place for a bathroom because of moisture and carpets tendency to harbor bacteria. Tile is one of the best options for a bathroom floor. Tile's only drawback is that it can be extremely slippery when it is wet, so it is important to select a finish on the tile that provides safe footing when wet. Another option that works quite well in a bathroom is vinyl flooring, because it is highly water resistant, and it is far less slippery than most tile surfaces. It is also much more affordable than tile and it is quite simple to maintain. The biggest consideration when laying a vinyl floor in the bathroom is to make sure that the edges are completely sealed with caulking to create a completely watertight floor.
Vanity countertops get splashed with water on a regular basis and need to be water resistant and water tight. It is important that the countertops be properly installed and sealed along the walls and around the sinks to keep water from leaking behind them and under them.
Water and Electricity
When designing a water resistant bathroom also be sure that all electrical components are safe. Water and electricity can create a recipe for disaster, so it is wise to install GFCI outlets anywhere an electrical appliance can be plugged into an outlet to avoid the potential for electrical shock.
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