Floor me.
October 7, 2008 10:19 AM   Subscribe

DIY Designers: I am looking for some unique ideas to quickly and cheaply re-do my bathroom floor. I'm interested in any funky, offbeat, or out of the ordinary patterns, colors, or materials.
posted by mistsandrain to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like a bit of a trek but you might check out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Frederick (I've never been, I just looked them up.) There might be similar places closer to home if you look around for "construction salvage" or "construction recycling" in your area. Basically they take leftover or salvaged materials from builders and sell them off at a deep discount. If you're looking for funky you could probably get an interesting mix of mismatched tiles at a better quality than you'd otherwise be able to afford.
posted by contraption at 10:34 AM on October 7, 2008

Oh, actually it looks like there's one much closer in Gaithersburg.
posted by contraption at 10:47 AM on October 7, 2008

You could try something like what this guy did to his kitchen, if you're artsy or know someone who is.
posted by mismatched at 11:05 AM on October 7, 2008

I've always wanted to redo the kitchen and bath in all stainless steel with a floor drain. Then I could wash everything with a pressure washer and screw all that scrubbing.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:08 AM on October 7, 2008

I saw this a while back, and even though I didn't think it would work for me (I can't draw very well), I did like the concept quite a bit.
posted by mysterpigg at 11:08 AM on October 7, 2008


Not the easiest to work with to get a smooth finish but takes colors and patterns well and you can embed just about anything in it. You could have the Watts Towers of bathrooms. And clean it with a pressure washer.

And seconding the construction material thrift stores. I think Community Forklift off Rhode Island in Hyattsville has the best selection though it may be a little further afield for you.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 11:29 AM on October 7, 2008

Before selling our old place we put walnut print linoleum in our bathroom, and it looked amazing and unexpected. Home Depot has it in stock, though not on the website, and it's dirt cheap. Super easy to lay too.
posted by Dragonness at 12:00 PM on October 7, 2008

Scavenge some broken tiles and make a mosaic. I always liked Hundertwasser's style. It looks easy, but I'm sure getting that organic vibe is trickier in practice.
posted by kamelhoecker at 12:28 PM on October 7, 2008

I don't know how cheap it is (probably not very), but I think this tile concept is awesome.

Failing that though, putting down ceramic tile is not that expensive if you pick stock tiles--I'd do that before vinyl, as it holds up better and just looks more swanky.
posted by midwestguy at 12:43 PM on October 7, 2008

Agree with midwestguy, vinyl (not linoleum, I misspoke) doesn't last forever. We had to replace our original one after 5 years. Still, can't beat the price and minimal effort.
posted by Dragonness at 1:28 PM on October 7, 2008

Commercial vinyl is very affordable, comes in many colors, and lasts much longer than the residential stuff. I got commercial sheet vinyl at a bargain store where they sell ends of rolls. You could post on craigslist & freecycle for spare vinyl tiles and do a patchwork of colors.

Same with cork. Tile floor coverings come in boxes, and people always have some left over.

I've done crazy paving with smashed tiles & crockery on countertops. It's best to do a practice board 1st, but it's not hard. It is harder to clean, as there's more grout area.

For fun & funk, you could paint a canvas floor covering. Bored with it? just repaint.
posted by theora55 at 1:59 PM on October 7, 2008

For a real mind-fuck, you could make tiles out of holographic vinyl film typically used in signmaking. They have carbon fiber, lenticular, rainbow, chrome, diamonds, glitter, whatever you can think of - feel free to mix and match. It has to be seen to be believed. Cover it with clear 1/4" acrylic (I believe they will cut sheets to size for you for free) to keep it from peeling or cracking when you walk on it, and secure with some kind of clear adhesive (transparent caulk?). You can buy the film in smaller quantities (10" x 24") on eBay on teh ch34px0rx. Or if you really want to go over the top, get a sign shop or a friend to cut out some custom vinyl shapes and C&P those onto individual tiles. (Crap, if you're interested, I'll even do it, because the idea of my artwork on someone's bathroom floor is scintillatingly fantabulous.)

Dichroic glass tiles are another thing that have to be seen to be believed. Very unique and unusual. Especially if you have sunlight in your bathroom. These are good for walls.

Some kind of mural perhaps? An Escher?

There are pre-fab mosaic and stainless steel tiles as well.

You could paint regular storebought tiles with that color-changing paint (it's purple! no it's blue! no, green! purple again!) that was huge a few years ago.

Maybe some of that vinyl snap-together looks-like-wood flooring but tint it with some color like pink or green or pink/green swirl.

Marbling effect.

Stone/marble effect in a can although you will want to clearcoat it to save the soles of your feet from the touch texture.

Laser etched tiles, if you have a local source?

What else does your house have that this might go with?
posted by ostranenie at 11:06 PM on October 7, 2008

Actually none of those are cheap or quick, but I like to think they're funky and/or offbeat. So..well..duh.
posted by ostranenie at 11:09 PM on October 7, 2008

Years ago in a British home decorating magazine there was an article about a couple that were renovating on the cheap and did their entire kitchen floor in newsprint. They used the colour comics pages and just glued them down on the subfloor and then put a clear sealer over top. They intended it as a temporary fix until they could afford the floor they wanted but ended up keeping it around 10 years I believe. Can't get much cheaper than that, plus easy to lay a different floor over when you redo. Hey, you are sitting there anyway, may as well have something to read.
posted by saucysault at 5:12 AM on October 8, 2008

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