Laundry Room Flooring
April 26, 2018 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm buying a house that needs all new flooring. Most of the house will be hardwoods, but I think wood might be a bad idea for the laundry/cat litter room. This room also has doors to the garage and the backyard.

Experienced Home Improvement People of Metafilter, what's the best type of flooring for this room? Top priority is something that isn't ruined by water (in the case of a washing machine mishap) or cat pee, just in case.

In general we're placing a high priority on durability and quality and tend toward traditional look and materials.
posted by something something to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Large format porcelain tile is a go-to these days for most wet areas. Make sure you pick one meant for floors so it isn’t slippery. We did a 12x24 and it’s worked great, even when the washing machine dumped 2 gallons of black water everywhere.

Other possibilities are sealed concrete or epoxy, but you won’t see much of a cost difference and tile is generally more forgiving.
posted by q*ben at 12:27 PM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

We used Marmoleum in our laundry room. Very durable, easy to install, and looks good. No issues in ten years.
posted by bondcliff at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2018 [6 favorites]

Since it connects to the garage/backyard (if you are in an area where it snows/rains a lot) try to get a good floor drain in. That way you can leave you snow-covered boots to melt and drain.
posted by WizKid at 12:44 PM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

We have marmoleum in three bathropoms, it's really great. Keeps itself clean mostly, very durable. It's a little delicate, I'd be concerned if it there's a lot of dirt going through this area. Great product though, good environmental choice as it's mostly natural components.

Linoleum or sheet vinyl are cheaper choices. Anything that's seamless like that or marmoleum is a good choice.

Tile is also a good choice, make sure to seal the grout or use a synthetic/polymer grout that's rated for wet areas and is stain-resistant.
posted by GuyZero at 12:46 PM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

We put linoleum down in our laundry space. It's smaller and wasn't worth it (to us) to put down tile or anything nicer.
posted by msbutah at 12:57 PM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Our friends installed marmoleum planks and they look really, really great. There are click together floating systems that are pretty easy to install.
posted by goggie at 1:01 PM on April 26, 2018

In any higher traffic area, like near doors, you want the flooring to be coloured through, not just on the surface. This is most true for vinyl/lino type products, but equally true for tile. Scuffs won't show nearly as much.

Personally, I've gone with sheet vinyl with no seams in those kinds of areas and been very happy with it. But again, the "industrial" grade that penetrates through the material rather than a pattern printed on the top surface.
posted by bonehead at 1:01 PM on April 26, 2018

Slate tile. Or lino.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:09 PM on April 26, 2018

You want tile.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:23 PM on April 26, 2018

Our friends installed marmoleum planks and they look really, really great. There are click together floating systems that are pretty easy to install.

I would not advise planks if you're really worried about a flood or large spill.
posted by GuyZero at 1:23 PM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Luxury vinyl plank. I have just had a terrible question about a gush of problems with cat and dog pee. I have vinyl plank flooring. YOU CANNOT TELL. They are also waterproof and you can get ones that look like wood. Ours are the CaliBamboo variety and they look great.
posted by corb at 1:27 PM on April 26, 2018

I used big vinyl coin tiles in my bathroom because a local store had a sale. Not as cold as vinyl or tile underfoot. not as warm as cork or real lineoleum (Marmoleum, made from sawdust and linseed oil). I like the way it looks, easy to clean. It was $1/tile which are @ 14" or so, and lasts a long time. Vinyl is quite toxic to produce, but these are closeouts, so I didn't feel that I was contributing to pollution. Peel-n-stick cork is inexpensive, renewable, lasts longer than you expect. A friend used it in her kitchen, it's nice.
posted by theora55 at 2:17 PM on April 26, 2018

Marmoleum also comes in tiles.
posted by aniola at 8:04 PM on April 26, 2018

I did the bathroom/laundry reno in our 1950s timber house with wet-area particleboard flooring, masonite over that, then seamless sheet vinyl over that. The vinyl just sits flat on the masonite and is not glued down; it runs up curved mouldings at the edges and the corners are sealed.

After putting the vinyl down I poured water on it to find which corner of the room a major flood would head for (1950s houses on stumps not being noted for their perfectly level floors) and installed a bathtub drain through the floor at that point.

It's worked well. The vinyl has seen a few small tears from carelessly dragged furniture, and one fairly major burn from a tipped-over fan heater that should never have been brought into a wet room in the first place (teenagers, waddayagonnado) but because the vinyl was never glued down, lifting it at the torn spots in order to apply duct-tape patches to the underside by feeding them carefully through the tear has always been fairly easy.

The flood drain did get exercised, on that one day when I slipped halfway through getting out of the bath and ejected about half the contents onto the floor.

The rest of the house has the original hardwood flooring, now with an oil-based finish, but there's absolutely no point avoiding using unsightly modern manufactured materials in a floor you will never see because there's a waterproof skin covering the whole thing.
posted by flabdablet at 12:48 PM on April 27, 2018

I used luxury vinyl plank (LVP) in a house reno and loved it. However I don't recommend floating floor installations of any kind in the laundry room because of the weight of appliances. The LVP can get clicked out of place just moving a big sofa around. Clicking it back in is really difficult because you typically have to remove the baseboards to get to the edge of the floor to hammer it back in. And if it clicks out in the middle of the floor you're kind of screwed. Floating is also difficult if you have ground cabinets or other built ins.

If you want cheap, use sheet vinyl, linoleum, or a glue-down vinyl tile.

If you can afford more, go for tile or porcelain. In the house referenced above, I did LVP in every room except kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room where I did tile.
posted by ticktickatick at 1:57 PM on April 28, 2018

By the way, the reason we went for sheet vinyl rather than tile was because the sheet vinyl we chose is a slightly cushioned type, and it feels a whole lot warmer and more comfortable under bare feet than tiles do.
posted by flabdablet at 8:04 PM on April 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

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