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I have a split ranch house in NY and the downstairs hallway and half bath / laundry room currently has vinyl tile on a concrete slab. I would like to cover the vinyl tile with a new floor.

What is the best flooring material to use in this environment?

I was originally thinking ceramic tile because the the garage enters into the hallway (dirty, wet shoes). However, I'm concerned that the tile will be too cold during the winter, so I was thinking about some type of wood flooring. However, the potential for a water problem in the bath / laundry room makes me want to avoid wood.

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So you don't want vinyl, wood, or tile and I am thinking in that area that carpet is a no go... Rubber or foam tiles? –  DMoore Jun 22 '13 at 18:20
    
@DMoore I didn't say that I didn't want wood or tile, but I just had some concerns about them. Is there a type of wood (or wood like material) that is suitable for use in a bath / laundry area? –  NYSystemsAnalyst Jun 24 '13 at 12:37
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Are you asking "What can be used on concrete", "What can be used over vinyl" or "What can be used in a wet enviornment"? These are all valid, but very different questions. –  DA01 Jul 22 '13 at 19:43

3 Answers 3

I recently installed hardwood flooring in my condominium, which has a concrete floor. The two options I was presented with was to glue any hardwood product to the floor, or use an engineered "click" hardwood that sits on top of an underlayment/pad.

I chose the latter, known as a floating installation, as it is modular and has the option to be disassembled if needed (for replacing boards). However, the disadvantage to using an engineered hardwood is that the finished material is generally very thin and unlikely possible to be refinished.

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Tile floors can be installed with a radiant floor heating system such as this one

enter image description here

It is imbedded in the floor below the tiles and is controllable with a wall mounted thermostat. Unless there is significant structural damage to the floor, there is no risk based on dampness. These are routinely used in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.

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All currently produced thermostatic controllers for tile either have GFCI protection built in or require the circuit be protected by one. –  HerrBag Jun 24 '13 at 0:22

If you do tile with a tile underlayment product, the slight insulative benefits from the wood and foam/rubber beneath the tile could help make it not so cold. They make tile in all sorts of designs nowadays, so you could even get tile that looks like wood, if that's a design you like.

But if you have a cold slab under the floor, that's a problem all its own that you can solve to provide numerous other benefits to your whole house. Are the edges insulated? If not, that's something you can do that will help quite a bit. It's too late to insulate under the slab but the sides are doable.

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