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My wife and I are redoing two bathrooms. My wife hates ceramic tile due to mold issues here in the South Eastern US and generally not liking the grout which requires frequent cleaning and resealing.

My questions are on the use of Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)flooring - my wife would prefer to go with either the LVT, or a high end single sheet product that is tough and will hold up to water. Her preference is to use the LVT without grout. However, I'm skeptical on how well the LVT will hold up to moisture without the grout and cleaning will be an issue. And am I right about the need for waterproofing or would the flooring work well any way? Is there a way to waterproof the joints on LVT without grouting? Also, do the vinyl flooring grouts have the same issues as the ceramic tile grout?

  • Have you considered an epoxy grout for ceramic (porcelain) .. very resistant to staining and holds no water. – HerrBag Nov 2 '13 at 21:26
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I installed LVT a couple years ago in a rehab center. 2 bedrooms and a 2000 sq foot dining room. The product interlocks very tightly. It's pretty easy to install because it cuts with a utility knife. I think if I were to put it in a bathroom I would just clear-caulk it along the baseboard. The interlocking joints are tight if installed correctly. I would only not use it if the manufacturer advised against using it in such an environment.

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Instead of trying to force fit a product not really intended for a shower wall maybe you would want to consider installing the molded fiberglass one-piece type tub / shower enclosure in place of your existing installation. These pretty much eliminate any need for grout joints, are easy to clean and can look surprisingly nice. (My house has three of them, two showers and a tub, and whilst they came with the house when I purchased it I am quite happy with them).

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  • We are going with the molded fiberglass surround for the tub. My concern is the floor outside the tub. I don't expect to be flooding it regularly - but I do expect it to get wet from folks getting in and out of the shower and you always have to consider the potential for an overflowing toliet. – Steve Nov 2 '13 at 22:31
  • Sorry - I guess I misread your question as the use of flooring on the wall. I think one piece vinyl is great for a bathroom floor. There are also vinyl products that you can use in lieu of baseboards in the bathroom that will seal to the vinyl floor and keep stray water from getting under the wall. – Michael Karas Nov 3 '13 at 5:41
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    -1 Does not answer the question asked. – The Evil Greebo Nov 4 '13 at 13:05

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