When it comes your bathroom, tile is one of the more popular ways to go, but it isn’t the only one. Here’s a look at some of the best bathroom flooring options available.
Flooring can be one of the most important decisions in a bathroom remodel. You want to choose something that not only fits your design style, but also functions in ways you need it to. That may mean a floor that can be heated, or one that’s extra durable. Or maybe one that’s environmentally-friendly is a key factor for you. And of course, there’s cost to consider.
In addition to those factors, you also want to make sure it can stand up to water! Bathrooms can accumulate a lot moisture from splashing showers, sinks and condensation, so you want to ensure your floors can withstand that.
So which is right for your home? Here’s a rundown of some of the best bathroom flooring materials.
Ceramic or porcelain tile
When selecting bathroom flooring, it’s hard to go wrong with a ceramic or porcelain tile. The main difference between the two is how they are made. Porcelain is produced using higher heat and more refined clay, generally making it more durable than ceramic.
But both have a lot going for them. They come in a multitude of designs, shapes, and sizes. They’re waterproof. And they can be relatively inexpensive. For example, if you like the look of wood on your floors, there are tiles that mimic that style for just a few dollars a square foot.
Design flexibility may be one of tile’s greatest advantages. From large slabs to small mosaic tiles, chances are you’ll be able to find a look that suits your aesthetic. From colorful to more reserved, and from traditional rectangular shapes to something more unique, like hexagonal tiles, the choices abound. You can also select a grout color that complements or contrasts your tile, depending on your tastes.
One more plus to tile floors in the bathroom: they can be heated. No more waking up in the morning and walking onto a freezing tile floor. Heating systems laid underneath the tile can keep your floors — and feet — nice and warm.
Ceramic or porcelain tile pros
- Can be cost effective
- Relatively durable
- Flexible design choices
- Relatively easy to clean
- Can be heated
Ceramic or porcelain tile cons
- Hard surface (unlike softer materials like cork)
- Can be slippery if water collects on them
- Cold if not heated
Another popular choice for bathroom floors is vinyl. Like some porcelain tiles, luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is a great option if you like the look of wood floors in your bathroom but need a waterproof option. However, unlike tile, LVP stays somewhat warmer to the touch as it retains heat better. That said, if you still like a toasty bathroom floor, LVP does work with radiant heating systems.
Another vinyl option is sheet vinyl. As the name suggests, this comes in large sheets that can be rolled out. That makes for fewer seams in the floor but may not give you the sort of aesthetic you want if you’re going for a more high-end look. Sheet vinyl can be a great choice for a kids bathroom.
- Can be inexpensive
- Warmer than tile
- Can be used with heating systems
- Lots of design options
- Sheet vinyl may not provide high-end aesthetic
- Lower resale value than some other materials
Another good bathroom flooring option that may not be as obvious as tile or LVP is laminate. Laminate flooring is made from a core of resin and fiber board material. The top layer is basically a textured image made to look like wood or stone. It’s covered with a durable wear layer to resist dings and scratches.
From a maintenance standpoint, laminate is easy to clean, but you want to make sure the seams are tight during installation so water doesn’t seep down into the fiber board core. If it does get wet, it will likely expand.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Fairly durable
- Easy to clean
- Not fully waterproof
- Likely needs to be replaced if becomes water damaged
If you like a more authentic look and feel of hardwoods in the bathroom, you may want to consider engineered wood. It’s made from a combination of real wood, wood fibers, and adhesives which result in a product that looks like wood but is more durable. That’s because the top veneer is made from a real hardwood.
Even though it will help protect against scratches and dents, it’s still made from wood products, so that means it’s still susceptible to water damage. Aesthetically however, this may be the closest you can get to a real hardwood look and feel in the bathroom.
Engineered wood pros
- Durable material
- Looks and feels like hardwood
Engineered wood cons
- Still susceptible to water damage
- More expensive to some other materials
If you’re looking for a clean, sophisticated look, natural stone may be worth considering. Materials like granite, marble, and limestone are durable and sleek, so they not only lend an upscale feel to a bathroom, they are also highly resistant to chipping and dents.
However, water damage can occur if they’re not regularly maintained by sealing them regularly. This is especially true for marble. It should be sealed every few months as it can be susceptible to water stains. Limestone and granite should be sealed every couple of years.
These materials can be more spendy than other products, but they can take a bathroom space to the next level and may help with resale value if you decide to sell your home down the road. One other plus, you can install raidant heating underneath them to warm up the cold stone surface.
Natural stone pros
- High end look
- Good resale value
- Very tough
Natural stone cons
- Need to be sealed regularly
- Can be slippery; a naturally textured stone can help mitigate this
Are you thinking about a bathroom remodel and aren’t sure where to start? We’d love to discuss your project. Simply schedule a conversation with us!