While your flooring choices are a little more straightforward in a living room or a bedroom (hardwood and carpet often reign supreme), you have quite a number of options to choose from when it comes to installing a new bathroom floor. But there are also more variables to consider (mostly due to the use-case of a bathroom). Tiles are the most common, given their design range and resistance to water, but there are tons of options within that category alone. And then there are the other bathroom floor favorites, like natural stone and concrete! Here, we break down 16 different types of bathroom flooring, as well as designer examples and ideas to help you think about maximizing your own with the best-looking and most durable options around.
Made primarily of linseed oil, tree resin, and wood flour, among other natural ingredients, linoleum is a worthy option for bathroom floors. The material has naturally occurring antimicrobial elements that help prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which are unfortunately all too common in bathrooms. In this bathroom designed by Tom Scheerer, linoleum floors in the mudroom and adjacent powder room prove a durable, easy-going material.
Given their natural resistance to water, natural stone tiles like marble or granite are an excellent flooring choice for a saturation-prone space like a bathroom. But the material is quite expensive, and it does get cold and slippery! Radiant heating and well-placed floor mats can solve those problems, though. In the bathroom designed by Sheldon Hart features black and white tiles comprised of reclaimd marble.
Heidi Caillier opted for a muted navy blue tone of penny tiles for the floor in this bathroom. Penny tiles can be ceramic or glass. Though you might be more familiar with glass mosaic tiles in your shower or as a backsplash in your kitchen, you can actually use them as flooring in your bathroom. Just keep in mind that they can get scratched and become dull if dirt or debris scuffs them, so keep your floors clean!
In this monochromatic green bathroom designed by Leanne Ford, the existing wood floors are painted in a diamond pattern mimicking the look fo classic floor tiles. The sage and cream color scheme plays right into the eclectic style of the space and looks fresh, unique, and personal, but also laidback.
Scraggly stone flooring works well in other rustic spaces, like farmhouse bathrooms. Exposed wood beams, unique craftsman-style windows, and, a farmhouse island make this bathroom feel like something out of a fairy tale. But it's the floors that really create the right foundation.
Zellige tiles are a great option for anyone who likes the varied, imperfect loo of homemmade clay tiles. This bathroom is the peffect example. This light-filled bathroom by Romanek Design Studio reflects the beauty of the surrounding environment, from the wood-paneled sloped ceiling to the green zellige tiles. Aside from being calming and stylish, the wall-to-wall green tile floor means that basically everything in the room will hold up well when wet.
Think outside of the box and use two types of flooring materials! Studio DB used marble hexagonal tiles to protect the hardwood floors in this open concept master bathroom. And while they serve a functional purpose, the partial coverage and angular shapes also make a unique and modern style statement.
Metallic surfaces are a welcome surprise in this farmhouse modern bathroom designed by McLaren.Excel. The swanky custom gold details, industrial matte and concrete materials, and warm wood paneling blends monastic calm with bold design. The thin carpeting connects it to the primary bedroom beyond, and also provides a soft landing for cold feet.
In this post we will cover mostly waterproof flooring options. Not sure what is the difference between waterproof and water-resistant? Water-resistant flooring can, as the name implies, resist water, but water can, and eventually will, penetrate and damage the flooring.
When selecting flooring, water-resistant flooring is a great option for a number of rooms in the home where water is a consideration. For example, kitchens, basements or laundry and mudrooms. Water-resistant flooring is generally less expensive than waterproof flooring, due to the plywood or MDF core materials used in its construction being less expensive. But these porous inner-materials are also what contributes to swelling, warping and peeling when exposed to moisture. Picture a wood veneer top glued to a sponge that has been left to soak up water.
Waterproof flooring is completely impervious to water. Water can sit on it or even penetrate the surface of the flooring without damaging the material, or (arguably more important) the subflooring beneath. Waterproof flooring is considered impermeable to water or moisture. And the materials used to construct the flooring to make it waterproof also prevent mold and mildew development as there is no moisture permeation.
Laminate flooring and engineered woods are also not the greatest choices for bathrooms. While engineered wood does have real wood layers at the top, you have to ensure it is fully sealed as well. Often the material underneath the wood layers is not waterproof or even water-resistant. Such is the case with laminate floors, which typically are not great with water, requiring spills to be cleaned immediately or risk swelling and warping.
The most popular choice for bathrooms is tile. Specifically, ceramic and porcelain tiles are great options for bathrooms. Tile flooring is resilient, waterproof, available in a variety of colors and designs, and generally less expensive than other hard surface options. Porcelain tiles specifically absorb less water than any other ceramic product. Ceramic and porcelain can handle even pools and puddles of standing water, which makes them great options for shower tile.
One potential drawback to tile is that it can be slippery when wet, and bathrooms are generally always wet. This is not specific to porcelain or ceramic tile, however. This is true of many hard surface options, however, as porcelain and ceramic tiles are often baked to a smooth finish, people often think of them as more slippery than other surfaces. For tile flooring, especially in a shower, find a tile with a textured surface for safety.
Another great bathroom flooring option is natural stone. There are a wide variety of natural stone options from granite to marble and even limestone. Natural stone tile offers many of the same positives of ceramic and porcelain tile. Resilience to wear, waterproof, variety of naturally-occurring colors and patterns, stone is offered in tiles, planks, even mosaics backed with mesh to hold the smaller tiles together.
The largest drawback to many customers looking at natural stone is cost. Natural stone offers a luxurious finish for any bathroom, but it can come at a cost. Stone is one of the most expensive flooring options available. It is a natural, and therefore limited, resource which accounts for the additional cost to extract and manufacture stone flooring.
WPC and SPC Vinyl flooring are rigidcore products, combining the durability, scratch resistance and waterproof features of vinyl. More commonly offered in planks but can be found in square tile as well, the core of these products are made from wood or stone polymer compounds and protected by a wear layer, making both of these great waterproof options for bathroom floors.
On the downside, sheet vinyl can indent or tear fairly easily if you have sharp objects in your bathroom, like chairs without rubber feet. If not installed correctly, water can get under the seamless floor and create a lot of issues. Although it seems like it might be an easy bathroom DIY project, sheet vinyl is best for the experienced installer.
It has few disadvantages in bathroom settings and, short of more permanent options like tile, is pretty ideal. However, you can expect vinyl plank flooring to last only about 10 years in high traffic areas like bathrooms. In addition, because vinyl plank flooring is so resistant to water damage, if there did happen to be a leak somewhere unseen and water seeped under the floor, you may not know it for a long time.
Ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles are great options for bathrooms if your budget can fit around the sometimes high price tags. Available in a wide range of designs, colors tile can even be used for accent pieces like mosaics or special designs.l. Tile flooring is meant to be an essentially permanent solution, so experienced installation is definitely recommended.
Buying the perfect flooring for a bathroom is a very different endeavor from buying the perfect flooring for other parts of a house. Bathroom flooring faces unique challenges, chiefly water, humidity, and heavy foot traffic. Start the search by narrowing it down by the different types of flooring materials.
Beginning from the material flooring type, you can then think about other bathroom flooring design options, including elements like dimensions, color, and texture. The final step is deciding upon the best flooring installation method for the bathroom.
This is because hardwood does not create naturally waterproof flooring. Solid hardwood flooring is known to expand and contract with contact to high humidity. The material will also soak up any water spilled on it.
A thin top layer of real wood or bamboo is applied atop the base to give it the beautiful look of real hardwood. Despite being better suited for high humidity environments than real hardwood, using engineered hardwood in a bathroom still brings a set of potential problems. Using engineered hardwood is most likely fine in a well-ventilated primary bathroom used only by adults.
But a heavily-used family bathroom, especially one that children use, likely suffers from too much humidity (and water on the floor) for this material to be a viable option, as it is not a fully waterproof flooring option.
Laminate flooring is a great choice for a bathroom flooring material, so long as it is installed correctly. The base layer of laminate flooring is constructed from dense fiberboard. Installers must take precautions to ensure this layer is exposed to limited moisture. 2b1af7f3a8