choosing the best flooring for your bathroom

choosing the best flooring for your bathroom

The bathroom sits behind the kitchen as the room that Americans most want to remodel. 24.3% of homeowners want to alter it to make it more of the sanctuary they've always dreamed of.

A simple but powerful renovation is new bathroom flooring. It can change the whole feel of the space.

Read our guide to learn about the factors that can help you choose the best bathroom flooring materials.


There's a reason tile and hardwood account for 61% of the $388.24 billion flooring market. They last the longest.

A flooring material's durability is part of what makes it a sound investment. Their longevity depends on several factors such as:

  • Climate
  • Wear and tear
  • Maintenance

All varieties and colors of wood are durable. Part of hardwood's appeal is that it can last over 100 years if you refinish it every 7-10 years. Engineered wood floors last up to 30. Bamboo lasts 15-20 years. 

Laminate and vinyl have similar lifespans. Laminate can last 20-30 years, and vinyl lasts 15-25.

Tiles range in durability. Travertine stone tiles can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance, but glass needs to be replaced within 10 years.


Slip-resistant flooring materials keep your bathroom from feeling like an ice rink. That makes it uncomfortable and a health hazard.

Falls cause 34,000 deaths in those 65 and older every year. 235,000 go to the ER after a fall in the bathroom, and 14% are hospitalized.

Do you already have a specific type of flooring in mind? Choose the most slip-resistant variety. Smaller tile with more grout lines creates less friction.


Avoid carpet on bathroom floors. It's 4,000 times dirtier than the toilet bowl it would sit next to, with over 200,000 bacteria per square inch.

It's unwise to put such absorbent flooring in the wettest room of your house. It creates the risk of mold and mildew growth.

If carpet is your only option for your bathroom floor, go for a low-pile option that's 100% inorganic. These include olefin or nylon.

Hardwood is an iffy choice because of how it reacts to moisture. They have to be perfectly installed and then sealed and resealed often. Otherwise, water will penetrate and cause them to rot.

Waterproof vinyl is a better alternative because it resists warping and staining. Laminate is water-resistant but not waterproof. Porcelain is more absorbent, but ceramic is more affordable and can handle low-traffic bathrooms.


Cleaning the bathroom is one of the most hated household chore of all time. 1 in 10 Americans have tried to bribe a partner or roommate into doing it for them.

Keep this in mind and let it temper all of your bathroom ideas. Choosing flooring that's easy to maintain will save you hours of dread.

Tile is durable and looks great in a bathroom, but it means you'll have to maintain the grout lines regularly. Wood requires regular mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming. Spills can set in if they're not attended to immediately.

Laminate can be easily wiped clean with a brush. Vinyl is fine as long as you mop it regularly.


Tile looks beautiful in bathrooms and can withstand water, but the installation is expensive and time-intensive. Stone is also challenging to install.

Vinyl is one of the simplest types of floors to lay. The exact process depends on whether you have to remove existing flooring first.

Measure your bathroom to determine how much flooring you'll need. That'll determine exactly how difficult it'll be to install. It'll also help you decide if you can take on the project yourself or will have to hire a professional.


What makes a beautiful bathroom is subjective, so be sure to pick the material that goes with your style and complements the rest of your bathroom. You might want textured vinyl or laminate with a wood-grain feel. 

Custom tiles give you more freedom to create unique styles. Natural stone and concrete feel more modern and luxurious.

If you have a small bathroom, flooring design can make it feel larger. Try glossy finishes that bounce light around the room or lay the floor in a herringbone pattern.

Do want to go bright or would rather stick with neutral colors? Could a pattern brighten up your space, or would you rather stay simple? Browse a few bathroom designs online for inspiration.


Ceramic or porcelain tiles are cheaper than marble or stone. Wood can be moderately or highly expensive depending on what type you choose. Bamboo is a trendy but inexpensive option compared to hardwood.

Vinyl and laminate are two of the cheapest bathroom flooring materials. They're best for buyers on a budget, and you can also find varieties that look high-end.

Include the cost of installation in your budget for your flooring project. Will you be doing it yourself or having a professional help? Get quotes from several companies and ask them to help you decide on the best material.

Resale Value

Choosing the best bathroom flooring is an investment in your home's resale value. Think in the long term and try to decide what will look great now and attract buyers later. 

Vinyl flooring is functional but doesn't provide the best return on investment. Porcelain, stone, and tile are better for increasing resale value.

Keep your eye on trends in the market. Retro styles like patterned tiles are back in style. Buyers still can't resist homes that have genuine hardwood floors, even in the bathroom.

Once you get a pool of potential buyers, consider what type of flooring they would want. A family may not be into big, showy tiles because they're cold and slippery. A single bachelor who hopes to impress may love them.

Where to Find Bathroom Flooring

Options for bathroom flooring include a laundry list of vinyl, tiles, wood, stone, and even carpet. Comparing them helps you find the best choice for your space.

How much do they cost, and how much resale value will they add to your home? Are they slip-resistant and waterproof? How difficult will they be to install and maintain? Which one fits my style?

Get a free in-home estimate from National Floors Direct for new bathroom floors today.