A bathroom floor should be moisture-proof, stain-resistant, have a safe non-skid surface when wet, and be durable enough to stand up to constant foot traffic. Also, a bathroom floor should be good-looking and fit within your budget. When searching for a bathroom floor, consider your priorities — safety, kids, costs and eco-friendliness.

Low Cost But a Tough
Bathroom Floor

Vinyl flooring has various designs at a relatively modest cost. Although the price can low, you’ll find fewer style choices among the least expensive varieties of a bathroom floor.

 

Highlight

Sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles are considered the lowest-cost option for a bathroom floor. Vinyl is tough flooring, and the best brands offer 20-year warranties.

Drawback

Vinyl tile isn’t the best bathroom floor type — too many seams for water to seep through.

  • Tip: The thicker the vinyl, the higher the quality and the cost. Thicker vinyl can feature a textured surface, and some types do an excellent job mimicking the appearance of real stone and wood.

The Designer’s Choice
of a Bathroom Floor

Ceramics have various sizes and shapes, and can be mixed to create endless custom patterns — it’s the ultimate designer’s medium of a bathroom floor.

 

Highlight

Ceramic tile is a clay-based tile fired at high temperatures. Ceramics last forever and are resistant to scratches, cracks, and chips on a bathroom floor.

Drawback

Ceramic tile can feel cold in the morning. If you have sensitive feet, install a radiant heating mat underneath a bathroom floor.

  • Tip: Decorative edgings and inlays can boost cost considerably; you can save and still create great-looking designs simply by using same-sized tiles in different colour combinations on a bathroom floor.

Best Bathroom Floor
for Kids

Kids have a knack for dropping the shampoo and splashing water on a bathroom floor. If protection from water and stains is a high priority, sheet vinyl is the choice for you.

 

Highlight

Vinyl resists stains are impervious to moisture and is tough and durable enough to stand up to heavy use — and abuse. Smooth-surfaced vinyl can be slippery when wet so select textured varieties that provide traction.

Drawback

Seams are opportunities for water to seep between tiles and soak the subfloor.

  • Tip: Sheet vinyl comes in 12-foot-wide rolls that make a bathroom floor installation virtually seamless.

Best Bathroom Floor
for Safety

Glass and glazed ceramic floor tiles with an anti-slip finish are designed to provide superior traction. Look for tiles certified to meet slip-resistance standards.

 

Highlight

Grout lines between the glass and ceramic tiles provide texture that increases traction.
Mosaic tiles produce lots of grout lines.

Drawback

Don’t use glass on shower floors, because glass scratches and needs often cleaning.

  • Tip: Use a light-colored thin set behind glass tiles to enhance sparkle.

Best for Durability
of a Bathroom Floor

Quarry tiles are stronger and more wear-resistant than glazed tile and are slip-resistant.

 

Highlight

Quarry tiles give you a natural look, last a long time, and gain character with age — just like the stone in the wild does.

Drawback

Quarry tiles on a bathroom floor with natural ridges feel rough on sensitive feet. Quarry tile must be treated at least every two years with a clear tile sealer to prevent staining on a bathroom floor

  • Tip: Don’t use quarry tiles if you want a uniform look because nature’s not into matchy-matchy. The stone has a wide range of colour.

Best Green Option
of a Bathroom Floor

All but forgotten only years ago due to the popularity of vinyl, linoleum is staging a comeback as a green flooring option.

 

Highlight

It’s made with renewable, biodegradable materials including linseed oil and cork, and produces no harmful vapours. It comes in many colours and patterns.

Drawback

Linoleum can be used in bathrooms because it stands up well to traffic and is resistant to moisture, but it’s susceptible to staining. For this reason, some manufacturers add a protective coating that helps guard against stains and scratching.

  • Tip: If you buy linoleum without a protective coating, polish it every two years to keep a bathroom floor good-looking.

When Money is No Object

Stone floor tile — granite, marble, limestone, slate, and travertine — as a bathroom floor gives a luxurious feel

 

Highlight

They’re beautiful, durable, water- and stain-resistant, ideal as a bathroom floor.

Drawback

Honed and polished stone tile can be slippery when wet, so choose a textured, skid-resistant surface of a bathroom floor. Tumbled varieties of stone have rustic textures that provide good slip resistance.

  • Tip: Marble is stunning as a bathroom floor, but don’t choose marble with thick veins that could contain iron and age unappealingly.