The Best Bathroom Flooring to Consider for Your Remodel

This simple guide to popular bathroom flooring materials can help narrow the choices to what's best for you.

If you're planning a bathroom remodel, one of the most important choices you'll make is what type of flooring to install. There's quite an array of different bathroom flooring options, including vinyl, tile, wood, laminate, and more. We've combed through all of these choices to determine the best materials.

Before you make a decision, consider your needs and your budget. Do you plan to install a radiant-heat subfloor? If so, pick a material that's conducive to heat. Are you remodeling a powder room that lacks a shower or bath? Then don't worry about picking a wholly waterproof floor. And how much are you willing to spend? Some materials, like high-end tile, are more expensive than others.

We'll introduce you to the best bathroom flooring options and identify their pros and cons. For more information on any given bathroom flooring material, and how it might fit your needs, consult with a local flooring expert. Now, who's ready to pick out the best bathroom floor?

bathroom sliding glass shower
Marty Baldwin

Popular Bathroom Floor Tiles

Ceramic tile is one of the most popular flooring options for bathrooms. It offers a clean, classic look that's also extremely durable, waterproof, and stain-resistant. To avoid slip-and-fall accidents, choose a tile that's certified slip-resistant.

On the downside, bathroom tiles are cold underfoot unless installed over a radiant floor heating system, which is a smart investment. Further on the downside, ceramic tile can be tricky to install for even seasoned DIY workers.

When choosing a tile floor design, consider color. While white bathroom tiles look sharp, they're often hard to keep clean. Gray bathroom tiles, on the other hand, offer the desired neutral without being too difficult to maintain. Additionally, if you have shower tiles, bath tiles, or other bathroom wall tiles, consider incorporating the same color scheme or design on the floor.

In terms of size, bathroom floor tiles can span from a few inches to a few feet. Smaller tiles may require more labor, and thus, may cost more. Larger tiles typically are more quickly installed and can make a space feel larger. However, if your space is too small, you'll be forced to cut many of the tiles, which can also drive up labor costs.

shiplap walls glassed shower bathroom

Vinyl or Linoleum Bathroom Flooring

One of the most budget-friendly bathroom flooring ideas, vinyl is easy to clean, waterproof, and stainproof. Choosing a top-quality sheet vinyl or linoleum (rather than peel-and-stick tiles) will reduce seams where water can seep through. A felt or foam backing makes vinyl softer than wood or tile, which is helpful in bathrooms, where slip-and-fall accidents are common on wet floors. Experienced DIY workers can tackle vinyl bathroom flooring installation, but professional help is advised for large bathrooms that will require piecing seams.

Bathroom with UK flag shower curtain
Nathan Schroder

Cork Flooring for Bathrooms

Made from bark, cork is a highly renewable resource, and environmentally friendly. It's resistant to mold, mildew, and water damage, making cork floors perfect for a bathroom. A polyurethane topcoat will protect the floors from minor spills (cork should be resealed every few years to protect against moisture). Glue-down cork tiles, which come finished or unfinished, are perfect for above-grade applications, but click-in-place planks should be used for below-grade bathrooms. To prevent water seeping between the gaps, it's best to choose unfinished cork and finish the floor on-site. Installation of cork bathroom floors can be tricky, so it's best left to a professional.

modern bathroom wall skylight
Ed Gohlich

Bamboo Bathroom Flooring

Made from a highly sustainable resource, bamboo flooring is eco-friendly and easy on the budget, costing as little as half the price of hardwood floors. As a bathroom flooring option, the smart choice is engineered bamboo (rather than solid bamboo) because the planks are extremely durable and ideal for wet environments. They're also simple to install, and damaged pieces can be replaced easily. Keep in mind that cheap bamboo flooring is easily scratched, so you'll want to treat it like hardwood, and lay down protector pads when moving furniture.

Vanity counter double mirrors white bathroom wood floor and walls
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

Wood and Laminate Bathroom Flooring

A timeless choice that rarely loses popularity, hardwood floors create a warm and classic look. Engineered wood, which is made of real wood veneer backed by plywood, resists humidity better than solid wood and is a smart choice in a damp space. There are also many prefinished options that are water-resistant and withstand heavy foot traffic. Budget-friendly bathroom laminate flooring gives the look of wood, but is actually a photographic image sandwiched between two wear layers. The material is exceptionally resistant to scratches and stains. When considering wood bathroom floors, know that water doesn't play well with these materials. One big waterline leak can cause serious and expensive damage.

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