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The Best Bathroom Flooring Ideas: A Complete Guide

Choosing the right bathroom flooring to accompany your new bathroom can be tricky, you want to make sure that you pick the right flooring that’s not only practical and durable but stylish and well suited to your needs. Your bathroom floor can have a dramatic effect on how your bathroom looks overall, from style, type and colour it can change the whole look of your bathroom.

Whilst there are many options for bathrooms, ultimately you want a type of flooring that is waterproof and won’t require regular maintenance. 

This article will take a look at some of the best bathroom flooring ideas and what they can offer for your bathroom.

Bathroom Flooring Options: Wood

bright bathroom with wooden floor

For simplicity we will be looking at wood flooring options, as this is one of the most common bathroom flooring options, as it is such a timeless flooring option it can typically go with any bathroom décor. For example an oak wood flooring can have a very light and airy feel that can go beautifully with white or off-white walls and modern elements. Whereas a darker mahogany style of wood would you go perfectly with a modernised darker bathroom where the primary colours might reflect a more monochrome style.

The important things to consider when debating a wood bathroom flooring is how can you make it last, the issue with wood flooring is that it doesn’t last long if it gets wet, which can be an immediate issue if you decide to use it to decorate your bathroom. There’s a few options you can choose to protect your wooden flooring like using a hard wax over the wood to add durability, or keep up to date with maintenance, regularly drying the wood and replacing when needed or simply replace it with order substitute wood ‘effect’ flooring such as tile or vinyl.

In general wood is a great choice because it’s a classic material and one that will add a real luxury touch to your bathroom, especially when paired with a feature wall or shower panels that can maximise the effect of the wood, and if you’re not worried about cost then this is arguably one of the finest options, but you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for regular upkeep to maintain a healthy bathroom.

The Pro’s Of Solid Wood flooring: 

  • Adding warmth – Unlike ceramic tile, adding a wooden flooring can leave a warm underfoot that insulates your bathroom. 
  • Aesthetic – There’s no denying that due to it’s luxury looks that real wood has become a popular flooring option for many modern bathroom design
  • Lifespan – If maintained solid hardwood flooring has a long life expectancy, of up to 25 years. Keeping the wood finish intact can be tricky, but well worth the investment if a natural wood style is your desired bathroom aesthetic

The Cons of Solid Hardwood Flooring 

  • Water Absorption – Hardwood flooring is not a waterproof flooring material, ultimately over an extended period of time water absorption is the no.1 cause of a damaged wood flooring. In order to prevent damages and wear on the material it’s important to wipe away any pools of water or splatters ASAP. 
  • Maintenance – As previously discussed. with a non water-resistant flooring option, you’re likely to experience extra maintenance care, not to mention the difficulties in finding the correct bathroom cleaning products to protect your solid hardwood from breakages.

Bathroom Flooring Options : Tile

Tile is the most popular bathroom flooring, it’s quick to install and will look fantastic, and there’s countless options when it comes to the types of tile to use, from natural stone tile to ceramic tile flooring, there’s so much to choose from, but it’s a little more expensive than you may think, not to mention the cost of labour. 

Tiles are essentially a great choice for your bathroom floor, with being water-resistant and offering a number of different styles, shapes, sizes & colours, you could completely change the entire look of your bathroom with different tiles. Some of the most popular types of floor tile for bathroom floor ideas includes, porcelain tile, ceramic tile and stone tile. However recently a new trend including penny tiles and hexagon tile have become popular and are seeming to be a great bathroom flooring option.

However a severe drawback to tiling is the time and effort it takes to install, often you might have to call your local handyman or ask a family member to help with the bathroom remodel or design due to difficulty whilst tiling, although we always recommend hiring a professional who can create your dream bathroom, often having tile installed can become expensive, and we appreciate that many home owners would rather do-it-themselves.

It’s also really important to consider having a couple of bathroom mats dotted along your bathroom floor when choosing tiles, due to their ability to be practically completely waterproof, it can cause some slipping hazards, getting some low-cost bathroom mats can help achieve a slip free stylish-zone on a budget!

The Pros Of Floor Tiles

  • Durability – Tiles are renowned for being an extremely durable product, unlike wood, they will be able to withstand water challenges and won’t break easily.
  • Low Maintenance – Unlike most types of  bathroom flooring, you won’t require a cleaning routine with bathroom floor tiles, typically a simple wipe down with a spray mop and you’re good to go! 
  • Design Choices – There are an unlimited option when it comes to ceramic tiles, practically every colour imaginable, every pattern and every shape is available. It’s even possible to customise your own selection of individual tiles or even adopt mosaic tiles.

The Cons of Bathroom Tile 

  • Cold Underfoot- Unfortunately, it’s a common problem that ceramic tiles and porcelain tile flooring share, they do not offer anything for warmth in your bathroom, and can often be cold to the touch. 
  • Time Consuming –  Whilst tiling will give your home a smooth finish, you better be prepared for a long installation process, which can often cost a large price tag with professional installers. 
  • Hazardous Slips – As we touched upon earlier, tiles have practically zero water absorption rate, meaning any spillage will stay on your floor until cleaned up. This can be quite hazardous if you have any small children or elderly relatives as a fall can be quite painful onto hard floor tiles. 

Bathroom Flooring Options : Stone

Stone flooring for a bathroom can arguably one of the most luxurious flooring choices, even going as far to add value to your homes overall property. Stone flooring is known for its availability in many different varieties, styles and shade, this can be from traditional stone to marble and anything in between.

Natural stone bathrooms can be paired well with oak and wooden furniture, or even with a more modern approach to bathroom décor, such as marble countertops, either way the stone can drastically improve the overall feel of your bathroom, so if you’re not looking for a complete redesign of your bathroom, adding stone might be just the thing you need to do to turn your bathroom from boring to luxurious in no time!

The Pros Of Natural Stone Flooring

  • Repairs – Real stone is known to be quite durable, but if damages do occur, it’ll only be the individual piece that needs replacing, not the entire floor.
  • Colour Choices – The great thing about natural stone is there are multiple different styles which offer a pop of colour from lighter colours of marble stone to darker more textured slate stone.
  • Textured Surface – The great thing about natural bathroom flooring materials is they add quality through texture, often slate and stone flooring can give off a great authentic feel and add character to your bathroom

The Cons of Stone Types Of Bathroom Flooring 

  • Expense – It’s arguable that stone flooring is one of the most expensive options for bathroom flooring, for both cost of stone and installation 
  • Hazardous – Much like ceramic bathroom tiles, falling on stone can be hazardous and cause serious harm. 
  • Non-Slip Resistant – Again, much like the tile flooring range, stone requires to be mopped and dried soon after exposure to water, whilst it’s not known for being as slippery as most tiles, a marble stone flooring or natural stone flooring can cause slip hazards.

Bathroom Flooring Options : Vinyl

laying laminate vinyl floor
laying laminate vinyl floor

When it comes to bathroom flooring, we all love a bit of vinyl flooring and we all love the ease of it, it’s typically water resistant and can mimic the effect of other bathroom flooring options, without the heavy price tag. Vinyl also comes in many different styles depending on how it is placed, meaning luxury vinyl tiles can be installed uniquely for your home and based upon your needs. Vinyl comes in the form of plank boards or essentially tile and vinyl plank is arguably one of the easiest processes when it comes to flooring, in the same way laminate floor can save time and money, so can luxury vinyl plank flooring, however it does also come with its downsides.

Not all of us want the look of vinyl, and even some of us that like it aren’t keen on the amount of maintenance that comes with it, whilst it is waterproof, it’s prone to more wear and tare damages than any of the other flooring options. Vinyl also isn’t available when considering underfloor heating, which is disappointing and can drastically change your bathroom ideas.

The Pros of Vinyl Bathroom Flooring 

  • Easy Installation –  Vinyl floors are renowned for being simple to install, you won’t need to hire a professional, you’ll be able to DIY it and it will only take a few hours. 
  • Textured Finish – Much like other more expensive alternatives, vinyl provides multiple different styling options, each with their own feel and textured designs for ultimate realism.
  • Affordable Option –  Vinyl is known to be the cheapest option for bathrooms. 

The Cons of Vinyl Products 

  • Cannot be repaired- Unfortunately sheet vinyl flooring is unable to be repaired as traditional flooring is, you would have to remove and replace the sheet to restore the flooring
  • Shorter Lifespan – Whilst it is a much cheaper and inexpensive alternative, this also means the lifespan of the vinyl floors are shorter than that of tile or stone. 
  • Quality varies – This isn’t necessarily a con, but finding a good provider of vinyl flooring is key, some companies differ in the quality of vinyl, so it’s important to look for a luxury vinyl flooring company that focuses on durability

Bathroom Flooring Options : Linoleum

linoleum flooring

Linoleum is the cheapest flooring option to choose, yet is easy to maintain and can last for over 60 years. Made from rubber, lino has the advantages of being very cheap to install and clean, water based and generally is a very good choice for bathroom flooring, given the price it’s impossible to go wrong.

In some areas of the world lino is a more permanent fixture, whereas in many parts of Europe and Asia lino is a washable floor. As a good household surface it’s a great alternative to tile and provides an easy way to preserve or improve a bathroom without the expense of going for a more expensive materials such as marble.

Some of the disadvantages of Linoleum include the general wear and tare of the product, depending on the brand and quality you purchase you may find yourself replacing linoleum more than the average bathroom floor, however with good and regular upkeep linoleum has been known to last decades.

The pros of Linoleum Flooring Types

  • Style – Much like other sheet flooring alternatives, linoleum is known for it’s varieties of shades, colours and styles
  • Maintenance – This is an easy to manage flooring, a quick spray mop will clean your flooring and keep it hygienic.
  • Eco- Friendly – Linoleum flooring is known for being biodegradable meaning it can be recycled and reused. 

The Cons of Linoleum sheet flooring

  • Durability – Linoleum is known for it’s lightweight feel, which also leaves it susceptible to scratches, markings and scuffs. Dragging furniture or heavy object on top of linoleum will likely cause it to scuff. 
  • Light exposure – A rare disadvantage that a number of UK homeowners experience with linoleum is the discolouration after long-term light exposure. 
  • Odour – During the initial installation, Linoleum is known to produce a distinct odour which can last a few weeks. 

Bathroom Flooring Options : Recycled Glass

recycled glass flooring

If you are looking for a recycled bathroom flooring you can’t go wrong with recycled glass tiles. The luscious design of glass tiles is beautiful, from tiling your bathroom floor to a floor plate. They look stunning and have become a firm favourite with the interior designers worldwide, and are of course noted for their environmentally friendly production. You can find glass tiles in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours, these designs are an easy way to add a nice pop of colour to your bathroom, they will make sure that your bathroom stays looking stylish year round.

One of the main downsides to recycled glass is it requires expert installation, meaning you’re likely going to fork out a lump sum on installation alone, not to mention the price of the overall recycled glass, whilst they are recycled the price is very prominent and can often be as expensive as stone or marble.

The Pros of Glass Tile Flooring 

  • Environmentally Friendly – It’s literally in the name, recycled glass is recycled products which are transformed into beautiful flooring tiles, great for the environment. 
  • High durability – Such as tiles, glass tile flooring is strong in durability and built to last.
  • Easy maintenance – As they are made from recycled glass, the tiles become relatively easy to clean, and unlike traditional ceramic tiles, they rarely stain. 

The Cons of Glass Flooring

  • Expense – Glass flooring is one of the more expensive flooring options, alongside stone and hardwood, not due to the materials, but due to the meticulous installation process. 
  • Cold – Like traditional tiles, the glass does  not provide a warm-underfoot and can be cold to the touch. 
  • Slippery – Again, they operate and work in the same way as traditional tiles, so they can easily become a slip-hazard for young children or elderly relatives, if not mopped up straight away. 

Conclusion

Choosing bathroom flooring is a bit like picking paint for a wall, one thing will fit perfectly with your bathroom but another will not. From a practicality point of view, a bathroom with standard tiling is fine, but for a statement bathroom floor, it is hard to beat classic stone or recycled glass. One thing for sure though is that the choice of bathroom flooring can give your bathroom a completely different look and feel. Bespoke bathroom flooring can really make the difference. Its a great place to go for creative ideas and to let your imagination run wild. There are lots of different bathroom flooring ideas to consider such as marble, wood, patterned tiles and many more, but the important thing to remember is to create a space that provides a luxurious relaxing space in your home, that you and all the family can enjoy.

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Ken Davies

Ken Davies

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