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Best Bathroom Flooring Options

Best Bathroom Flooring Options
You’ve decided it’s time to replace your bathroom floor. Or that house you just found is perfect except for the floor that was put in when your grandparents walked up hill both ways to school. Your bathroom can be one of the smallest areas to put new flooring down. It can also be more expensive than you think.

Your options for bathroom flooring like your basement flooring options have to take into account the moisture issues. More than any other consideration the problem of moisture will determine the flooring that you choose.

The moisture problem is obvious, the shower increases the humidity. Both the bath and the shower will leak causing direct problems with your choice of flooring. Whatever flooring you choose must be able to both withstand this repeated soaking, and be able to be dried when it does occur. This above all things is your primary thought when selecting the best bathroom flooring options for your home.

The other things you have to think about when making your selection are durability, safety, and practicality. Your bathroom flooring must be durable enough to stand the test of time with high traffic. It must be practical for your bathroom setup. Lastly, it must be aesthetically pleasing and suit your style and fit in with the rest of your home.

Your options from worst to best

CARPET: At around 4 to 5 dollars per foot carpet can seem an attractive choice for bathroom flooring. While carpet may be fine in most areas of your home, in your bathroom it is one of the worst options that you can choose. Due to the water issue carpet is a poor choice. It is extremely difficult to dry when water is tracked out of the bathtub or shower. Rarely will the padding and subflooring completely dry even when the carpet piling feels dry. This remaining moisture will eventually cause wood rot, mold issues and your floor to warp and degrade. If you are dead set on choosing carpeting, use one with the lowest piling, a mold resistant padding, and seal the subfloor from moisture with a vapor barrier.

SOLID HARDWOOD: Solid hardwood is only a slightly better choice than carpeting. Hardwood can be very difficult to seal properly. Due to this water intrusion almost always occurs over time. With this choice you must be very sure every gap is sealed and there is no way for water to get beneath the hardwood into the subflooring. Should water intrusion occur there is no way to dry it, and the typical problems will occur. However, Solid hardwood looks good and with the right preparation it can work. Hardwood flooring averages between 8 and 11 dollars per foot.

CONCRETE: Similar to your choice of basement flooring options Concrete can be used in your bathroom, but must be sealed to ensure water doesn’t seep through it to the flooring below. When properly sealed, painted or etched concrete can be an attractive option. Combining affordability with durability concrete can work in your bathroom but is not commonly found in most homes. Concrete will cost between 16 and 20 dollars per foot depending on labor costs. However there is the issue of safety to consider, although this can be handled with throw rugs of some sort.

LAMINATES: This type of flooring can work well as a good bathroom floor option. However it must also be sealed properly. This can often be one of the more difficult aspects of working with laminate flooring. Laminate flooring comes in many different styles and can be often be found that mimic other natural substances. Laminate flooring works well but must be installed so no water can get to the wood beneath A fairly inexpensive option at around 6 to 8 dollars per foot linoleum has a bad reputation as one of the “cheap” flooring options similar to vinyl.

LINOLEUM: Not just for kitchen floors anymore, linoleum is a viable choice for your bathroom flooring. One of the more eco-friendly options linoleum is biodegradable which can be a selling point to future buyers. Linoleum can be found in many different styles and patterns. However there are some downsides to this option. Linoleum is susceptible staining, which is a problem in a place where things are spilled often. Also linoleum must be polished every few years to ensure that it stays waterproof. You can expect to pay 7 to 11 dollars per foot for this option.

ENGINEERED HARDWOOD: If you aren’t often in the market for flooring this not a common term and you may have never run across it. Engineered hardwood is, in common terms, really high quality plywood. Engineered hardwood is composed of layers of softwoods made glued together with a final layer of hardwood as a veneer. This option combines the look of hardwood while being much more resistance to water damage, and is relatively inexpensive at around 5 to 7 dollars per foot.

STONE: Stone tile ranges from quarry stone to marble. Stone tile can be a great choice for your bathroom. The stone itself will not degrade, is completely waterproof, and stands up to the wear and tear of traffic. While a good choice there are still some considerations, stone is slippery when it gets wet so safety can be an issue. Although cheaper than luxury type floors the cost is often prohibitive. The stone must be treated every few years to keep its finish, and particular care must be taken to ensure the joints between stone tiles are waterproof. This option can cost anywhere from 7 to 110 dollars per foot.

VINYL: Vinyl is one of the most popular choices. An Inexpensive option, vinyl can often be installed for as little as 2 to 7 dollars per foot. Vinyl comes in either tiles, or sheets. Vinyl sheets are the most waterproof option, and can be found in styles that mimic other types of flooring. Tiles are inexpensive options, but care must be taken to ensure the joints where they meet are waterproof. Vinyl tiles also tend to come loose over time and may need to be replaced. The downside to being inexpensive is that it is often considered cheap and may not improve your resale value as much as another option.

CERAMIC TILES: Ceramic tile is a good balance of all considerations and should be at the top of your list of options for your bathroom floor. Ceramic tile is waterproof, fairly inexpensive, and can be found in a wide array of styles that can mimic the look of other options. The joints between the tiles must be made waterproof to keep moisture from the subfloor though. Like stone, ceramic tile can be slippery once it is wet. According to the national kitchen and bath association 83% use it. You will find that the cost for ceramic tile is in the middle of your options at around between 6 and 30 dollars per foot.


Your bathroom floor can be a great selling point and a good return on invested money. Taking the time to make the choose the from best bathroom floor options will ensure that your bathroom is up to date and ready for the years to come. Your bathroom has the special problem of constant moisture, and water spills to consider, this above all other things must guide your choices.