Deciding on new bathroom flooring isn’t as easy as picking out which tiles you want. These days, there are seemingly limitless options when it comes to your new bathroom floor. With so many options out there it can be overwhelming to choose. We’ve taken a look at the most popular options and compared them so you can get a better understanding of what will work in your home. Read on to learn about the best bathroom flooring options.
1. Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles
One of the most popular options for bathrooms, these tiles are likely what you picture when you think about bathroom flooring. The difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles has to do with their water absorption rate. Porcelain is a part of the general ceramic tile family. The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) certifies tile as “porcelain” if the tile has a water absorption rate of 0.5% or less. This makes porcelain a great option for bathrooms where water is splashed around or if you have an open concept shower set up. Ceramic is better suited to powder rooms and ensuites that won’t be exposed to as much water.
The biggest pros of porcelain and ceramic tiles are that they are extremely durable, waterproof, and stain-resistant. This makes them easy to clean and maintain in general. They come in a wide variety of styles and colours and are moderately priced depending on the style you choose.
This material can be slippery when wet, but certified slip-resistant tiles do exist. They can be cold on bare feet unless radiant floor heating is installed underneath. Depending on the pattern/style you’ve chosen, they can be difficult to install, so be sure to get a pro to do it for you.
These tiles come in thousands of different combinations. From size to style, you’re sure to find the right look for your bathroom. Some tiles even look like wood or stone but function better in a bathroom. White tiles are often a go-to for their clean and bright look, however, they do show dirt faster. Consider going with a light grey that will conceal dirt better if you’re trying to open up your space.
Due to the wide variety of sizes and styles, prices will vary. Smaller sized tiles will require more labour and therefore cost more to be installed so keep this in mind when it comes to your final budget. On average for ceramic and porcelain tiles, you can expect to pay anywhere from less than $1 to over $8 per square foot, plus $4 to $8 for installation.
2. Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Some homeowners may be wary of vinyl floors and think that they are outdated. Today, vinyl comes in a wide variety of shapes and patterns – you can even get options that look like hardwood and stone. These higher-end vinyl products are called Luxury Vinyl Flooring, or LVF, and are often compared to laminate flooring as they both use high-quality photos to imitate more expensive looking materials.
Vinyl flooring is budget-friendly and easy to clean. It comes in both waterproof and stain-proof options. Vinyl tiles usually have a felt or foam backing that makes them softer to stand on than ceramic tile and less likely to slip on. Another benefit is that it can be installed over existing flooring which makes it a good choice for quick renovations.
Due to the seams, it can be difficult to match up and install correctly. Always get a pro to take care of this for you so it looks seamless. Some vinyl has been known to emit VOCs which are bad for your health and the environment. Check with your pro to look into the manufacturer’s policy when selecting your flooring.
As LVF is so popular, it comes in a wide variety of designs. These can either be in sheet, plank or tile form. Luxury vinyl plank flooring comes in widths of around 5 inches and lengths about 48 inches. While it can look very high quality, it will not increase the property value of your home so if you’re planning on renovating for resale, consider a different material.
Depending on the flooring you choose, you can expect to pay between $2-10 per square foot. Prices are based on the level of quality of luxury vinyl flooring you choose and range anywhere from $2 to $5 a square foot, plus around $1.50 for installation. On average, luxury vinyl flooring is $6 per square foot, $7 installed.
For those looking for an eco-friendly option that still looks great, cork is a go-to choice. Cork is a highly renewable resource that is sustainably harvested from the bark of evergreen cork oak trees. It looks good and feels good and you can feel good about purchasing it, too.
Highly sustainable and the greenest option for bathroom flooring. Cork is easy to install and can be installed over existing flooring. It has anti-microbial properties which means it is resistant to mold, mildew, rot and pests. Comfortable to walk on as it is soft to the touch and shock-absorbing, cork flooring will remain warm to the touch in cold weather.
While it is water-resistant it is not waterproof. Cork will also discolour over time and does show signs of regular wear. While relatively low maintenance, it does require occasional resealing with wax or polyurethane to protect the surface from water damage. Cork floors should be resealed every few years to make sure moisture doesn’t leak in. Installation can be difficult, so it’s always best to let a pro handle it.
Due to its soft texture, indents can be left by heavy items such as bathtubs and large vanities. Cork comes with a smaller variety of design options, but you’re sure to find something to suit your bathroom.
As with all flooring, prices vary from about $3 to $8 per square foot, plus $1 for installation. On average, cork flooring is about $5 per square foot, or $6 once installed.
4. Natural Stone
If you’re looking for something truly beautiful and luxurious, natural stone is the best option for you, as long as you’re willing to pay for it. Natural stone flooring refers to several types of mountain-born mineral substances. These include slate, marble, limestone, travertine, granite and sandstone.
Each piece of stone used for your flooring has its own unique look, making each stone floor one of a kind. Stone floors are durable with hard-wearing surfaces that last a lifetime and can handle moisture and humidity. They can be waterproof if sealed properly. Natural stone floors also have an excellent resale value making them a great investment in your home.
Being so unique and luxurious, natural stone is the most expensive bathroom flooring you can buy. Along with it being expensive to buy, it is also difficult to install, so be sure to hire a pro who has experience installing natural stone flooring. Certain types of stone will require regular cleaning and sealing to maintain its look and integrity. Stone can become slippery when wet and is also very hard to stand on for long periods of time.
The biggest selling feature of stone flooring is how beautiful it looks. Adding this to your bathroom will make it look like a spa retreat in no time. There are many stones to choose from including marble, granite and slate. You can also pick various textures including etched, sandblasted, and tumbled. Remember that each stone comes from the Earth and is unique, so don’t go for this option if you want a seamless and uniform look throughout your bathroom.
Natural stone comes with a big price tag. Not only is it the most expensive to buy upfront, it is also difficult to install and therefore costs more as well. Depending on the stone you choose, prices can range anywhere from $5 to $10 per square foot plus $7 for installation.
As you can see, there are countless options when it comes to choosing a new bathroom floor. Consider what look you want and compare that to your budget. While natural stone might not be an option right now, LVF could be a great alternative. If you’re unsure of how to get the look you want with the budget you have, speak with a flooring pro who can help bring your vision to life.
No matter what option you go with, it’s always best to hire an experienced professional to install your flooring. You can quickly and easily connect with companies in your area and get quotes right from HomeStars. Simply click on the box below and enter your project details and we’ll send your project out to trusted companies near you who will get back to you with a quote. From there, your only an appointment away from having beautiful new bathroom floors.