Bathroom flooring has a big job — to keep you safe while looking good. Fortunately, there are many worthy contenders.
They’re water-resistant (no slipping on a wet floor), highly durable (lots of traffic in and out) and stylish (many colors and patterns). Here’s how to find the flooring that’s right for your bathroom.
Figure out your budget
This helps you to be realistic in your search. But with so many choices on the market, you’ll easily find something that you can both love and afford.
Start collecting ideas
Before hitting the stores, browse design magazines, binge-watch home decorating shows (hey, it’s research!), check out Pinterest and look at retailers’ websites to get inspiration for your own project. When you’re ready to talk to a salesperson, you’ll be able to describe what kinds of flooring you like and dislike, so you can be shown samples that fit all your criteria.
Know what’s available
There’s a reason that porcelain and ceramic tile are so popular. Both are waterproof and available in many colors, patterns and sizes. “Porcelain is very popular now that you can get patterns with a more realistic stone look,” says Angie Gardeck, owner of New Perspective Design, in Cary, Illinois. Vinyl flooring is water-resistant and durable and comes in tiles, sheets and planks. Waterproof laminate lets you have the look of wood in the bathroom without the moisture concerns of standard laminate (which isn’t recommended in a bathroom). Natural stone flooring exudes elegance; choose one that’s textured like slate to avoid slipping accidents. Or, says Gardeck, “always consider a honed or matte finish for floor tile to reduce slipping on wet surfaces.”
Know what not to consider
“Obviously, I’d avoid carpet for hygienic reasons but I’d also avoid real wood due to the moisture,” says Gardeck.
Base your choice on what’s happening in your life.
If you’re planning to stay in your home for many years, you may choose a more expensive flooring than you would if you were planning to put it up for sale soon. Same goes if you’re empty nesters — you could do a natural stone versus vinyl flooring if the bathroom doesn’t get much traffic anymore.
According to Gardeck, popular looks for bathroom flooring include bold tile patterns that set the tone for the whole bathroom design, porcelain tile that resembles wood and small mosaic patterns.