There are a variety of materials to choose from when it comes to bathroom tile beyond the typical ceramic, porcelain, and vinyl options. You can also consider materials like stone and cork for your flooring.
When choosing bathroom flooring for your bathroom renovation, it is crucial to prioritize materials that can prevent water damage and minimize slipperiness. Once these are accounted for, the final decision is usually based on balancing style and cost. To help you decide, read this guide on the best tile options for bathroom floors. It can provide you with a better understanding of your choices.
In the past, stone tiles were mainly used in foyers but have become more prevalent in other rooms like bathrooms over the last few decades. These tiles come in a variety of colors, including cream, blue, red, green, and gold, as well as different textures like cleft, tumbled, sandblasted, etched, and flamed, and are made from materials such as limestone, marble, granite, and slate.
Ceramic or porcelain tiles are often less expensive than stone tiles that look similar. Additionally, natural stone is porous and needs more maintenance than ceramic tiles. It is recommended to clean and seal stone tiles regularly.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Unique colors and textures
- High property resale value
- Product limitations can be mitigated with sealers.
- Desired by many home buyers.
- Expensive - expect to pay an average of $7.50/sq foot.
- Cold (must be heated)
- Brittle easily breaks.
- Porous (must be sealed)
- It uses up natural resources.
Vinyl is a convenient and inexpensive choice for bathroom flooring, which is why it's so popular. It's suitable for all bathrooms in the house, including the master bath and powder room. Vinyl beats other options regarding safety, comfort, and durability. Additionally, vinyl tile manufacturers have improved the material's appearance and ease of installation. It's self-adhesive and can be cut with a utility knife.
Vinyl flooring is a synthetic floor covering made from plastic or PVC. It has multiple layers, so it's softer on the feet than ceramic tiles for long periods of standing. Many design and texture options are available for homeowners, including those that look like hardwood floors, rough stone finish, and ceramic tiles.
- Relatively easy to install.
- Very affordable, costing between $2 to $5 per square foot.
- They are highly durable—when cared for properly.
- They can be tough to remove.
- Can be of inconsistent quality - comes in thicknesses from 2 mm to 8+ mm.
- Older vinyl floors were made with asbestos.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer a wide range of options for bathroom floors, including stone or wood patterns, penny tiles, and lattice designs. While they require minimal maintenance, like vinyl, they are uncomfortable walking on. One way to address this is by installing radiant floor heat. However, remember that tiles are still hard surfaces even when warm.
Installing ceramics is more challenging than vinyl, but it's still a doable task for DIY enthusiasts. With a superior quality glaze, ceramics can withstand scratches and wear. Porcelain tiles are more durable than clay-based tiles and offer the advantage of through-body color, which is helpful in case of chipping.
Pro-Tip: Make sure to choose ceramic or porcelain tiles that are specifically rated for use as flooring.
- When selecting a ceramic tile for your floors, go for tiles with a grade of 1 or 2. Additionally, check the tile's coefficient of friction (COF) to avoid slips in a wet room. Look for tiles with a rating of .50 or higher in this regard.
- Choose tiles that have a PEI rating of at least III, as the rating system used by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) counts the opposite way.
Ceramic tiles begin at approximately $0.50 per square foot, while porcelain tiles start at around $3 per square foot.
Glass floor tiles have two main advantages when it comes to their appearance. First, they create an illusion of depth when placed on the part of a floor. Second, if tinted, they can provide a beautiful stained-glass effect. Choosing floor-rated tile and textured glass is crucial to prevent slips when installing them. Small glass tiles with many grout joints are also slip-resistant. You can create a striking feature in your bathroom by customizing the shower floor and sides with small glass tile squares.
The square foot prices begin at approximately $5.
- It can be easily cleaned off of grime and splashes with either a small amount of soapy water or an all-purpose cleaner
- Glass does not absorb water at all. Its absorption rate is 0%
- More expensive because of its extreme popularity lately.
- Strictly requires professional installation.
Plastic Laminate Tiles
Plastic laminate tiles (often found in plank form) can be a great option if you're renovating your home. They are similar to the laminate used on kitchen countertops and will only add a little extra height to your floor. This makes it simpler to coordinate between rooms with different flooring levels.
Although laminate flooring is durable and low maintenance, it could be better for areas with high moisture. The fiberboard core can absorb standing water, which causes it to expand and warp. For this reason, laminate flooring is better suited for half-baths than full bathrooms.
When using laminate, it is essential to seal any gaps around the walls, toilet, and bathtub to prevent water from seeping in. Additionally, laminate offers fewer style options compared to ceramic and vinyl flooring.
Prices start at $1 per square foot.
The pros of laminate tile lie in its highly budget-friendliness and easy DIY installation.
- Scratch Resistant
- Stain Resistant
- Moisture Resistant
- Fade Resistant
- Burn Resistant
While the cons of laminate tiles, on the other hand, are that it's not authentic hardwood and is prone to water damage.
Warping can occur:
- If installed improperly
- If exposed to excessive moisture
- If not acclimated properly
Laminate tiles can be either a practical and affordable choice or a nightmare, depending on the situation, due to their delicate nature.
Linoleum Floor Tiles
Linoleum is a flooring material that consists of seed oil, cork powder, wood flour, ground limestone, and pigments. It works well in both modern and vintage interiors, particularly in bathrooms. It has natural properties that inhibit the growth of microorganisms and repel dust and dirt while maintaining its color. It's also easy to install with click-in-place plank designs. Although it's aesthetically pleasing, linoleum is relatively expensive.
Prices start at $3.50 per square foot.
- Suppose you take good care of linoleum flooring. In that case, it can last more than 40 years due to its exceptional durability and resistance to wear and tear.
- Linoleum flooring is a type of flooring that does not release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may cause harm to one's health.
- Linoleum flooring is an ideal choice for bathroom and kitchen floors because it is water-resistant.
- Linoleum that is deemed resilient can still be dented by furniture legs.
- Exposure to direct sunlight can cause linoleum to darken or turn yellow over time.
- The recently waxed linoleum flooring can be slippery and increase the risk of slips and falls.
Cork flooring has been a popular choice for homeowners for its durability, sustainability, and easy maintenance. It comes in tiles that can be glued down or planks that click together for a floating floor. This type of flooring is also cost-effective, and homeowners can install it themselves, especially with the availability of adhesive-backed tiles.
Cork flooring tiles are available in various colors. They are comfortable to walk on as they are warm and gentle on your feet. If you choose cork tiles for your flooring, remember that even pre-finished tiles require multiple polyurethane coatings to seal out moisture from the subfloor. The installation of cork tiles involves using a trowel to apply the adhesive. Still, you can also find click-in-place floating floor options.
- Hypoallergenic: The cork floor coverings naturally resist mildew, and the material itself is hypoallergenic. Additionally, there are cork planks available that have antimicrobial properties.
- Comfortable: Cork makes for excellent flooring due to its relaxing nature, which makes walking or standing on it for extended periods easy on the feet.
- Environmentally Friendly: Cork flooring is an environmentally friendly type of wood flooring sourced from the bark of the cork oak tree. This tree can be harvested sustainably repeatedly.
- Flooring materials can become plump, warped, and distorted due to too many spills and standing water.
- The loose adhesive may occur if water seeps through the seams and gets beneath the tiles.
- Tiles can pop out of their installation if they expand and contract due to humidity.
- The use of large machinery is challenging when refinishing small bathrooms.
If you need help installing new tiles on your bathroom floor, contact Green Home Installations. We provide professional services with experienced and knowledgeable installation technicians who can help you create the perfect bathroom floor.