The 5 Best Bathroom Flooring Ideas

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Choosing the design elements for any room can be overwhelming. But designing a room where moisture and humidity are a factor presents a unique set of challenges in addition to all the aesthetic options you’ll contend with. While there are endless options out there, I am sharing the best bathroom flooring ideas to help you decide for your home, no matter your style or budget!

marble primary bathroom with basketweave pattern on floor and rectangular tiles on the wall, vanity with aged brass hardware

What is the best type of flooring for my bathroom?

Many factors go into the selection of bathroom flooring. Here are a few key points to consider that will help you narrow down your choices:

  • Size – how big or small your bathroom is will affect the size, color, and cost of the tiles you should look for. It costs more to cover a large area so if you have budget constraints, keep this in mind.
  • Durability – if you have kids or pets, this is important. No matter the material you choose, it needs to be able to withstand any unpredictable things that may happen.
  • Style – the style of your bathroom flooring should be consistent with the design style of your home. Even if you have an eclectic style, the different elements you bring together should still have a cohesive feel.

Just so you know, wall-to-wall carpet is NEVER a good idea in the bathroom! It traps dust and moisture which is a nightmare for cleanliness.

Bathroom Flooring Ideas to Consider

Before I get into color and design options, I will review the different types of flooring materials I would recommend using in the bathroom. This will give you an idea about price points, durability, and maintenance needed to keep your floors looking new!

1. Ceramic

Ceramic is such a versatile material to use in the bathroom. The tiles are made from clay and often mixed with other materials. Even though it is a porous material, the manufacturing process creates a dense product that gives it a high level of water resistance.

Here are a couple of ceramic tile options with a pattern. You’re probably better off using these on a wall as opposed to the floor though.

Ceramic tiles with pattern
ceramic tiles with pattern

It is easy to clean and doesn’t require sealing. Just skip any abrasive cleaners.

Ceramic tiles can be installed on floors and walls which makes them a versatile option for your bathroom remodel! They can be made to look like wood and used in a bathroom without the worry of exposure to moisture.

2. Porcelain

This is another popular choice for bathroom floors for several reasons. Even though porcelain tiles are made with ceramic and other materials, they are fired at higher temperatures which makes them harder than traditional ceramic and almost impervious to water.

Tile designers have created such beautiful options that look like marble and other natural stones.

porcelain tiles that look like marble
bathroom flooring ideas with porcelain tiles

Porcelain is a little more expensive, but like ceramic, porcelain tiles are easy to clean and don’t require extra maintenance. However, they do require special tools to cut and install so I’d leave this to the professionals.

bathroom flooring ideas for hexagon pattern, assorted tile colors

3. Mosaic

Mosaic tiles are the ultimate choice if you are looking to add bold patterns and colors to your bathroom floors. They can be made from just about any material (stone, glass, etc.) but what sets them apart is that they often come in small pieces that are attached to a backing. This makes them easier to install because you don’t have to worry about spacing between each tile.

mint green hexagon mosaic tiles
Source: The Tile Shop

One of the drawbacks is the grouting process. Since there are so many little tiles, applying grout becomes more tedious.

As far as cost and maintenance go, this will depend on the material your mosaic tiles are made from.

4. Natural Stone

Installing natural materials in your home will always cost more. While there are many imitations to marble, nothing compares to the look and feel of the real thing. If you are a purist at heart and want to use natural stones in your bathroom, flooring will be the big-budget item in your bathroom remodel but is known to be the only option that increases the value of your home.

marble bathroom flooring ideas for Carrara marble

Most natural stones require extra care during the installation process and routine maintenance. You’ll likely need to seal the surface periodically and use special cleaning products to keep your floors looking like new.

These are limestone options!

limestone bathroom flooring ideas
limestone floor tiles
limestone patterned bathroom floor ideas

Popular bathroom flooring ideas in this category are travertine, limestone, and my personal favorite – marble.

5. Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl flooring has been growing in popularity recently and it’s nothing like the stuff our grandparents had. Designers have been knocking it out of the park and giving homeowners a product with the durability they are looking for. It is easy to install (a perfect DIY project!), easy to clean, waterproof, doesn’t require sealing, and is an affordable choice.

While there is nothing like the real thing, LVP planks and tiles are bathroom flooring ideas that home decor enthusiasts are embracing. You are not trying to fool anyone into thinking it is a natural material, but for many people, the benefits far outweigh the fact that it is a synthetic option that used to be associated with outdated decor, like linoleum.

marble look LVP bathroom floor tiles
stone look LVP bathroom flooring tiles
wood look LVP floor planks

Hardwood floors might work in a small half bath, but when installed near a tub or shower you will have to contend with some damage that may prove costly to repair.

Bathroom Flooring Design Inspiration

The decision-making isn’t over yet! Before installing bathroom floors, ideas about the design – size, pattern, and layout need to be considered.

Classic and Timeless

In a previous post, I mentioned how you can install alternating square tiles in a traditional checkerboard pattern or a diamond pattern. This look has been around for centuries and will never go out of style!

Herringbone floors are another classic look. This configuration has also been around for a long time and is still embraced by the design community.

The basketweave and hexagon tile patterns are other impeccable designs to consider! The small pattern on my bathroom floors adds interest without taking away from the rest of the design elements.

marble bathroom floor patterns and ideas
bathroom with large marble tiles outside the shower and small marble tiles inside the shower to allow draining

Any of these layouts will give your home undeniable appeal!

Sleek and Modern

Installing larger tiles can make a small bathroom feel bigger. When paired with modern rectangular tiles, your bathroom will have that updated look you are going for.

modern bathroom with multiple sizes and shapes of tiles
modern bathroom with multiple sizes and shapes of tiles

Vintage Style

A stunning look for a small bathroom is black and white penny tiles. A simple border or pattern will add a vintage twist that designers love to add to homes.

small bathroom with vintage black and white penny tiles in a custom pattern
Source: Chris Loves Julia – How to DIY Your Penny Tile Floors!

Inside vs Outside of the Shower

One more thing you should consider when choosing bathroom floor tiles is the location. When designing tile combinations for inside a shower where water will regularly be present your installer must allow grading so it will run towards the drain.

Standing water increases the chance of mold and mildew which means frequent cleaning is required. Cleaning marble floors outside of the shower is less of a concern because they don’t get fully wet as they do inside the shower.

For small bathrooms, large format tiles make it trickier to achieve this so it is recommended to use smaller tiles in the shower.

inside of marble bathroom shower with basketweave pattern marble tiles

If you opt for a natural stone like marble inside the shower, you will not be able to use harsh abrasive cleaners because they will damage the stone. You will have to clean more frequently and use elbow grease to scrub the dirt and soap scum. Here are a couple of products I use to help me clean the inside of my shower:

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