Bathroom flooring: Pros & cons of the best floors

Bathroom flooring: Pros & cons of the best floors

Wet towels. Puddles from a rambunctious toddler bath time. Steam from a good, hot shower or bath. Bathrooms are the only room in the home that have to deal with daily high humidity and consistent water puddles. For that specific reason, homeowners need to use an extra degree of caution when choosing the right floor for their bathroom.

Wood floors should not be installed in a bathroom; the moisture in a bathroom can warp wood flooring and leave permanent water stains. There are other floors more suitable for the bathroom (and look great!); use this list of bathroom flooring options so you can choose the right bathroom floor for your home.

Luxury vinyl plank

We’ve listed the best flooring options for bathrooms before, and you’ll notice that luxury vinyl plank isn’t on the list. That’s because it’s one of the newest products on the market—but don’t dismiss this flooring just because it’s the proverbial new kid on the block. Luxury vinyl plank floors are attractive, durable, and easy-to-care-for. This floor is also a great option for anyone who wants the look of wood without worrying about warping or water damage from a bathroom’s moist environment.

Pros: Attractive, durable, easy-to-care-for, water resistant (some products are guaranteed waterproof), comes in a variety of styles, mimics the look of wood and stone, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can scratch

Porcelain tile

bathroom with tile floor that can handle waterPorcelain tiles are one of the most popular bathroom flooring choices. These tiles come in a variety of colors and shapes, and are durable and easy-to-care-for. Some of the trendiest new styles are porcelain tiles in a plank or rectangle style that makes a bathroom look bigger, or a hectagon shape that gives a bathroom a unique, one-of-a-kind design. (For inspiration, check out these tile ideas.) Porcelain tiles can also come with a wood grain look, giving you the warmth of wood without the warping and water damage that occurs when you install wood floors in a humid room.

Pros: Attractive, durable, easy-to-care-for, mildew resistant, comes in a variety of styles, resembles wood and stone, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can be cold underfoot, grout can be stained

Brick tile

Tiles that resembles bricks gives any home a unique look. Most brick tiles are a porcelain tile cut in unique styles and color variations, making it very attractive and mildew resistant. This flooring can hold up in rooms that have a lot of moisture (like bathrooms, mud rooms, and laundry rooms).

brick ceramic tilePros: Unique style, durable, easy-to-care-for, mimics the look of brick

Cons: This one-of-a-kind look is not for every homeowner, can be cold underfoot


Marble, granite, and limestone can give any bathroom an updated and upscale look. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors, all with their own unique veins and styles. Some natural stone requires maintenance to avoid any moisture issues; make sure you ask the salesperson how often the stone needs maintenance and cleaning when you view samples.

Pros: Upscale and unique look, easy-to-care-for

Cons: Usually most expensive option, can be slippery and feel cold

Vinyl sheet

The biggest advantage of vinyl sheet is the absence of grout lines, meaning that the risk for water damage is minimal. Vinyl sheet flooring comes in a variety of styles and colors.

Pros: Mimics the look of tile, durable, easy-to-care-for, waterproof, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can look cheap, can be scratched

Radiant heating

Radiant heating is not a type of floor, and another flooring needs to be installed over a radiant heating mat. Also called underfloor heating, radiant heating gives off an even heat that conducts through the floor. If attached to a thermostat, the heat can be set different temperatures during the day and night. Radiant heating can be installed with a hydronic heating system (heating with a boiler) in new construction or with an electric mat.

Pros: Even and warm heat, can make stone or tile floors feel warm underfoot, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Adds to the cost of the flooring