One of the most important phases of every bathroom renovations is to choose the flooring materials. There is a wide range of materials for bathroom floor tiles, offering a surprising variety. While ceramic, porcelain, and vinyl tiles are commonly thought of first and for valid reasons as they are efficient choices, numerous alternatives, including options like stone and cork, are available nowadays.
When choosing a flooring material for the bathroom, the primary consideration is to prioritize its ability to prevent moisture penetration, thus avoiding potential damage. Additionally, it is crucial to select a material that does not become excessively slippery when wet, ensuring safety.
Beyond these factors, the ultimate decision typically involves balancing style and budget. To facilitate this decision-making process, this guide provides an overview of the best tile options for bathroom floors, offering valuable insights to make your choice more confident.
Vinyl Bathroom Floor Tiles
Due to its affordability and practicality, vinyl is the leading choice for bathroom flooring. It is an excellent option for all bathroom types, from the master bath to the powder room.
Regarding safety, comfort, and durability, it surpasses other popular alternatives. Notably, vinyl tile manufacturers have significantly improved aesthetic appeal and ease of installation. The material is self-adhesive and can be easily cut using an essential utility knife.
Lowest Prices: $2.50 per square foot.
Ceramic and Porcelain Bathroom Tiles
Whether you prefer the appearance of stone or wood imitations, vibrant penny tiles, or intricate lattice-patterned squares, ceramic and porcelain tiles are among the top choices for bathroom flooring. Like vinyl, ceramics excel in maintenance but may provide a different level of comfort under bare feet.
However, the installation of radiant floor heat can help address this issue, although the surface remains hard regardless of warmth. While installing ceramics is more complex than vinyl, it is a task that adventurous DIY enthusiasts can undertake. With a high-grade glaze for protection, ceramic tiles resist wear and scratches.
Porcelain tiles, being more complex than clay-based tiles, may also feature through-body colour, which proves advantageous in the case of chipping.
When purchasing ceramic or porcelain tiles, ensure they are specifically rated for floor use.
Also, remember that:
- Opt for ceramic tiles with a grade of 1 or 2 when selecting flooring options. Additionally, consider the ceramic tile’s coefficient of friction (COF). Choose tiles with a COF rating of .50 or higher to ensure slip resistance in a wet room.
- The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating system follows a different counting method. Choosing tiles with a minimum PEI rating of III is recommended.
Lowest Price for Ceramic Bathroom Floor Tiles: $0.50 per square foot
Lowest Price for Porcelain Bathroom Tiles: $3 per square foot
Glass Bathroom Floor Tiles
Glass floor tiles provide a unique and captivating aesthetic appeal. Applying a thin layer of glass to the floor creates a visual illusion of depth. Additionally, if the glass is tinted, it can produce a stunning stained-glass effect, enhancing the overall beauty of the space.
This type of tile proves durable when properly installed using floor-rated tile and textured glass to enhance traction. Additionally, small glass tiles with numerous grout joints contribute to slip resistance.
With these considerations in mind, one can contemplate customizing a shower floor and extending the design up the sides, using small glass tile squares to create an impressive focal point in the bathroom.
Lowes Price for Glass Bathroom Floor Tiles: $5 per square foot.
Stone Tiles for Bathroom Floors
While stone tiles were traditionally reserved for foyer areas, their popularity has grown over the past few decades, extending to other rooms, including bathrooms. These tiles are crafted from limestone, marble, granite, and slate, offering various colours from creamy hues to blues, reds, greens, and gold. The variety of textures available for stone tiles is equally abundant, including options like aperture, tumbled, sandblasted, etched, and flamed variations.
Compared to ceramic or porcelain tiles with a similar appearance, stone tiles typically come at a higher price point. Additionally, natural porous stone requires more maintenance compared to ceramic tiles. It is essential to perform regular cleaning and sealing to keep the stone tiles in good condition.
Plastic Laminate Bathroom Floor Tiles
Plastic laminate tiles (commonly available as planks) are also a good choice, especially if you’re remodelling.
Just like the laminate material used to cover kitchen countertops for a couple of generations, these tiles do not significantly increase the height of the existing floor, simplifying coordinating room transitions.
Despite its durability and ease of cleaning, laminate flooring still needs to catch up when addressing moisture-related concerns.
When exposed to standing water, the fiberboard core of laminate flooring can absorb moisture, leading to expansion and buckling. Consequently, laminate is more suitable for half-baths rather than full baths.
To prevent water from seeping in, it is crucial to seal any gaps along the walls, around the toilet, and around the tub when using laminate flooring in the case of a full bathroom.
Another disadvantage of laminates is that they offer a different range of styles compared to ceramics and vinyl.
Lowest Price for Plastic Laminate Tiles: $1 per square
Linoleum Floor Tiles for Bathrooms
Linoleum, a bathroom flooring option made from a combination of linseed oil, cork powder, wood flour, ground limestone, and pigments, is an excellent selection for contemporary and retro settings, including bathrooms.
It boasts natural properties that inhibit the growth of microorganisms and repel dust and dirt while maintaining its colour over time. Linoleum is available in click-in-place plank designs, making it convenient to install, and its visual appeal is undeniable.
However, it is essential to note that linoleum has a higher price tag than other flooring options.
Lowest Price: $3.50 per square foot
Cork Bathroom Flooring Tiles
Cork flooring provides a warm and comfortable feel underfoot, making it exceptionally gentle. The tiles are available in various colours to suit different preferences.
While gluing down linoleum flooring is relatively straightforward, applying multiple coats of polyurethane to seal the floor and protect the underlying subfloor from moisture is imperative. This precaution is necessary regardless of whether you opt for pre-finished linoleum tiles.
Typically, cork tiles are installed using a troweled-on adhesive, although click-in-place floating floor options are also on the market.
Lowest Price: $3 per square foot
Mosaic Tiles for Bathroom Floors
Mosaic tiles are a versatile and visually striking option for bathroom floors. They consist of small, individual pieces of materials such as glass, ceramic, porcelain, stone, or even metal, arranged in intricate patterns or designs.
One of the key advantages of mosaic tiles is their ability to create a unique and personalized look in the bathroom. They offer various colours, textures, and finishes, allowing endless design possibilities. Mosaic tiles can create stunning focal points, borders, or even entire floors with intricate patterns or captivating images.
Regarding practicality, mosaic tiles are durable and water resistant, making them suitable for high-moisture environments like bathrooms. They are easy to clean and maintain, and their small size makes them ideal for curved or irregularly shaped spaces.
Tips for Buying Bathroom Floor Tiles
- Prioritize Water Resistance: Choose tiles specifically designed for bathrooms and labelled as water-resistant or waterproof to withstand high moisture levels.
- Ensure Slip Resistance: Opt for tiles with a slip-resistant surface or a high coefficient of friction to minimize the risk of accidents on wet bathroom floors.
- Emphasize Durability: Look for durable tiles that can withstand heavy foot traffic in the bathroom. Consider the hardness and strength of the tiles to ensure their longevity.
- Easy Maintenance: Select tiles that are easy to clean and maintain. Smooth, glazed tiles are generally easier to clean than textured or matte finishes.
- Size and Layout Considerations: Consider the size and layout of your bathroom when choosing tile sizes. Larger tiles create a spacious look, while smaller ones allow for more intricate patterns.
- Complement Your Style: Choose tiles that match your desired bathroom style and aesthetic. Consider colour, texture, and pattern options that complement the existing décor or the design theme you have in mind.
- Grout Line Preference: Decide whether you prefer narrow or broad grout lines and choose tile sizes accordingly. Keep in mind that wider grout lines may require more cleaning effort.
- Set a Budget: Determine your budget for tile purchase, including installation, grout, adhesive, and any additional expenses. Consider the cost per square foot and choose accordingly.
- Installation Considerations: Determine whether you’ll install the tiles yourself or hire a professional. Some tile materials may require specialized tools and expertise for installation.
- Timeless Appeal: Consider choosing tile designs that will remain visually appealing for years. While trendy patterns and colours can be attractive, timeless designs ensure long-lasting appeal.