Bathroom Flooring Choices

Need a new look for an old bathroom?  Flooring options have come a long way from vinyl and ceramic tile options.  Consider new looks for the old floor in the bath.


Having hardwood floors in the bathroom is not illegal.  In fact, it’s quite charming, particularly in vintage, country or primitive bathrooms.  Throw in a clawfoot tub, and it is a warm, inviting look. 

Now, it may not be perfect for a children’s bathroom that needs to withstand too many splashes, but it works quite nicely in master baths and guest baths – and don’t forget the half baths.

Considerations for wood flooring in the bathroom:

  • Choose a hardwood, softer woods will absorb more moisture. Oak, maple, cherry and walnut are options that are particularly durable.
  • Use a polyurethane finish to seal the wood and resist moisture.
  • Make sure there are no gaps for moisture to penetrate when installed.


The look is pure luxury, and the price can reflect it.  But there are inexpensive marble tiles available for as little as $5 per square foot, making it an affordable flooring option, especially in smaller rooms.  The major drawback for marble in the bathroom, it’s cold!  Try stepping out of a nice hot shower on a cold winter morning and freezing your feet, you’ll see what I mean.

You can overcome this easily with radiant floor heat, a system of heating cables installed in the floor before the tile is installed.  It can be a do-it-yourself project for someone who is particularly handy, and for a 10 x 10 foot bathroom will cost approximately $500, it may be worth the investment to avoid cold feet.


By far the worst choice for bathroom floors, it’s a big mold spore waiting to happen.  If you like the feel of a rug underfoot, opt for an area rug as a budget flooring option.  Outdoor rugs are moisture proof and durable and can slip right into the bathroom flooring choices.


The most popular choice for durability and economy, tile is a lasting look for bathroom floors.  While there is the cold foot issue to consider, radiant floor heat can be used.  While it doesn’t make the bathroom itself warmer, it takes the chill off the floor without much electricity.  The cost for energy usage is in the range of $10 per month.

There are plenty of flooring choices for bathrooms, from wood to tile, consider your options that fit with the look you want for the bathroom.