9 Best Types of Tile for Your Bathroom Floor

Stephanie Shaykin
Updated December 22, 2021
Modern midcentury bathroom with marble tile
Photo: PC Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Picking the correct type of bathroom floor tile means you can show off your style while still being practical

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Choosing the best tile for you is one of the most important parts in the process of remodeling your bathroom floor. There are so many tile types available, and it takes a lot of time to decide which ones best meet your needs. 

Luckily, with a little know-how, picking the right tile can be easy and even fun. Let's explore some of the best types of tiles that you can use for your bathroom floor.

1. Ceramic Tile is Durable and Easy to Clean

Ceramic tile is one of the best types to use in a bathroom. It's durable, easy to clean, and comes in lots of available styles that fit your home’s design. Plus, ceramic tiles can be easy to work with, too.

There are so many advantages to using ceramic tiles on your flooring or walls. First, they're very affordable, averaging 49 cents per square foot and up. They come in tons of colors and patterns that will make any room look its best. You can find all sorts of shapes like rectangles, hexagons, and even flower squares for different designs.

These tiles are perfect for bathrooms because they resist moisture and won’t absorb odors or bacteria, which means less dirt buildup over time (which will come in handy when it's time to disinfect your bathroom). This type of tile is best for bathrooms because it's water-resistant, so there won't be any problems with humidity or moisture.

Pro Tip for Making Ceramic Tiles Last

If you use a high-grade glaze, ceramic tiles will resist wear and scratches. Ceramic tiles can also withstand wear and tear, say from children who might accidentally drop something on the floor while playing in the bathroom. Since ceramic is durable and easy to clean, it's perfect for any flooring you want to last.

2. Porcelain Tiles are More Stain-Resistant

Porcelain tiles are more resistant to stains than ceramic tiles. However, they can be slippery when wet, making for a potentially unsafe bathroom floor, so be sure to use a mat or rug near the toilet and shower.

While these tiles are beautiful, they also tend to crack as they age. Anyone drilling holes to install porcelain tiles should be aware of this.

Use Tile Adhesive When Installing Porcelain Tiles

One concern with porcelain tiles is how best to use tile adhesive. Tiles are fragile and need a secure surface to stay intact. This type can be difficult to install when working with porous surfaces like concrete or plasterboard. 

A way to solve this problem is by using a "silicone waterless" sealant on the back of each tile before laying them down. A sealant will help create a tight bond that won't let go no matter what.

3. Stone or Natural Stone Is Good for the Allergy-Prone

Stone or natural stone flooring is an excellent choice for people with allergies due to its non-porous texture, which won’t hold onto dust and particles. Natural stones also tend to absorb allergens more quickly than other types of floors do.

Do you want an excellent alternative for hard-wearing, non-porous flooring that can withstand a high level of humidity? Natural stone tiles are a perfect choice.

Natural stones such as granite or marble look beautiful with any theme. They even offer a fantastic surface quality which makes them easy to clean without worrying about scratching. Another benefit is how quiet footsteps are due to their lack of cracks.

Also the Best Flooring to Withstand High Humidity Levels

The best tile for those who want a quiet surface that's easy to clean without worrying about scratching is natural stone. 

The best stone tiles for bathrooms are hard-wearing types with tiny cracks or joints. Mohawk, travertine, and sandstone are all-natural stones that make up this category.

Modern luxury bathroom with vinyl flooring
Photo: hikesterson / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

4. Vinyl Tile Is Stylish and Inexpensive

If you're looking for a bathroom flooring material that's affordable and easy to install, vinyl tile is the way to go. Vinyl tile relies on low-cost materials. They also deliver high degrees of practicality. In addition, its waterproof resilience and comfortable surface make vinyl tile an easy bathroom flooring choice for families. 

For this reason, it's become popular in many households. You can install vinyl throughout bathrooms of different shapes, from the main bath to your powder room.

Bathrooms are filled with water, which can lead to leaks and splashes, making vinyl a good choice. Vinyl has excellent safety advantages like being less slip-prone and incredible durability. Through the years, this material has come a long way aesthetically and with ease of installation.

5. Linoleum Tiles Are Better for the Environment

Linoleum tiles offer an environmentally friendly option for bathroom floors. It's all thanks to recycled materials like linseed oil, cork powder, wood flour, ground limestone, and pigments.

This material also has many advantages that make it worth consideration for flooring in a bathroom. It is inexpensive, naturally inhibits the growth of microorganisms, and holds up well to dirt and grease.

It's a more expensive option. However, linoleum looks excellent in all types of settings, like newly renovated bathrooms or retro-style bathrooms.

6. Glass Tiles Are Good for Depth and Aesthetics

The sleek look of glass tile flooring is appealing because it creates the illusion of depth and, if tinted, has a stained-glass effect.

These tiles are durable and can stand up to a lot if you install them correctly. Make sure you select a textured glass to prevent slips. Consider using small glass tiles with lots of grout joints to create a slip-resistant shower floor with these tips in mind. You could also use a local bathroom tile installation pro, who will install your tiles without costly mistakes.

7. Laminate Floor Tiles Are Inexpensive But Risky

rich wood tile flooring in bathroom
Photo: essential image / Adobe Stock

Plastic laminate tiles are an inexpensive and good choice for projects in small bathrooms. Laminate is durable and easy to keep clean, but it doesn't do well with moisture, so it’s best for a half bathroom. 

When installing laminates, caulk all spaces around the toilet and tub base and gaps along walls.

8. Wood Flooring Is Rich But Requires Major Upkeep

Many people choose the warm and cozy appearance of wood flooring. While a stylish choice, wood flooring requires regular upkeep like refinishing or sanding.

Wood isn't typically a viable flooring option for bathrooms, but engineered wood is. Engineered wood features a plywood base that holds up well against moisture. If you want to include wood in your bathroom, this is the best type to use because it looks like natural hardwood and has the added benefit of being waterproof.

Cork flooring is an excellent choice for those looking for style and comfort while walking barefoot. The tiles come in multiple colors and are easy to install. First, though, you'll need to seal them with polyurethane since they can absorb moisture through the subfloor. 

Using cork is a good idea when you are doing a half-bath because these rooms tend to accumulate less moisture. Otherwise, you might spend more time replacing this type of flooring than it's worth.

Generally, pros will install cork tiles with a troweled-on adhesive. However, these days, click-in-place floating floor products are also available.

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