2023 Best Floor For Bathroom

Average Cost To Install New Flooring Price Range: $1,215 - $2,460
See costs in your area

Homeowners typically choose flooring based on its appearance. However, if you want to install new flooring in your bathroom, you need to pay attention to the material.

Since water is prevalent in bathrooms, the best floor for a bathroom is one that can handle moisture without warping or fading.

Top Quality Bathroom Flooring Cost 

The average size of a primary bathroom in the U.S. is around 160 square feet.

Installing bathroom flooring in a space that size costs between $192 and $16,800.

You may wonder why there’s such a significant price difference. The answer is that the cost depends on numerous factors, from the type of material and the project’s complexity to labor and unexpected expenses that may appear. 

Top Bathroom Floor Cost per Square Foot

The average cost of installing bathroom flooring ranges between $1.20 and $105 per square foot.

Affordable ceramic tiles and sheet vinyl are on the lower end of the scale, while custom tiles, luxury vinyl, and stone are on the higher end.

On average, homeowners spend around $6 per square foot for the material. 

Material Price per Square Foot Price per 160 Square Feet
Tiles $3-$109 $360-$17,440
Vinyl $1.5-$20 $240-$3,200
Natural Stone $7-$27 $1,120-$4,320
Engineered Wood $4-$8 $640-$1,440
Laminate $3-$9 $480-$1,440

Pro Tip: If you’re covering less than 1,000 square feet, buy 10% more material to make up for the inevitable waste. If you need to cover more than 1,000 square feet, purchase 5-7% more. 

While the price of the material is a significant part of the total cost, it’s not the only factor to consider.

Labor rates can often be higher than the material cost.

On average, labor rates vary between $0.90 and $14 per square foot, depending on the material and complexity of the installation.

Since vinyl and laminate flooring is easier to install, labor rates for such materials are around $0.90 per square foot. On the other hand, if you’re installing custom tiles, you may need to pay approximately $14 per square foot

As you can probably assume, the bigger the bathroom, the higher the labor rates.

However, if you look at the price per square foot, you’ll see that larger projects are often more affordable. This is because many contractors give a discount for larger surfaces. Plus, they have a minimum call-out fee to ensure they still make a profit even on very small projects. 

Besides material and labor costs, there are several additional expenses you should keep in mind.

One such expense is subfloor and underlayment replacement.

The subfloor is the layer below the flooring that can get damaged due to water exposure or broken floorboards. If you want to install new flooring, you should replace the subfloor, and this will cost you between $1.90 and $2.30 per square foot.

The underlayment is a thin layer of material that goes between the subfloor and the floor. This material contributes to sound absorption and insulation and reduces wear and tear.

Replacing the underlayment costs between $4.10 and $5.20 per square foot

Removing old bathroom flooring costs between $0.90-$5.40 per square foot.

Since carpets, vinyl, and laminate are easier to remove, the rates for these materials are lower. Tiles and hardwood floors are more challenging, which is why the rates are higher. 

Best Floor For Bathroom: Porcelain Or Ceramic Tile 

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are a classic when it comes to bathroom flooring.

This should come as no surprise since these tiles are durable, stylish, and waterproof.

Plus, tiles come in a wide range of prices, so you can choose the ones that fit your budget

The national average cost for installing tiles ranges between $840 and $2,852.

Installing porcelain tiles costs $6-$42 per square foot while installing ceramic tiles is $3-$109 per square foot

Many people aren’t sure what differentiates porcelain from ceramic tiles.

It’s important to clarify that porcelain tiles belong to the ceramic tile family. However, there’s one crucial difference: water absorption rate.

Porcelain tiles have a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%, while ceramic tiles’ water absorption rate is more than 0.5%.

This makes porcelain tiles denser and stronger compared to regular ceramic tiles.

Of course,  ceramic tiles are still a great choice for bathroom flooring. Many ceramic tiles can be an excellent addition to your bathroom. 

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are manufactured in countless designs, textures, and styles, allowing you to find a perfect match for your bathroom.

Best of all, tiles are easy to maintain


  • Come in numerous designs 
  • Easy to maintain 
  • Durable 
  • Good resale value 


  • Can be slippery
  • Difficult to install 

Best Vinyl Floor For Bathroom: Sheet, Plank, or Tile 

Practical, visually appealing, and waterproof: these words best describe vinyl flooring.

There’s no doubt vinyl flooring is among the most popular bathroom flooring options. Homeowners can choose between vinyl sheets, planks, or tiles. 

Installing vinyl floors in a 160-square-foot bathroom costs between $240 and $3,200, depending on the type you opt for. The average price per square foot is somewhere between $1.5-$20

If you want an easy installation with zero seams, sheet vinyl is the way to go.

Sheet vinyl can handle extreme amounts of water without difficulty, so you can have peace of mind knowing it will last for years.

Vinyl plank is a thicker flooring material manufactured in long planks, usually with a click-lock connection system.

Vinyl plank flooring became popular because it resembles real wood much better than plastic laminate. Vinyl planks are also easy to install and maintain and have extraordinary waterproof properties. 

Vinyl tiles are essentially the same as sheet vinyl, except they are manufactured in individual pieces.

Vinyl tiles offer the same durability and waterproof features as sheet vinyl. Vinyl tiles are simple to install and have numerous installation options


  • 100% waterproof
  • Easy to install 
  • Cost-effective
  • Visually appealing 


  • Poor resale value 
  • Bumps on the underlayment can be noticed through the flooring 

Natural Stone For Your Bathroom Floor

Another excellent option for bathroom flooring is natural stone.

Many agree the most significant drawback of natural stone flooring is its price. Natural stone is by far the most expensive flooring option.

The average cost for installing natural stone flooring in a 160-square-foot bathroom ranges between $1,120 and $4,320. The price per square foot ranges from $7 to $27

Natural Stone is durable and aesthetically pleasing and has a high resale value.

Although it’s not 100% waterproof, natural stone usually resists water penetration.

However, keep in mind that different types of stones have different water absorption levels, depending on their density. For example, granite is denser than travertine (a type of tile material), meaning it absorbs less water. 


  • Extremely durable 
  • High resale value 
  • Striking appearance


  • Expensive
  • Difficult to install 

Engineered Wood Bathroom Floor

Engineered wood flooring is a type of flooring manufactured by combining wood with adhesives or other fixation methods to form a composite material.

Engineered wood flooring features a plywood base that can handle moisture without suffering from damage.

In terms of appearance, engineered wood looks exactly like wood. This makes the material attractive to anyone who likes the look of natural wood and wants water-resistant properties. 

If you want to install engineered wood flooring in your bathroom, you’ll need $640-$1,440 for a 160-square-foot bathroom. This means the average price per square foot ranges between $4 and $8

Pro Tip: While there are many high-quality engineered wood flooring options on the market, it’s vital to remember that this is still a wood product. Since wood is known for not repelling moisture well, engineered wood may not be the best choice for a bathroom. If you do decide to get it, ensure you’re getting flooring that will resist moisture damage. Read online reviews and consult experts to choose the best option. 


  • Looks like real wood 
  • Can handle some moisture 
  • Adds value to your home 


  • Not waterproof
  • On the expensive side 

Laminate Bathroom Floor

Laminate flooring consists of a wood-chip base impregnated with resin. Although laminate flooring is known for resembling wood, its surface is actually just a photograph of wood. 

Since laminate doesn’t react well to moisture, you may be surprised to find it on this list. Namely, certain types of laminate flooring can be a good option for your bathroom if the wood base is protected from moisture.

Many manufacturers specialize in waterproof and water-resistant laminate flooring that can be installed in any moisture-prone location, including bathrooms.

Installing waterproof or water resistant laminate flooring in a 160-square-foot bathroom costs around $480-$1,440. The price per square foot is between $3 and $9

Keep in mind that such laminate flooring is relatively new. There have been instances where people purchased waterproof laminate flooring, but it didn’t work as well as it was purported to. 

Many laminate flooring options also feature special layers that protect the surface from dents, scratches, or chips, which can be a great option for families with children or pets. 

Another reason laminate is so popular is its ease of installation. Many homeowners complete the installation process without hiring contractors, saving a significant amount of money. 


  • Visually appealing 
  • Affordable 
  • Easy to install 


  • Can expand or bubble when in contact with water
  • Can’t be repaired 

Flooring To Avoid In The Bathroom 

Certain types of flooring, like carpets, may not be the best option for your bathroom.

While carpets may look aesthetically pleasing, there’s an important reason they shouldn’t be installed in bathrooms: moisture retention.

Carpets hold water for a long time. Due to this, they can collect bacteria and become unhygienic.

Plus, if they’re constantly damp, carpets can damage your home’s structure

Pro Tip: If you decide to get carpets for your bathroom, ensure to get those with low piles. Such carpets have short fibers that don’t retain water like high-pile options. 

Another material that isn’t the greatest choice for a bathroom is solid hardwood.

Solid hardwood has a top layer that provides moisture protection to a certain degree. However, this layer is often not enough to keep the water out. Even a small amount of water can find its way to the wood and rot it out over time. 

Installing engineered wood for the bathroom floor is great alternative to solid hardwood.

What Type Of Flooring Is Best In Bathrooms? 

Many agree porcelain and ceramic tiles, vinyl, and natural stone are the best options for bathroom flooring.

All these materials can handle water exposure and offer durability, quality, and visual appeal.

It’s hard to say one is better than the other because all have their advantages and drawbacks. 

Homeowners should take their time to explore these materials and see which one fits their bathroom flooring requirements.

If you’re looking for affordable options, vinyl is probably the best bathroom floor choice.

Those with an unlimited budget may find that natural stone or custom tiles is the best bathroom floor material for them.

Of course, remember that the price isn’t the only factor. Pay attention to the ease of installation and maintenance, estimated lifespan, and potential resale value

What Is The Most Durable Floor For A Bathroom? 

Porcelain and ceramic tiles and natural stone are among the most durable bathroom flooring options.

Certain types of vinyl flooring can also be considered extremely durable. Such vinyl is often more expensive. 

Remember that proper maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of your bathroom floor. All materials require maintenance, some more than others.

With good care and proper installation, your bathroom floor can last more than 50 years. 

Is Vinyl Or Laminate Flooring Better For Bathrooms? 

While numerous water-resistant laminate flooring options are available, vinyl is still a much better choice for bathrooms.

The reason is simple: vinyl flooring is waterproof, making it perfect for moisture-prone environments. 

What’s The Easiest Flooring To Put Down In A Bathroom? 

The easiest flooring materials to install are vinyl tiles, vinyl sheets, and vinyl planks.

Water-resistant laminate also falls in this category.

Many homeowners decide to install these types of flooring themselves, thus saving money on labor

Professional installation is necessary for tiles and natural stone flooring. 

Non-Slip Bathroom Flooring Ideas 

One of the biggest concerns when choosing a bathroom floor is whether it’ll become slippery when wet. 

If you want a non-slip bathroom floor, you can choose tiles or natural stone with a textured finish.

Smooth finishes tend to be more slippery, especially when wet, so you should avoid them. 

Those who learn their bathroom floor is slippery when damp only after they install it don’t need to worry. Certain tricks can help you make your floor non-slippery.

For example, you can purchase anti-slip rugs and shower mats, install grip bars, or use anti-slip adhesive strips

Pro Tip: You can treat tiles with different anti-slip products to ensure they aren’t as slippery if they are wet. 

The Floor Is Yours 

Choosing the best flooring for a bathroom can be challenging because there are many factors to consider.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to select the material that matches your preferences and requirements.

Since installing a new floor can be a big project, don’t rush the process. Instead, take your time to find the perfect material.

Average Cost To Install New Flooring Price Range: $1,215 - $2,460
See costs in your area

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Need Flooring Pros?

Get Free Quotes From Local Contractors