15 bathroom flooring ideas that are the perfect balance of practical and stylish

From terrazzo to marble, porcelain to microcement, these expert-approved bathroom flooring ideas are practical, stylish, and absolutely on-trend

bathroom flooring ideas
(Image credit: DATE Interiors / Photography Kirsten Francis / BC Designs / Mouse Interiors / Photography Darren Chung / Fired Earth)

Bathroom flooring ideas deserve some special attention. Often we start a bathroom refurb with a color palette, interior design style, or wall tile in mind but what about creating some wow-factor underfoot?

There are a few considerations to get right at first glance. The material of course must be durable, able to withstand frequent splashes of water, anti-slip underfoot, and preferably easy to clean. 

But practicality doesn’t mean boring, since there are so many solutions that combine style with functionality – whether you want a statement pattern to add personality and a burst of color or a more neutral and seamless look that serves as a simple backdrop to a showpiece bathtub or vanity unit. 

It makes sense to consider all your bathroom ideas, and especially the flooring, as part of the plan at the outset as the best way to create a cohesive scheme. So, to help you do just that and bring a little inspiration, we've asked the experts for their favorite bathroom flooring ideas.

15 Stylish Flooring Ideas For Your Bathroom

traditional bathroom with checkerboard flooring

(Image credit: BC Designs / Photography Darren Chung)

Whether you're seeking ideas for a total remodel or simply just looking to replace a tired floor, the options are endless and it can be quite overwhelming knowing where to begin your search. Some types of tiles are only suitable for walls not floors, some materials are not suitable bathroom floor tile ideas since they may be damaged by repeated contact with water or be too slippery, and some are not suitable for underfloor heating. The golden rule? Always check with your supplier before purchasing.

'When it comes to bathroom floors, the options are limitless and can be overwhelming,' says Taniya Nayak of Taniya Nayak Design.  'I always recommend going with 3 sizes of tile: smallest on the shower floor to allow for the slope for proper draining, medium on the walls, and larger for the bathroom floor. Of course, these can be mix and matched but it’s generally a good rule of thumb when it comes to picking out tile for your bathroom. If you’re nervous about color, choosing various shades/tones of the same color is usually a foolproof way to create a successful bathroom design.'

If you're unsure where to start, we've spoken with bathroom designers, tile experts, and interior designers, to get their top 15 bathroom flooring ideas they're loving right now.

1. Create a natural feel with real stone

modern bathroom with stainless freestanding tub and grey natural stone tiled floor

(Image credit: Ca' Pietra)

An age-old tile idea that would look just at home in both contemporary and traditional homes is a real, natural stone floor. Real stone flooring adds an undeniable sense of luxury and authenticity to any bathroom. Each slab boasts its own unique patterns and variations, ensuring a one-of-a-kind aesthetic that can't be replicated with synthetic materials.

With proper care and maintenance, it can withstand years of wear and tear without losing its luster. Grazzie Wilson, head of creative at Ca' Pietra, says: 'Having a chic natural stone floor is a surefire way to add value to your home. It makes total sense – a solid stone floor is timeless, it’s dependable, and it’s something solid in which you can invest in without worry.'

Sealing is crucial to protect the porous surface of natural stone from moisture and stains to help preserve its beauty for years to come. From tumbled marble to textured travertine or limestone for a more rustic feel, the options are endless.

2. Use two colors to make a checkerboard

orange red marble and white checkerboard bathroom floor with a small bath sink vanity and vintage mirror

(Image credit: BC Designs / Mouse Interiors / Photography Darren Chung)

The checkerboard pattern is a timeless choice that can adapt to various interior design styles and adds a sense of whimsy without overwhelming the space. So long as you get the color palette right. Contrasting colors, such as traditional black and white or navy and gray, create a bold statement and draw the eye. However, you can also opt for more subtle combinations, like soft beige and cream, or a terracotta-toned Rosso marble and white.

Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs, agrees. 'Checkerboard floor has a long history, but when used with modern color palettes, it is a great way of bringing the two periods together. It's a versatile look that can work in most spaces, from cloakrooms to larger bathrooms. The overall look will depend more on the colors chosen than anything else, as it doesn’t have to be traditional white and black. Instead, contrasting, or similar shades can be used that can soften and warm the space.'

'Checkerboard patterns have been used in interior design for centuries, evoking a sense of timeless elegance and sophistication,' says interior designer Montana Labelle.  'When combined with marble, a material known for its luxury and durability, the result is a flooring option that exudes opulence and refinement. We love mixing unexpected marbles to create a dramatic effect.'

The honed finish of the marble seen above creates a more matte result, making it less slippery than a polished surface. Like all marble, it will need sealing to reduce staining. 

3. Add texture with a herringbone pattern

blue tiled bathroom with herringbone floor and large antique vanity unit with brass accessories

(Image credit: Young Huh Interior Design)

Whether you opt for traditional hardwood, sleek porcelain tiles, or even luxury vinyl planks, the herringbone pattern can adapt to a variety of materials and design aesthetics. This classic design choice not only adds visual interest but also introduces a sense of texture and dimension that can transform the entire space.

'We like to create contrast and interest by using unique materials for floors,' says Young Huh, interior designer and creator of the bathroom seen above. 'For instance, here we used an Emperador herringbone pattern which contrasts with the dark navy brick subway tile. They both have a masculine-moody feeling but are also different enough from each other to keep the materials interesting.'

Herringbone tiles are a favorite among designers for their ability to infuse any room with elegance and character. Its distinct zigzag arrangement creates a sense of movement and depth that can make even the smallest of bathrooms feel more spacious.

4. Indulge with marble or marble-effect tile

large marble shower enclosure with floor and wall tiles and traditional crown molding victorian home

(Image credit: Mylands)

Marble bathroom ideas are a wonderful way to add a feeling of luxury. Long celebrated for its natural beauty, each slab of marble will feature different natural veining and individual coloration, making it especially prized as a high-end bathroom flooring idea. 

'Marble and other natural materials exude a restful quality that's ideal for relaxing, spa-style bathrooms,' says James Sirett, Fired Earth's head of product. 'Bathrooms tend to be quite compact, making them relatively affordable to tile, so they're the perfect place to splash out on luxurious, tactile finishes such as marble. Beautiful finishes will give you pleasure day after day so it's important to think about things such as how tiles will feel underfoot, as well as how they'll look in the bathroom,' he adds.

It certainly stands the test of time, but it is more porous than porcelain tiles and other manmade materials and may stain and scratch. If, however, you are willing to adopt a regular maintenance routine and are prepared to re-seal it occasionally, you will be able to enjoy its classic beauty for years to come.

5. Traditional wooden flooring

traditional bathroom with oak vanity unit and original wooden floorboards in a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Peter Dunham / Photography Sam Frost)

Despite the rise of more modern materials, wood remains a beloved choice for homeowners seeking to infuse their spaces with natural beauty and character. 

Wooden flooring adds a sense of warmth and coziness to any room, including the bathroom. It's natural grain and warm tones create a welcoming atmosphere that can help even the most utilitarian space feel like a sanctuary.

Alternatively, bathroom paint ideas can be used to transform flooring fast, allowing you to choose the exact shade you want. ‘Painting your bathroom floor is not only an excellent way to seal and protect wooden floorboards, it is also a simple and effective way to add color and personality to a space,’ advises Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene

6. Take up the terrazzo trend

green tiled shower with terrazzo bathroom flooring and wooden vanity

(Image credit: Date Interiors / Photography Kirsten Francis)

Interior design trends are incredibly circular so it makes sense that the terrazzo tile trend, once seen as an outdated tile trend, is back in favor. 

'Terrazzo is a gorgeous material that we love using in bathrooms, particularly for flooring,' says Molly Torres Portnof of DATE Interiors who designed the bijou bathroom seen above. 'It instantly elevates the space, while also bringing a serene, spa-like feel.'

Terrazzo bathrooms are right on trend for the year ahead – but this material actually dates back about five hundred years, when it was made in Italy using left-over chips of marble and granite, crushed and mixed into a cementitious base to make hardwearing flooring. Its retro style and speckled colors make it a contemporary favorite: it can be mixed, poured on-site, and sealed by specialist artisans to create a smooth, seamless floor.

7. Boost the sense of space with large format tiles

large marble black and white checkerboard bathroom floor and black marble bathtub

(Image credit: Montana Labelle)

Large format bathroom floor tiles mean fewer grout lines and a cleaner, more seamless look, ideal as spa bathroom ideas with minimal visual clutter. 

Big statement tiles have become increasingly popular in bathroom design for their ability to visually expand the space and create a contemporary look. Their expansive surface area results in a more open and airy feel. Whether you prefer the timeless elegance of marble like the bathroom by Montana Labelle seen above, the industrial edge of concrete, or the warmth of natural stone, there's a large format tile option to suit every style.

Additionally, the larger size of these tiles allows for more dramatic patterns and textures, adding visual interest without overwhelming the space. Plus, their uniform size and thickness make installation faster and more efficient, reducing labor costs and minimizing waste.

8. Make the most of mosaics

monochrome mosaic bathroom floor with contemporary fixtures

(Image credit: PJCArchitecture / Photography Bjorg Magnea)

On the end of the spectrum, you have teeny tiny mosaic tiles. For those seeking to add some flair and intricate detail to the bathroom, mosaics offer a customizable option by combining small, colorful tiles into intricate patterns and designs. Mosaics add a sense of personality and charm that's both timeless and unique.

Whether used as an accent border, a feature wall, or as the main flooring material, mosaics draw the eye and add a sense of drama and personality to the space. This intricate French-inspired mosaic floor, seen above by PJCArchitecture, was created using custom black and white hexagon tiles from Studium NYC. It lends the primary bathroom an elevated atmosphere and perfectly fits the homeowner’s vision.

Philip Consalvo, principal of PJCArchitecture says: 'This mosaic marble floor is a nod to the homeowner’s idea of a French bistro aesthetic. It was a true challenge due to its flowery pattern. It took a lot of careful planning to make this pattern work and feel symmetrical in an asymmetrical space!'

Mosaic tiles are usually supplied on mesh backing sheets, designed so that they can be laid in a similar way to ‘standard’ floor tiles, and to make them versatile when it comes to creating patterns and borders.

9. Get the look of wood with porcelain

small bathroom with light oak effect porcelain tiles

(Image credit: Ca' Pietra)

Wood can add a warm feel to a bathroom, its natural hues offsetting any sense of clinical. But real timber floor planks are not for everyone. Porcelain wood-effect tiles offer the best of both worlds: the timeless appeal of wood flooring with the durability and water resistance of tile.

To recreate the look without the worry, manufacturers have been busy employing the latest technology to produce porcelain wood-effect tiles, which mimic the look and texture of the real thing, complete with natural-looking grains and knots, in an ultra-practical, waterproof, and consistent material.

'A wood effect bathroom floor can feel comforting and charming in a period property, or style it differently and place it in a modern setting,' suggests Grazzie Wilson.  'Like in this bathroom, you can create a blonde wood Scandi bathroom that transports you to Stockholm with every visit.'

'It goes without saying that choosing a wood-effect floor tile over the real deal provides oodles of benefits including little-to-no maintenance – there is no sanding or sealing – and you don't have to worry about it getting wet,' adds Grazzie. 'It can even be used in wet rooms and within shower areas so that your floor has a continuous run of tiles.'

10. Use encaustic tiles to play with pattern

pink shower encaustic tiles

(Image credit: Bert & May)

Encaustic concrete tiles embody the ‘perfectly imperfect’ beauty of a handmade product, as no two tiles will ever be exactly the same. They are available in a huge variety of patterns and colors, allowing almost unlimited design possibilities with their lovely chalky finish.

'Color and pattern can absolutely be incorporated into a modern bathroom using a graphic print such as Bert & May’s encaustic tiles which can be tessellated to create a striking design that brings an exciting energy to the bathroom,' says Lee Thronley, founder of Bert & May

If you are looking for more subtle bathroom colors, encaustic tiles are a wonderful medium with which to introduce them. Typically you can expect some subtle color, line, and dimension variation in each tile, which can add to their sense of texture and character. Note: they are very porous in their natural state, so need to be treated with a sealant to protect against staining, and may require re-sealing on an occasional basis. 

12. Go super contemporary with microcement

microcement floors and walls in a contemporary bathroom

(Image credit: BC Designs)

Microcement is another game-changer in modern bathroom design. Its smooth, seamless surface and minimalist aesthetic lend itself perfectly to contemporary interiors, making it a popular choice among homeowners and designers alike. 

Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs, says: 'A big trend is concrete, but this can be expensive and heavy, especially in upstairs bathrooms. A great alternative is to use microcement, which is a specialist coating that can be applied to any hard surface and replicates the design aesthetics of real concrete for a modern, minimalist design. Best of all, it is water-proof and suitable for underfloor heating so makes the perfect alternative to tile design for a walk-in wet room.'

'Use this material to maximum potential by creating a modern bathroom of dreams,' adds Barrie. 'Choose to double up or go as large as possible, with double showers and a large with modern, smooth curves.'

13. Embrace a timeless pattern with stripes

vintage style bathroom with striped tile floor and a yellow painted freestanding bath tub

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

Big news in bathroom floor tile trends for 2024 is the striped tile. Whether you opt for bold, contrasting stripes or subtle, tone-on-tone variations, incorporating this timeless pattern into your bathroom design is a surefire way to add sophistication to the space.

‘Using bold bathroom floor tile ideas is a wonderfully effective way to elevate a bathroom – it grounds the room, emphasizes the sense of space and scale, and packs a chic punch without being too overwhelming,’ enthuses interior designer Samantha Todhunter. To appreciate the point, simply imagine this space with plain floor tiles.

From classic horizontal stripes to modern vertical or diagonal variations, there's a striped pattern to complement any home. They can also visually elongate a space, making it appear larger and more spacious. This makes them particularly well-suited for smaller bathrooms, where creating the illusion of space is key.

14. Look to handmade tiles for a rustic feel

rustic bathroom with handmade floor tiles and zellige shower wall tiles

(Image credit: Studio LIFE/STYLE)

For those of you yearning to infuse your bathroom spaces with warmth, character, and artisanal charm, handmade tiles are a delightful option for more rustic bathroom ideas

Crafted with care and attention to detail, handmade tiles add a unique and authentic touch to the flooring, creating a cozy and inviting feel. Their inherent warmth and texture also provide traction underfoot, enhancing both safety and comfort.

One of the key advantages of handmade tiles is their ability to create a truly bespoke look. Their irregular shapes, subtle imperfections, and organic textures add depth and character that can't be replicated with mass-produced materials. This individuality allows you to create a one-of-a-kind flooring design that reflects your personal style.

From traditional terracotta and earth tones to vibrant blues and greens, there's a handmade tile option to complement any rustic-inspired theme.

15. Take your floor tiles up and over the walls too

blue onyx marble floor and wall tiles

(Image credit: Fired Earth)

By blurring the boundaries between floor and wall surfaces, this design approach not only adds interest and drama but also creates a sense of expansiveness, making the space feel larger and more cohesive. 'For small bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling tile is a great design strategy,' says Sarah Jefferys, principal, Sarah Jefferys Architecture + Interiors.  'In a small space, it’s better for materials to extend the full length and width of the walls so the space feels expansive and continuous.'

James Sirett from Fired Earth agrees. 'Using the same tiles across walls and floors can help to achieve a flowing, space-enhancing feel that works really well in compact bathrooms. It's also a simple way to create a wet room-style scheme,' he adds.

Using the same tiles on both the floor and walls also streamlines the design process and simplifies maintenance. Attention to detail is key, however, particularly when it comes to aligning patterns and ensuring consistent grout lines.

'Offering one of the easiest ways to add character to this practical space, tiles provide you with the opportunity to play with shape, size, finish, color, and layout, making them extremely versatile,' says Louisa Alice, creative director at Mosaic Factory. 'Go bold and create impact with a few colors, or cover both the floor and walls in a matching design. At Mosaic Factory, we have seen a surge in our authentic Zellige tiles selected for use on bathroom floors, and predict that this trend will continue throughout 2024.'

What is the best type of flooring for a bathroom?

Arguably, the best and most popular type of flooring for a bathroom is tile. Enduringly popular because they are ultra-practical and available in a great variety of colors, styles, sizes, and price points, tiles are designed to suit every taste and budget. Latest generation porcelain floor tiles are not only hardwearing with almost zero porosity, but they are also available in a myriad of different patterns and neutrals, plus ultra-realistic wood and stone effects.

Whether you're drawn to the warmth of traditional wooden flooring, a myriad of tile colors, patterns and textures, or the contemporary allure of micro-cement, the key is to choose a bathroom flooring idea that not only complements your design aesthetic but also meets the practical needs of your household. With careful consideration and expert guidance, you can transform your bathroom into a sanctuary of style that brings joy with every use.

So, whether you're embarking on a full-scale renovation or simply looking to refresh your space, let these flooring ideas inspire you to create a design that's as beautiful as it is functional. 

Charlotte Olby
Style & Trends Editor

Charlotte is style and trends editor at Homes and Gardens, and has been with the team since Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she has worked at many women's glossy magazines including Grazia, Stylist, and Hello and most recently worked as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with her passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome

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