Bathroom Flooring Options DIY

Updated: Jan 28

Are you looking to renovate your bathroom floor? Do you want to know what is the best flooring for bathrooms? Keep reading. In this article we are going to discuss the pro's and con's of many different flooring options. Tweet This Article

What Are Some Of The Things You Need To Consider Before You Pick Out Your New Floor?

  1. What is your existing floor? You will need to determine if your new floor can be installed over the top of your existing floor, or if your existing floor will need to come out. For example, if you have a sheet vinyl floor, in many cases (if your existing floor is in good shape), you can install a new floor directly on top of the sheet vinyl. However, if the existing sheet vinyl is torn or in bad shape, you will need to remove it before any new floor is installed.

  2. Your toilet will need to be removed. You can't install new flooring around a toilet. It will have to come out. Make sure you work with your flooring professional and discuss this issue. Most flooring installers do not want to remove toilets, as their insurance does not cover plumbing work. This means, you will need to hire a plumber to come in before and after the flooring installer.

  3. Will you have any wall baseboard issues? Putting in new flooring might change the height of your floor. This could create a problem around door jams, as well as with the wall baseboards. If the installer has to remove the wood trim, and then re-install it, the boards might be higher or lower on the wall. If lower than before, you might need to touch up the wall paint. If higher, the boards might get in the way of other things on the wall. PRO TIP: If you are removing white baseboards, plan on re-painting the baseboards. No matter how careful an installer is, the white boards will get scratched.

  4. Your bathroom vanity will most likely need to be removed. Unless your vanity can't be moved without causing damage, most of the time, you will need to remove it before your new floor can be installed. The type of floor you currently have installed, as well as the type of flooring you are putting in will also determine whether or not a vanity needs to be removed. For example, with ceramic tile, sometimes you can leave the vanity in place, and cut the tile around the vanity. Other times, the flooring goes from wall to wall, and the vanity sits on top of the flooring.

  5. You need to pick a floor that is waterproof. Obviously, in bathrooms you are going to be getting in/out of a shower, and be using the bathroom sink. You want to make sure you pick a floor that does not get damaged with water spills.

HomeAdvisor has a very good article entitled "Guide To Repairing A Bathroom Floor." In the article they discuss the different types of bathroom floors, DIY considerations, signs of floor troubles, and what to do after your new floor is installed.

Let's Talk About The Pro's & Con's Of The Different Types Of Bathroom Flooring?

Sheet Vinyl (also called Linoleum): This product is best known for it's use in bathrooms. Sheet vinyl used to be one of the most popular types of flooring in the marketplace. Stores used to stock rolls and rolls of different colors and styles of linoleum. Sheet vinyl is very durable, it is waterproof, and it is a great product for areas of your home like a bathroom. PRO's:

  • Very affordable

  • Durable

  • Popular in older homes

  • Waterproof

  • Can be installed over an existing sheet vinyl floor


  • Going out of style. Stores have drastically reduced their samples and inventory

  • Will require a layer of sub floor underlayment if you can't install over an existing floor.

  • Can end up with a significant amount of product waste (material comes in 12' width)

  • In today's marketplace, has poor resale value.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: Ceramic tile is extremely popular for bathroom flooring. Tile comes in a variety of shapes, styles and colors. Tile has been around forever, and is a great option for a bathroom.


  • It is cost effective. You can get some great deals on tile. Many stores have stocking inventory, or material they are selling at a discount.

  • Tile is waterproof. This flooring option is great for a kitchen or bathroom.

  • Tile has a very good resale value.

  • Great for a floor that has radiant heat.


  • Cold on your feet. Many people don't like getting out of a shower and walking on a cold tile floor.

  • While the cost of the material is cost effective, the installation cost can be somewhat expensive.

  • Construction mess in your home. Installing tile can cause a lot of dust. Installers will need to set-up their work station in a driveway, to keep the house clean. A ceramic installation will cause havoc in the home for a few days.

  • Depending on the tile you pick, it can be slippery. You don't want to pick out a tile that is so smooth and polished that it will be dangerous to walk on when wet.

  • Can chip if something sharp is dropped on the floor.

Interesting Question That We Get Asked All Of The Time: "I Have A Small Bathroom, Should We Buy A Small Or Large Size Tile?"

Your tile size should not be determined by the size of your bathroom. Most people think if they have a small area, they should buy a small size floor tile. That is not the case. A larger format tile can look awesome on a small bathroom floor. There is a great article from RealHomes entitled, "How To Choose Tiles For A Small Bathroom." This article talks about the myth's people have about picking out a tile size, colors for smaller bathrooms, as well as a wealth of information on design and project installation tricks.

Luxury Vinyl Tile & Planks: This product is the fastest growing category in the flooring marketplace. Vinyl tile has exploded in sales. Go in to any floor covering store, and you will see stores have dedicated a significant amount of retail space to LVT (luxury vinyl tile).


  • Cost effective. You can get some great deals on LVT.

  • Click together installation. No adhesives. Can be installed over many existing floors.

  • Waterproof. Great product for a kitchen or bathroom.

  • Warmer on your feet than ceramic tile.

  • Very popular in today's marketplace. Multiple styles and colors


  • Gets a bad reputation from the old "laminate" products. Laminate from 20 years ago had all kinds of claims and maintenance issues. Many times people shy away from LVT, thinking LVT is the same as laminate.

  • Sub-floors need to be smooth. If you have a small pebble in your sub-floor, it can telegraph through the LVT and look twice as large.

Peel & Stick Resilient Tiles: These products are for the DIY customer. Most floor covering stores do not sell this type of product.


  • Easy to install

  • Cost effective


  • Not very durable

  • Easy to damage.

  • Does not do well with water issues

Bathroom Flooring Options DIY...So, What Does All Of This Mean?

The type of flooring for your bathroom really comes down to a personal choice. Customers need to make their flooring choice based on what they like and price. It is really that simple. Once you determine the type of floor that will work best for your project area, pick a style & color that you like, and pick a product that keeps you within your budget.

There is a whole process that we discuss in our article, "How To Buy Flooring For Your Home," that will guide you through the buying process. Going in to a floor covering store to pick out new flooring can be quite overwhelming. Our buying process can be broken down in to a few simple steps that can save the buyer all kinds of time and money.

Bathroom Flooring Options DIY - FAQ

What's New In Bathroom Flooring? Waterproof luxury vinyl tile has become extremely popular. There are all kinds of different styles and colors.

What Is The Best Vinyl Tile Product? There is no "best" product. Each manufacturer has their own good, better, best products. Most of the products in the marketplace have very good warranties. Find a luxury vinyl tile that you like, and that works within your budget.

What Is A Room Visualizer? One of the new innovations that manufacturer's have developed is a "room visualizer." You can take a picture of your floor, then upload it to their website. You can then insert several different floors to see how your room will look. It's a great way to checkout styles and colors of floors. Here is an example:

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At we offer our customers great recommendations on all kinds of area rugs. We also publish our Floor and Decor Blog, which provides all kinds of valuable floor covering buy tips, maintenance tips and product trends. With over 40 years in the floor covering business, we have a wealth of experience in new home construction, remodeling, as well as large commercial projects.

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