Best flooring for bathroom 2023: The best ceramic tiles, laminate, vinyl and porcelain flooring from £15 | Expert Reviews

Planning a new bathroom often focuses on the big items – bath, shower, basin, loo – with bathroom flooring lower on the list. However, it’s just as important, as it adds colour and texture to a room that can otherwise be wall-to-wall white. Bathroom flooring has to be practical, too – no-one wants to be constantly mopping up because a floor can’t stand the puddles and steam – and ideally should be slip-resistant, so you can step in and out of the shower with confidence.

Most people default to ceramic tiles for a bathroom floor but, depending on your budget and the look you’d like, there’s a much wider choice of materials to pick from. We’ve selected the best bathroom flooring you can buy – and explained what to look out for – so your bathroom will be a place you’ll love to linger. Below, you’ll find our buying guide to help you find the right bathroom flooring for your needs, or you can scroll on for our top picks. Simple Bathroom Tiles

Best flooring for bathroom 2023: The best ceramic tiles, laminate, vinyl and porcelain flooring from £15 | Expert Reviews

The only flooring you should be using in a bathroom is hard flooring (sorry carpet, you don’t belong here). This is because the majority of it is either water-resistant or waterproof, so it won’t get mouldy or damaged over time. There are other options than the ones we’ve listed below, but they require more maintenance. Real stone, for example, requires sealing and resealing to keep it watertight, while solid timber can buckle and shift when exposed to the high humidity of a bathroom. Here are the most popular types:

Ceramic and porcelain tiles: While similar, porcelain tiles are harder and less absorbent than ceramic, so definitely the one to choose if bathtime = splash time. They’ll both be waterproof after grouting and won’t need sealing. While both are durable, porcelain is super hardwearing and can be pricier, while ceramic is easier to install and usually affordable but can be prone to cracks and chips.

Vinyl: Often referred to as LVT (luxury vinyl tile), vinyl has a scratch-resistant wear layer on top that’s water-resistant and can be slip-resistant. It’s warmer underfoot than ceramic or porcelain and is popular in the form of wood and stone effect planks and tiles.

Bathroom laminate: Made using a wood-fibre core, printed decorative paper and a wear layer, standard laminate flooring isn’t recommended for use in the bathroom because moisture can get into the planks to make them warp. Instead, look for waterproof bathroom laminate. This has a coating to prevent water getting in – or can be installed with a waterproofing installation kit.

Engineered wood: Unlike solid wood, engineered boards are like a sandwich. They’re typically made with a top layer of hardwood so, once laid, they look like solid boards. This construction means they’re resistant to warping and temperature changes. Choose one that’s lacquered or oiled to increase its resistance to moisture, mop up spills as soon as you can, and keep the bathroom well-ventilated.

If you’re fitting underfloor heating, check that your chosen flooring is compatible. Some may only be suitable for the gentle heat of underfloor heating pipes, while others will suit electric underfloor matting. Check the size of tiles or boards, too. Large-format tiles reduce the number of grout lines, helping a small bathroom to look more spacious, while a shorter plank of wood effect flooring will add more variety of pattern than a long plank.

In terms of budget, buy the best flooring you can afford. Up to a certain point, a category’s price can be a good reflection of durability, meaning that £40 per square metre floors often last longer than £10 per square metre ones.

Price: £42.75 per square metre | Buy now from Flooring Hut

For a neutral floor that’s durable, look no further than these wood-effect tiles. The light, long planks are ideal for using between adjoining rooms – from the bedroom to the bathroom, or from a wet room into a dressing area – all while adding a sense of space. Even better, they’ve been designed to echo the original brushed timber surface perfectly, right down to the multi-toned colour and embossed textured top.

A wear layer of 0.55mm doesn’t sound like much but it’s actually pretty good seeing as some vinyl tile wear layers can be as low as 0.1mm, meaning that this floor should easily withstand several years of being walked on. One final reason to choose Karndean is that luxury vinyl tile doesn’t get as cold as ceramic, so you won’t step out of a hot bath onto a chilly floor.

Key specs – Size: 71.1 x 17.8 x 0.3cm (WDH); Type: Vinyl; Features: Embossed texture; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes up to 27C

Buy now from Flooring Hut

Price: £28 per square metre | Buy now from Wickes

If you love the look of Victorian encaustic tiles but not the price tag, this ceramic version should fit the bill. It’s not too pricey, so you can spend more of your budget on the larger items, and it’s suitable for walls, too, so you can continue the tiles behind basins and around shower areas. Plus, as the tiles are ceramic, they’re a good DIY choice as they’ll be easy to cut to size and fix yourself.

Another good reason to pick these is the colourway – a blend of soothing blue and grey makes them an on-trend choice that coordinates well with white baths and basins, as well as black and grey trims. The only downside is their temperature on a typical day – ceramic is a good conductor of heat once it’s warm, but without a radiator or under-floor heating nearby, these tiles will be chilly in the cooler months.

Key specs – Size: 20 x 20 x 0.7cm (WDH); Type: Ceramic; Features: Satin finish; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes

Price: £19 per square metre | Buy now from B&Q

Quick-Step makes some excellent water-resistant laminate flooring that’s also durable. This is one of its more affordable options but, even though it’s budget-friendly, there’s no sacrifice on style. Its natural oak look suits a variety of bathrooms, from small and simple to contemporary rooms. Plus, as it’s laminate, it’s fairly warm underfoot and things that are dropped on it are less likely to break than on a harder floor.

There is a little bit of a catch with the price though – in order for it to be truly suitable for a bathroom, you’ll need to install it using the brand’s Hydrokit silicone and PE foam so that water doesn’t find its way in via skirting boards and crevices between the walls and floor. That will cost around £40 on top. You’ll also need to use compatible underlay. On the plus side, it’s easy to fit thanks to an easy click system, and has a 10-year guarantee for wet areas if it’s installed as recommended.

Key specs – Size: 19.3 x 138 x 0.8cm (WDH); Type: Laminate; Features: Scratch Guard technology; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes

Buy now from B&Q

Price: £15.73 per square metre | Buy now from Victoria Plum

As affordable floors go, these rectangular tiles are hard to beat. Not only are they pocket-friendly, but they’re also made from hard-wearing porcelain, making them easy to clean and less prone to scrapes and scratches. They’re finished with a simple stone effect, so they’re versatile for most spaces and suitable for bathroom walls, so you can clad a walk-in shower area using them as well. The large format means minimal grout lines, too, which is ideal for a sleek look.

Given the price, you might not be surprised that there are a couple of downsides. While the tiles have some slip-resistance, it’s on the low side, so you might not want to install them in a multigenerational household. They’re also not suitable for wetrooms.

Key specs – Size: 30 x 60 x 0.9cm (WDH); Type: Porcelain; Features: Matt finish; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes

Buy now from Victoria Plum

Price: £22.45 per square metre (£49.39 for 2.2 square metre pack) | Buy now from Bricoflor

While laminates with a bevelled edge are prone to water ingress, the Ocean range from Berry Alloc is water-resistant thanks to it being completely flat and flush. It also has a helping hand from a water-repellent Hydroplus coating, meaning that you won’t have to race to wipe up spills and splashes at bath-time. What’s especially noticeable about this flooring, though, is its stylish tile-inspired pattern. This is a rarity amongst laminates, which are typically available in wood and stone effects.

Another plus is its ease of installation –you can just click or lift and lock the planks into place – and its lifetime guarantee. This is a great option to consider if you like the look of tiles but want something faster to install and warmer underfoot.

Key specs – Size: 19 x 128.8 x 0.8cm (WDH); Type: Laminate; Features: No bevels, embossed; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes, up to 27C

Price: £32 per square metre | Buy now from Luxury Tiles

If you love to get creative with your flooring, these porcelain tiles should fire your imagination. There are multiple ways you can lay them – to create stars, bursts of white, or turned one by one for a linear effect. While they’re also available in black, this powder pink shade is especially eye-catching in rooms of any size.

Lily tiles aren’t just pretty, though: they’re practical, too. An anti-slip glaze means they work well leading into a walk-in shower area, while being porcelain means they’re more durable than ceramic. Perhaps the only downside comes from their slip-resistance, as the glaze can become stained with residue, so it’s best to seal it with a protector product before grouting. Once installed, you’ll have a hard-wearing, practical floor for years to come.

Key specs – Size: 20 x 20 x 0.85cm (WDH); Type: Porcelain; Features: Matt finish; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes

Buy now from Luxury Tiles

Price: £21 per square metre | Buy now from Homebase

If you’re a fan of wooden flooring but need a water-resistant option for the bathroom, turn to a timber-effect laminate. Egger’s range includes several laminates with an Aqua+ core and secure click-lock system, ensuring they can withstand the damp environment.

This Brown Perganti Walnut 8mm laminate stays water-resistant for up to 72 hours, meaning you don’t have to hop out of the tub to wipe up every splash and spill. It’s also antibacterial and you can even use a wood floor cleaner on it.

However, it’s the dark knots, velvety woodgrain texture and irregular finish that set it apart, giving the floor a natural, authentic appearance. The variations in style and bevelled edges on each board are a nice touch too, making it great for adding interest to a long, narrow bathroom.

A final reason to choose this reassuringly robust floor is its lifetime guarantee, which means you won’t have to replace it before your bathroom’s ready for another revamp.

Key specs – Size: 19.3 x 129.1 x 0.8cm (WDH); Type: Laminate; Features: V-bevel edges; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes up to 28ºC

Price: £40 per square metre | Buy now from Flooring Superstore

While they’re still made using vinyl, Evocore planks are slightly different from standard LVT. That’s because they’ve been engineered for greater stability, comprising seven layers – which includes two vinyl boards – a rigid core that protects against water damage and expansion, and built-in underlay. That means they’re able to withstand the humid environment of a bathroom and even extreme heat from sunlight up to 38ºC.

Other reasons they’re at home in the bathroom include the textured finish – great for slip resistance, even on a wet floor – and a click-lock fitting system that ensures they’re watertight once installed. Plus, you won’t need underlay, but you may still have to allow some budget for room edging. However, it’s the stylish herringbone laying pattern that you’re sure to love the most, which looks great in both classic and contemporary bathrooms.

Key specs – Size: 63 x 12.6 x 0.5cm (WDH); Type: Vinyl; Features: Embossed texture; Under-floor heating-compatible: Yes

Buy now from Flooring Superstore

Best flooring for bathroom 2023: The best ceramic tiles, laminate, vinyl and porcelain flooring from £15 | Expert Reviews

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