If new flooring exists on your remodeling the bathroom list, there are many different types of bathroom and shower floor options to choose from. This often makes it difficult to narrow your choices down, especially when you wonder what the true difference is between each one.
As you start to think about your flooring options, you want to think about a few key factors including:
- Surface type
- Maintenance required
Some of the most popular options include acrylic, tiles, pebble, and wood. The type of flooring you choose should be unique to your style preference. Below, we will review the pros and cons of several different flooring types to ensure you have a good foundation when you start to shop.
Choosing the Best Shower Flooring Options
You spend a great deal of time in the bathroom and as such, you should have a bathroom that is functional, spacious, and designed to meet your needs. Choosing the right type of material and design for your shower floor sets the precedence and can create a space that you are happy with or frustrated by.
As you start to shop, you want to keep several factors in mind about your flooring. We briefly mentioned them above but want to delve in just a little more.
- Budget: What is the cost like? What can you afford, and do you have a strict budget or room to wiggle?
- Maintenance: Simple and easy cleaning is the best. Consider the maintenance requirements such as resealing
- Existing Flooring: What is your existing flooring like? Do you need a complete replacement of the flooring or will reglazing work?
- Durability: What about water damage, stains, and scratching?
- Aesthetic: Does it match your personal style? How will it look in the space?
- Safety: Is the material slip resistant? Is the material hard or soft?
Best Material for Your Shower Floor
Now, we will take a look at some of the pros and cons of the different available shower floor options.
Granite is a beautiful option for the home in general and it does make for a beautiful flooring option. You will find granite tiles in many higher end homes.
- Extremely durable
- Non-slip if tumbled correctly
- Not a DIY project
- Heavy in weight
- Can be easily damaged by harsh chemicals such as ammonia and acid
Arguably the most popular option on the list, ceramic tile is versatile, and it comes in a number of different colors and varieties including those that mimic the look of real wood. This option does hold up well in wet areas, which is why it is readily used in the shower and bathroom.
- Good grip
- Lower price point
- Water resistant and very durable
- Hard to install on your own
- Can become slippery depending on the design of the ceramic
- Does not hold up well to harsh chemicals such as bleach
Another popular option in bathroom remodels and probably the most found option in bathrooms and showers is ceramic tile. These tiles are budget-friendly, which is why they are a number one choice.
- Easy to clean and care for
- Many patterns and colors available
- Tiles can absorb moisture if glaze cracks
- Not as durable as porcelain
- Tiles may need to be resealed, especially if the glaze cracks
Wood flooring is popular all over and it can be used in the bathroom or shower too. It creates a contemporary look for homeowners.
- Has good traction
- Good drainage
- Can be hard to clean due to installation techniques
- Higher maintenance to prevent issues
- Resealing is required often to prevent mold, discoloration, warping, and moisture damage
Travertine tile is a good choice for those who are looking for a weathered look that adds in some rustic and natural hints to it. This type of tile does well in a more modern bathroom.
- Very durable
- Non-slip if it has been tumbled correctly
- Does not fade
- UV resistance
- Quite costly
- Cannot DIY
- Must reseal often to prevent mildew and mold growth
If you have a prefabricated shower base, then fiberglass may be the right option for you. It is not aesthetically pleasing but it is functional and affordable.
- Simple and fast installation
- Clean yet plain look
- Cannot add tile to fiberglass
- Prone to cracking and scratching
- Limited selection of styles and colors
Homeowners who want a unique look to their bathroom and shower may choose glass tiles. These tiles do come in a variety of colors and often, you can alternate between shades of a color to get a balanced yet abstract look.
- Stain resistant
- Has texture and traction
- Easy to clean
- Can break and scratch easier than other options
- Larger tiles become slippery
Enameled Cast Iron
This is another option available and is often chosen because it is known to not discolor or crack over time. It provides you with a distinct look in the bathroom or shower but is slippery when wet, so the tiles must be textured to prevent falls.
- Retains heat
- Easy to clean
- Very durable
- Slippery and can lead to falls unless textured
- Costly repairs if enamel becomes damaged
- Limited finishes and colors
Acrylic offers you a plain and clean look in the bathroom. It is often chosen by homeowners because it is pretty basic but offers function. It is easy to maintain and quite budget-friendly too. While you will find that acrylic does not elevate your bathroom like some of the other options on the list, it will ensure that your shower is leak-proof.
- Fast and easy installation process
- Basic and simple
- No grout lines to worry about
- Water can leak at the shower pan if not installed properly
- Cracking and scratching can occur
- Isn’t the most aesthetic option
If you are after a spa look and feel for your bathroom, pebble tile will do just that. These types of tiles look rustic and are ideal in modern bathrooms.
- Comfortable to walk on
- Unique color variations
- Can develop a white film from hard water
- Larger and rounded stones can be uncomfortable to stand on
- Higher maintenance due to more grout lines that need to be cleaned
Slate tiles are unique in that there are no two that are the exact same. Each tile is natural, and they can provide your bathroom with a natural and earthy look.
- Stain and water-resistant
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Non-slip option
- Textured option
- Limited color selection
- Low-quality slate requires resealing often to prevent water damage
What Can I Expect to Pay?
Okay, now that you know what types of options are available, we have reached the burning question – what will it cost? Below, you will find an estimate per square foot. Of course, the price can always vary depending on availability, location, labor, and other factors.
- Granite Tile: $6 to $30 per square foot
- Porcelain Tile: $2 to $17 per square foot
- Ceramic Tile: $0.50 to $7 per square foot
- Wood: $2 to $8 per square foot
- Travertine Tile: $3 to $30 per square foot
- Fiberglass: Roughly $150 to $250 for a 3-foot by 4-foot base
- Glass Tile: $5 to $20 per square foot
- Enameled Cast Iron: About $1,100 for a 3-foot by 4-foot base
- Acrylic: About $300 for a 3-foot by 4-foot base
- Pebble Tile: $7 to $35 per square foot
- Slate Tile: $4 to $28 per square foot
Best of the Best Recommended by Experts
If you are having trouble deciding on which shower flooring to choose, you are not alone. There are many options to consider, and you want to make sure you choose the right one. Below, experts have weighed in on what they recommend based on the different factors we discussed earlier. Let’s have a look.
- Best Eco-Friendly Option
Wood. Not only will wood add a stylish flare to your bathroom, but it is also considered a green option, especially if it is sustainably sourced.
- Best Non-Slip Option
Pebbles and Slate. Pebbles are a great option for grip and can provide you with a unique look that screams spa day in the bathroom. Slate is another great choice, and it is slip-resistant as well due to the slightly rough texture it offers.
- Best Budget-Friendly Option
Acrylic and Fiberglass. Both of these options are the cheapest and they are also both the easiest to install in your bathroom and take the least amount of time. You can expect to pay just about a couple to few hundred dollars for these options.
- Best and Easiest to Clean Option
Acrylic and Fiberglass. These are the two easiest options to clean. In fact, you won’t find anything easier. In most cases, all you need to do is wipe down the material and you are good to go. Also, there are no grout lines to seal or clean, which is nice.
- Best for Durability Option
Enameled cast iron. This is an exceptionally durable option. The enamel coating is thick, and it will not stain or rust, even over time. If you are not sold on the cast iron, you can choose porcelain, granite, or slate if you want durability over cost.
Professional Installation or DIY?
Unless you are very confident in your ability to redo your shower flooring, you do not want to take on the task yourself. While some of these options can be done DIY, it is not recommended that you do so. The reason behind the recommendation is because an improperly installed piece or a failed grout line can have serious consequences such as water damage or mold. Hiring a professional and licensed contractor will ensure that your home’s shower flooring is done correctly and properly.
Quick FAQs About Shower Flooring
Check out these quick FAQs.
Does tile size in the shower matter?
It does. In fact, the right size of the tile will depend on the type of tile you choose. For example, some of the smaller tiles offer better grip than the larger tiles. You will also find that smaller tiles may be easier to contour when you get to funky areas that need to be tiled. For the best results, you want to choose tiles that lie somewhere between one to six inches per square foot.
What is the best stone for the shower?
Slate is an excellent choice, especially when it has been installed and sealed properly. This option is also water-resistant and provides you with natural traction, so you do not have to worry about the size of the tiles with slate.
Is acrylic good?
While acrylic showers are not easy on the eyes, they are extremely functional and affordable. They are easy to clean and completely waterproof. If you are on a tight budget, it is a very good option.
Can I use cement board on the shower floor?
Under no circumstance should you use cement board on the shower floor. It will crack and break. You can only use cement board on the shower walls. A good foundation for your shower base will be made from cement or another weight-bearing material.
Your Shower and Bathroom Remodel Is One Step Closer to a Reality
Now that you have explored the different types of shower flooring options, you can make a decision and proceed forward. Remember to keep the above pros and cons in mind as you choose which option you want.
As you prepare for your remodel, remember that a self-storage unit can help you keep your items free from construction dust and out of the way during the remodel itself.