Upgrading your bathroom flooring can have a tremendous impact on your home’s value and appeal. With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to select the best flooring for maximizing your home’s resale potential. Here is an in-depth look at the most popular bathroom flooring options and how they can contribute to your home’s maximum value.


Tile is one of the most common and sought-after bathroom flooring materials. It comes in a vast array of styles, colors, shapes, and patterns to complement almost any bathroom design aesthetic.

Benefits of Tile Flooring:

  • Extremely durable and water-resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Heated floor possibilities
  • Trendy and stylish designs
  • Can match with shower/tub surrounds
  • Large variety of looks from stone, wood, mosaic, etc.

Maximizing Value with Tile:

Stick with classic subway tiles or penny round patterns in white or neutral colors for the most universal appeal. Arrange the tiles in a timeless straight laying pattern. Stay away from bold patterns or loud colors that may polarize buyers. Porcelain tile will offer greater durability and longevity over a ceramic tile. Larger format tiles 12”x24” can provide a seamless sleek look.

Opt for higher end tiles with texture and variation for a modern high-end finish. Natural stone tiles like marble, travertine and slate have an elegant, spa-like effect. Mosaics can provide visual interest, but limit their use to avoid a busy look.

Natural Stone

Natural stone like marble, travertine, slate, and granite exude high-end luxury. The natural variations and textures of stone add visual drama and interest to any bathroom design.

Benefits of Natural Stone:

  • One-of-a-kind natural patterns
  • Heat retention properties
  • Extremely durable for decades of use
  • Elegant, polished look
  • Design versatility for traditional or modern spaces

Maximizing Value with Natural Stone:

For resale value, stick with classic marble, travertine or granite in popular color patterns like white Carrara or gray slate. Limit patterns to no more than 50% variegation for the most versatile look. Honed finishes are preferable for slip-resistance.

Steer clear of stones like limestone that stain easily. Stay away from bold colors or unique stones that may polarize buyers. Make sure the installation is level and grouted properly to avoid cracking issues. Properly sealed stone will maintain its beauty and value.


Wood flooring brings natural warmth and timeless elegance to any bathroom design. From classic oak to exotic tropical woods, it can fit design styles from farmhouse to modern.

Benefits of Wood Flooring:

  • Wide range of colors from light to dark
  • Adds warmth and character
  • Classic material with natural beauty
  • Distressed looks for vintage charm
  • Can refinish/restain over time

Maximizing Value with Wood Flooring:

For the most versatile look, select wood planks in a straight line pattern, avoiding herringbone or diagonal designs. Mid-range oak, hickory, or maple have the broadest appeal. Stay away from the boldest reds/browns which can polarize buyers.

Opt for a wider plank format, at least 4 inches, for a more modern and seamless look. A medium distressed finish adds character without going overboard into the rustic realm. ‘Site finished‘ wood allows for refinishing, while ‘pre-finished‘ provides greater water resistance.

Proper sealing is a must for longevity in bathrooms. Limit use to dry areas, avoiding direct water contact near tubs/showers.


Vinyl is the go-to choice for anyone seeking an affordable, waterproof bathroom flooring option. Advancements in luxury vinyl provide realistic wood and stone looks unmatched by laminate flooring.

Benefits of Vinyl Flooring:

  • Extremely affordable option
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Fully waterproof protection
  • Wide range of colors and patterns
  • Mimics stone, wood, tile visuals
  • Doesn’t scratch or dent
  • Minimal maintenance

Maximizing Value with Vinyl:

Vinyl plank flooring that mimics oak or maple will have the widest appeal. Install it straight for a seamless look. For stone visuals, opt for lighter colors without too much variation. Upscale vinyls like rigid core and SPC click flooring have greater durability and realistic aesthetics over peel-and-stick tiles.

Avoid bold colors or loud patterns. Make sure ‘wood look’ planks run the same direction. Don’t install vinyl over multiple floor types or uneven surfaces. Quality vinyl can look nearly as convincing as natural materials for a fraction of the price.


Laminate flooring offers an affordable wood flooring look, but isn’t quite as realistic or durable as luxury vinyl. It works best in drier bathroom areas as it is not waterproof.

Benefits of Laminate Flooring:

  • Very affordable option
  • Quick and easy DIY installation
  • Attractive wood plank look
  • Good scratch and scuff resistance
  • Wide color and style selection

Maximizing Value with Laminate:

For resale, stick with laminate that mimics oak, maple or cherry wood species. Install the planks in a straight line pattern to appear seamless. Use it sparingly in bathrooms, keeping it out of wet areas like near tubs and showers. Opt for a more water-resistant laminate with an AC rating of 3 or higher.

Avoid any loud colors or bold variation patterns. Make sure floor panels run in the same direction without haphazard seams. Laminate works best as an affordable wood flooring alternative in low-moisture bathroom zones.

Bathroom Flooring FAQs

What is the most waterproof bathroom flooring?

Porcelain and ceramic tile, natural stone, and vinyl plank flooring are all completely waterproof options suitable for any damp bathroom location. Some higher-end laminate with a water-resistant AC rating can also work.

What bathroom flooring is the easiest DIY installation?

Peel-and-stick vinyl tiles are the easiest DIY installation. Floating vinyl plank, laminate, and some engineered hardwood options are also beginner-friendly. Make sure to prep the underlayment properly.

What flooring adds the most home value to a bathroom?

Natural stone and porcelain tile provide the highest resale value and appeal for homeowners. Marble, travertine, slate, and high-end ceramic generally recoup the highest percentage of their cost.

What is the most affordable, durable bathroom floor?

Luxury vinyl plank flooring provides extreme durability and waterproofing at a very affordable cost point compared to natural options. It’s ideal if you want wood or tile aesthetics on a budget.

Should you avoid wood flooring in bathrooms?

You can successfully install wood in low-moisture bathroom zones if properly sealed and maintained. Keep wood away from direct water contact areas though. Porcelain and vinyl work better near showers.


When it comes to maximizing your bathroom’s resale value, classic and neutral flooring choices are your best bet. Materials like porcelain tile, granite, oak, and vinyl planks have the broadest appeal. Stay away from polarizing designs and loud patterns. The higher-end the materials, the higher the home value boost, but even affordable vinyl and laminate are great on a budget. Consider your home’s value along with your own personal style preferences when selecting new bathroom floors.