Stone Tile for the Bathroom Floor: A Touch of the High Life

Stone tiles made of granite, slate, limestone, travertine, and polished marble make beautiful choices for your bathroom floor.

Stone floors are subject to staining, so be sure to have them sealed every few years. Softer stone needs to be sealed more often. Image: American Slate

Stone tile gives a bathroom a luxurious feel, at a premium price. Natural stone tiles made of granite, slate, limestone, travertine, and marble can cost as much as $100 per sq. ft. Installation adds $5 to $10 per sq. ft. But by shopping around, you might find presentable stone bathroom tiles for as little as $2 each. Do the installation job yourself and you’ll truly have affordable luxururious bathroom floors.

Look for skid resistance

Honed and polished stone tile can be slippery when wet, so choose stone that has a textured, skid-resistant surface. Tumbled varieties of stone—stone that has been mechanically mixed to knock off rough edges and soft spots—have rustic textures with good slip resistance.

Opt for hardness

The hardness of various types of stone tile affects its ability to resist moisture and staining. Softer stones such as sandstone and limestone are suitable for baths but should be finished at least every two years with a quality stone sealer. Harder stones, such as granite and marble, should be sealed every 4 to 5 years.

Install stone tiles

Set stone tiles over a flat, stable surface. You’ll need to remove old flooring and install cement backer board prior to laying floor tiles. Expect to pay about $9 for a 3x5-foot sheet of cement backer board.