Vinyl Flooring for the Bathroom: Stylin’ It Up on the Cheap

Vinyl flooring is moisture proof, non-skid, easy to maintain, and relatively inexpensive—a wise choice for your bathroom floor.

Bathroom Vinyl Flooring
Image: Armstrong

Your bathroom floor works hard. That’s why selecting bathroom flooring isn’t quite like choosing flooring for any other room. 

Your bathroom floor has to be safe even when wet. On top of that, it has to look good without busting the budget. That’s why low-cost vinyl flooring—also called resilient flooring--is the top choice for bathrooms.

Going Low-Maintenance

Water, water everywhere! If you have young children, that likely sums up bath time in your household—and a good reason to look for protection from moisture with vinyl flooring. In addition to being impervious to moisture, vinyl flooring resists stains, and is tough and durable enough to stand up to heavy use.

Vinyl flooring comes in 12-foot-wide rolls that make a bathroom installation virtually seamless. By properly sealing the perimeter of your bathroom floor with waterproof caulk, water and spills can’t penetrate to the subfloor.

Choosing Colors and Textures

Vinyl flooring comes in an array of colors and patterns. Smooth-surfaced vinyl flooring can be slippery when wet, so select textured varieties that provide traction. Expect to pay more if you want a wide range of style options.

Weighing the Cost

At $1 to $5 per sq. ft., sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles are considered the lowest-cost option for bathroom flooring—ideal for a family budget. Installation charges add $1 to $2 per sq.ft., depending on complexity. In general, the thicker the vinyl, the higher the quality and the cost. Some types of thicker vinyl flooring do a passable job of looking like real stone and wood.

Installing Vinyl Flooring

One warning: Don't use vinyl tiles for your bathroom floor. Vinyl tile with self-adhesive backing is a tempting low-cost DIY project, but the many seams are opportunities for water to seep between the tiles and rot the subfloor, resulting in an expensive repair.

Related: Smart Tips for Choosing Bathroom Flooring

John Riha
John Riha

John Riha has written seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on home-related topics. He’s been a residential builder, the editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library, and the executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.