How to Upgrade Your Bathroom Floor With Slip-Resistant Flooring

How to Upgrade Your Bathroom Floor With Slip-Resistant Flooring

Bathroom Remodeling
Small Projects and Repairs
By Dikran Seferian February 01, 2022

Several criteria come to mind when trying to pick a type of flooring for your bathroom. Does it correspond with the design style? Is it easy on the wallet? Will it withstand moisture and humidity? While these factors are certainly worth accounting for, there’s another question that may actually be a priority: is it slip-resistant?

A bathroom floor with anti-slip properties can greatly reduce the risk of falling and getting seriously injured. Considering this factor is especially crucial if you or someone in the household isn’t very steady on the feet. Getting familiar with a variety of non-slip flooring options will allow you to make the most viable choice for your bathroom.

What is Anti-Slip Flooring?

It’s not uncommon for falls to happen at any given time. This is because there isn’t a type of bathroom flooring that would completely eliminate the chance of slipping. Certain flooring materials and finishes naturally tend to be smoother and more glossy, essentially making them more slippery than others. Nevertheless, there are ways you can enhance the slip resistance of bathroom flooring.

When producing anti-slip flooring, the structure of the material can be changed to make it more textured. Alternatively, you can go for flooring that is coated with a non-slip film. This coating gives the flooring a textured surface and a better grip. Another solution involves applying anti-slip sealers or paints to the flooring you already have. 

Slip-Resistant Bathroom Flooring Options

There are several non-slip flooring options available. Although they don’t guarantee that you’ll never fall, these types of flooring can be made more slip-resistant using certain methods.

Natural Stone

Pros and Cons of Choosing Stone Flooring for Your Bathroom

Pros and Cons of Choosing Stone Flooring for Your Bathroom

Stone flooring can look beautiful anywhere, and its resistance to mold and mildew makes it ideal for a bathroom. It’s worth taking into account, however, that natural stone is not the most budget-friendly option — in terms of installation and the material itself. But if money isn’t an issue, a stone floor can offer both aesthetic value addition to slip resistance.

First and foremost, you may want to avoid polished stone as it can turn your bathroom floor into an ice-skating rink. The anti-slip coating is also not recommended as it can etch the stone’s surface, making it feel like sandpaper under your feet. Nevertheless, there are other options to consider.

Sandblasted, brushed, or tumbled stone tiles, for instance, can provide a textured surface that’s both comfortable and non-slip. Bear in mind, however, that stone flooring can still be somewhat slippery when wet — even with all the sandblasting, the brushing, and whatnot. In any case, it can be a good idea to use bath mats just to be on the safe side.


Cork Is One of the Most Eco-Friendly Flooring Materials

Cork Is One of the Most Eco-Friendly Flooring Materials

Cork can be an ideal option for anti-slip flooring. Its spongy surface makes it very hard to lose your footing, even in wet conditions. It is also a natural material that is sustainably harvested from the bark of the cork oak; the tree fully recovers as long as the harvesting isn’t very frequent. Cork flooring can also be composed of repurposed leftovers from wine cork production. This, along with sustainable harvesting, makes this material an environmentally friendly option.

The advantages don’t end there. Cork floors are easy to install and can serve as effective insulators. They are also resistant to mold, mildew, and microbes.

As great an option as cork flooring can be, it does have a drawback to bear in mind. The material is quite far from being waterproof, so water can seriously damage the flooring once it seeps into the cork. That is why the surface needs to be sealed at first and then resealed every two years — and not just in the bathroom.

Porcelain or Ceramic

Ceramic and Porcelain Floorings Are Common in Many Bathrooms

Ceramic and Porcelain Floorings Are Common in Many Bathrooms

You’ll often see porcelain or ceramic tiles on bathroom walls as well as floors. Their anti-slip properties are similar to those of natural stone. The type of tile surface you opt for determines whether it’s relatively safe to walk on or a tripping hazard when wet. And just like stone, it’s best to avoid smooth surfaces when choosing bathroom floors. As a matter of fact, you may find certain porcelain or ceramic tiles labeled as non-slip; these are relatively safe to purchase. Such tiles will most likely have a lightly textured surface that provides a grip. Another way to increase the slip resistance is by going for smaller tiles — more grout means more traction.

You may want to check the R-rating of the porcelain or ceramic tiles you’re shopping for. This refers to the anti-slip grading that most modern tiles have. Should you be using a bathmat, any R-rating will do. Otherwise, it’s best to go for tiles with a rating between 11 and 13 (the spectrum goes from nine up to 13).

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. This means you’ll most likely find an option to suit the design style you’re aiming for in your bathroom.

Although people often tend to use the terms porcelain and ceramic interchangeably, the two materials do differ from each other. While porcelain doesn’t absorb as much water and is more stain-resistant, ceramic is easier and cheaper to install.

Non-Slip Vinyl

What You Need to Know About Vinyl Flooring

What You Need to Know About Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl can be a great bathroom flooring option if you’re on a budget. Anti-slip varieties feature a lightly textured surface that can give you a good grip. Should you actually fall, the material will cushion your landing to a certain extent — but try not to fall either way.

Non-slip vinyl comes in a variety of designs and colors. You also have the option of selecting between tiles and sheet flooring, with the former having different thicknesses to choose from. Common options include luxury vinyl planks (LVP) and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT). Should you be going for planks or tiles, you’ll also have the chance to pick between ones that interlock or those that you glue down. If you end up choosing the former variety, adding glue either way can prevent moisture from seeping into the gaps in between the interlocking tiles — resulting in a fully waterproof floor.

This material is also ideal if you’re trying to emulate the aesthetic of other types of flooring. If the appearance of a hardwood floor is something you’re trying to recreate, for instance, you could consider vinyl. It will also require less maintenance than wood, and is more suitable for a humid environment such as a bathroom.

Certain hardwood-looking vinyl floors even feature a textured surface that is “etched in register”. This essentially allows the vinyl to not only resemble hardwood flooring in texture and appearance but also to have that extra grip. Another way to ensure slip resistance is by going for a higher wear layer. This gives the material more texture and therefore a better grip underfoot.

The main setback of vinyl flooring is that it’s not the most eco-friendly option. Not only is it composed of non-recyclable materials, but it is also known to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are linked to cancer. Should you be choosing vinyl, make sure it’s certified for having low VOC emissions.


Why Rubber Flooring Can Be Ideal For Bathrooms

Why Rubber Flooring Can Be Ideal For Bathrooms

Another slip-resistant option for bathroom flooring is rubber. Typically used in fitness centers, rubber flooring has been recently adopted in many high-end designs. Besides its non-slip properties, this material boasts a handful of advantages. It is tough, waterproof, and quite soft under the feet. Natural rubber is also known to be an environmentally sustainable product just like a cork. You may, however, want to look at the environmental credentials of the material before going ahead with the purchase. Certain products labeled as rubber are actually made of synthetic latex. These usually contain by-products of crude oil and may also emit VOCs.

Should you be considering rubber for your bathroom floor, you may want to go for a textured surface. Common options for textured rubber flooring include diamond patterns and raised studs. These will provide a good grip when you step out of a shower. Make sure to avoid smooth rubber, however, as it tends to get quite slippery in wet conditions.

You can find rubber flooring in a plethora of colors and patterns, and it can fit perfectly in modern designs that rely on bold features. It might not, however, resonate with classic interiors. Rubber flooring is also known to be on the expensive side.


Environment-Friendly Flooring Types to Consider for Your Bathroom

Environment-Friendly Flooring Types to Consider for Your Bathroom

Also known as lino, linoleum shares the same anti-slip and water-resistant properties as vinyl. Its main advantage, however, lies in the fact that it’s a natural product — this makes it yet another eco-friendly option. Unlike vinyl, linoleum doesn’t make use of petrochemicals in its production. Should the time come to replace your flooring, you can even choose to recycle linoleum or add it to your compost heap. Consider giving this material that extra bit of friction by using a slip-resistant film or a modified resin solution.

A common reservation around this material is that it falls a bit higher on the price spectrum than vinyl. Linoleum also tends to discolor over time. This is referred to as “ambering” and it affects the linseed oil which goes into the manufacturing of the flooring material. Age and exposure to ultraviolet rays give the linoleum a yellow cast that can’t be cleaned. Unless you don’t mind the discoloration, your only choice will be to replace the flooring.


Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian