As you search for the right kind of flooring to perfectly accent your bathtub, vanity, and toilet, it’s natural to keep all options on the table. You might be shying away from the idea of stone floors in your bathroom due to the expense involved, but plenty of types of stone flooring are relatively inexpensive. Learn more about the different types of stone flooring and how these flooring solutions might fit into your bathroom remodel plans.
Types of Stone Flooring
Before you decide whether natural stone flooring is right for your bathroom, you’ll need to learn more about each of the stone flooring options on the market:
Marble is what comes to mind first for most consumers when they think about stone flooring. This type of stone has rich veins, and it is highly glossy to the extent that it has a nearly glass-like appearance after a master stone artisan finishes a marble tile.
The main detractor of marble is its expense. According to Home Advisor, new marble flooring can cost between $10 and $20 per square foot, so if you have a bathroom that’s over 100 square feet in area, you could pay thousands of dollars for this type of flooring. Certain rare types of marble can cost as much as $50 per square foot.
While marble flooring is undeniably beautiful, it has a few other detractors you should keep in mind. This type of stone stains easily, and it also has a tendency to crack. If you plan to take excellent care of your new floors, this won’t be a problem. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance type of stone flooring, however, marble might be the wrong choice.
Keep in mind that there are dozens of different kinds of marble. Before you fall in love with a certain marble grain or rule this type of stone out completely, you should research the different color schemes and other attributes of the various marble varieties.
Granite offers some of the same benefits as marble while avoiding some of the major pitfalls of its more lustrous cousin. While granite is nowhere near as aesthetically attractive as marble, it’s also far less temperamental.
Since it’s an igneous rock that forms under immense heat and pressure, granite is highly durable. It’s practically impervious to scratches, and unlike marble, it doesn’t absorb oils or other substances that can cause stains.
Granite is far cheaper than marble. If you’re lucky, you might find high-quality granite flooring for less than $2 per square foot, and even the most expensive types of granite only cost a maximum of $15 per square foot.
While granite isn’t as ostentatious as marble, it’s still very attractive. Like marble, granite contains veins, and while the veins in granite aren’t as prominent as the veins in marble, they still add visual variety to your flooring. Plus, the color of granite deposits varies from place to place, so depending on where you live, you might be able to find a unique-looking variety of this stone that will breathe life into your bathroom.
When you merely glance at it from a distance, travertine flooring can look highly similar to wood or vinyl flooring. Once you buff your travertine floors and view them from up close, however, it’s clear that this light-colored flooring is in a class of its own.
Travertine comes in various shades ranging from off-white to rust brown. This sedimentary rock isn’t as hard as marble; in fact, the softness of this mineral can give it an almost soapy appearance.
At $3-$20 per square foot, travertine is cheaper than marble, but it has a lot of the same problems as its more luxurious rival. This stone stains very easily, so you’ll need to carefully keep up with your monthly stone sealer regimen to keep your travertine bathroom floors from looking splotchy.
Limestone is highly similar to travertine, but it is more durable and long-lasting. This type of natural stone flooring has a unique texture that looks almost like weathered wood. While this texture is beautiful, if you want your bathroom floor to be perfectly smooth, you should pick a different stone.
At $5-$20 per square foot, limestone is relatively pricey. Considering this stone’s durability, however, its cost is reasonable. Just remember that, like travertine, limestone is porous, so you’ll need to apply a stone sealer regularly to keep it from staining.
If you choose a low-quality option, you can get slate flooring for as little as $2 per square foot. Inferior slate is prone to spalling, however, which is when chips of this rock break off after normal use.
Slate has a naturally rough surface, which makes it an excellent choice for areas where you need good traction. The dark color and matte texture of this mineral are also unique among stone flooring varieties, which might make it the perfect option for accentuating a darker minimalist or contemporary bathroom décor theme.
How to Pick and Install the Right Natural Stone Floors for Your Bathroom
Keep all the pros and cons of the various stone flooring options in mind as you make your selection. If you aren’t sure which type of flooring would look best in your bathroom, reach out to an interior designer or your local stone supply company for a recommendation.
Unless you’re a master flooring installer, you’ll want to rely on the pros to install your new stone floors for you. Installing stone flooring is nothing like installing other types of floors, and you’ll need special tools to cut your stone tiles and fix them into place. As you choose a stone flooring installer, make sure to ask if the companies you’re considering offer sealing services, which can make your floors last longer.