4 Best Flooring for Shower: Waterproof & Slip Resistance

When selecting the best flooring for a shower, various factors must be taken into consideration. These include durability, maintenance, water resistance, and aesthetics. In this article, some of the top choices for shower flooring will be discussed.

As homeowners weigh the options available, it is essential to find the perfect balance between form and function. To that end, the following flooring options have proven their worth in providing a safe, stylish, and long-lasting solution for shower spaces.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are among the most popular flooring options for shower areas due to their durability, water resistance, and aesthetic appeal. They are made from clay materials fired at high temperatures, which results in a hard and dense structure.

There are several reasons why these tiles are preferred for shower flooring:

  • Water resistance: Ceramic and porcelain tiles have a low water absorption rate, making them resistant to water damage and stains. This is crucial for shower areas where constant water exposure can deteriorate other materials quickly.
  • Durability: Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are highly resistant to wear and tear, ensuring a long-lasting shower floor. Porcelain tiles are denser and more durable than ceramic tiles, making them an excellent choice for heavy usage areas.
  • Easy maintenance: These tiles are easy to clean and maintain, requiring only simple wiping or mopping with a mild detergent to remove any dirt or grime.
  • Versatile designs: Ceramic and porcelain tiles come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing homeowners to create a unique and personalized shower space.

Here is a comparison of some vital attributes of ceramic and porcelain tiles:

AttributeCeramic TilePorcelain Tile
Water Absorption Rate3% – 7%< 0.5%
DurabilityMedium – HighHigh

While ceramic and porcelain tiles offer numerous benefits for shower flooring, it is essential to consider factors such as slip resistance and proper installation. Applying a slip-resistant coating or opting for tiles with textured surfaces can help enhance safety in wet and slippery conditions. Additionally, ensuring a professional installation with appropriate grouting and sealing further increases durability and water resistance.

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone tiles are a popular choice for shower flooring due to their durability and unique aesthetic appeal. They come in a variety of types, each with its own distinct characteristics and benefits.

Some common types of natural stone tiles include:

  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Travertine
  • Slate
  • Limestone

When considering natural stone tiles for shower flooring, it is essential to take note of factors like slip resistance, water absorption, and maintenance requirements. For instance, some stones, like slate, offer better slip resistance due to their textured surface, while others, like marble, may be more prone to staining and etching.

Regarding water absorption rates, natural stone tiles can have rates ranging from 0.2% to 5%. Lower water absorption rates are more ideal for shower flooring, as they are less likely to suffer from water damage. To provide some examples:

Stone TypeWater Absorption Rate (%)
Granite0.2 – 1.0
Marble0.3 – 3.0
Travertine1.0 – 3.0
Slate2.0 – 5.0

It is also essential to choose a suitable sealing product to protect your natural stone tiles from water damage and staining. The frequency of sealing depends on the specific stone and usage, generally ranging from every two to five years.

Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl tiles are a popular and practical choice for shower flooring due to their durability, water resistance, and ease of installation. There are various types and designs of vinyl tiles available, making them a versatile option for any bathroom style.

When selecting vinyl tiles for a shower, it’s essential to consider factors like slip resistance, thickness, and overall performance. A slip-resistant vinyl tile with a textured surface can sufficiently reduce the risk of slipping on wet floors. A thicker vinyl tile (between 2-3 mm) can ensure better durability and comfort underfoot.

Some advantages of vinyl tiles as shower flooring include:

  • Water resistance: Vinyl tiles are less likely to absorb water, making them suitable for wet environments like showers.
  • Low maintenance: Vinyl tiles are easy to clean and maintain, requiring only regular sweeping and mopping.
  • Cost-effective: Vinyl tiles are generally more affordable than other shower flooring materials like stone or ceramic tiles.
  • Easy installation: Many vinyl tiles feature a self-adhesive backing, allowing for a quick and straightforward installation process.

Vinyl tiles may have some drawbacks, such as potential damage from sharp objects, and they might not provide the same premium feel as natural stone or ceramic tiles. However, their benefits often outweigh these disadvantages, making them a suitable option for shower flooring.

When selecting the best vinyl tiles for your shower, consider the following tips:

Slip ResistanceChoose vinyl tiles with a textured or slip-resistant surface.
ThicknessSelect tiles with a thickness of at least 2-3 mm for better durability and comfort.
StyleOpt for a design that complements the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.
InstallationConsider self-adhesive vinyl tiles for a simple and fast installation process.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing vinyl tiles for your shower floor, ensuring both aesthetic appeal and practicality for your bathroom.

Pebble Tiles

Pebble tiles provide a unique, natural, and organic look for shower flooring. Derived from various geographical locations, pebble tiles are made from smooth, polished river stones and can be found in assorted shapes and sizes.

Some advantages of pebble tiles include:

  • Durability: Pebble tiles are known for their longevity and resistance to wear and tear.
  • Slip resistance: The textured surface provides a natural slip resistance, making a shower floor safer.
  • Water drainage: The spaces between the pebbles allow for water to drain easily, reducing the chance of pooling or standing water.

When selecting pebble tiles, consider the following factors:

Pebble size and shapeSmaller pebbles may provide more grip, while larger pebbles offer a less uniform appearance.
Color and patternChoose a color and pattern that complements the overall design of the shower and bathroom.
CostPebble tiles range from $10 to $20 per square foot. Installation costs should also be considered.

When properly installed and maintained, pebble tiles can provide many years of beautiful and functional shower flooring. Regular cleaning and sealing can help protect the integrity of the surface and prolong the lifespan of the tiles.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the best flooring for your shower, there are several factors to consider. The following subsections will discuss these factors to help you make the right decision for your shower space.

Slip Resistance

Slip resistance is crucial for any shower flooring, as it can greatly reduce the risk of accidents in wet and slippery conditions. Consider materials with a high coefficient of friction (COF) or surfaces with texture for added grip. Some popular slip-resistant options include:

  • Rubber
  • Non-slip ceramic or porcelain tiles
  • Textured natural stones like slate or travertine

Waterproof and Drainage

Waterproofing and proper drainage are essential in preventing water damage, mold, and mildew. Choose flooring materials that are resistant to water and moisture. Additionally, the shower floor should have the right slope for effective drainage. Common waterproof materials include:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tiles
  • Natural stones such as granite or marble
  • Vinyl


Durable materials can withstand daily wear and tear, providing a long-lasting shower floor. Durability may vary depending on the material and the quality of installation. Most durable options are:

  • Porcelain tiles
  • Natural stones like granite or quartzite
  • Pebble tiles


Low-maintenance materials make it easier to clean and maintain your shower floor, preventing build-up of dirt and bacteria. Some low-maintenance flooring options include:

  • Glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles
  • Sealed natural stones
  • Vinyl


Consider the ease of installation and the required expertise when selecting the shower flooring. Professional installation is preferred for most materials, such as tiles or natural stones. However, some options may be more DIY-friendly:

  • Rubber flooring
  • Click-together vinyl planks or tiles
  • Interlocking pebble tiles

Cost Considerations

When selecting the best flooring for your shower, it is essential to consider the costs involved. The price of the flooring materials and installation can vary widely, depending on the type and quality of the flooring you choose.

Here are some popular shower flooring options and their average costs per square foot:

MaterialAverage Cost (per sq. ft.)
Ceramic Tile$1 – $5
Porcelain Tile$3 – $10
Natural Stone Tile$5 – $25
Glass Tile$10 – $35
Sheet Vinyl$1 – $5

In addition to material costs, it is essential to factor in labor expenses. The average cost for the installation of shower flooring can range from $4 to $14 per square foot, depending on factors such as material complexity and regional pricing differences.

Furthermore, maintenance costs should be taken into account when selecting shower flooring. While some materials, like ceramic and porcelain tiles, require minimal maintenance, others like natural stone may require regular sealing and upkeep, which can add to long-term costs. It is crucial to keep this in mind when making your decision.


In summary, selecting the best flooring for your shower requires consideration of several factors such as safety, durability, and aesthetics. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles are popular choices due to their water resistance and slip resistance features.
  • Stone tiles, such as slate and travertine, offer a natural look but may require more maintenance.
  • Vinyl and rubber provide good slip resistance and are easy to clean but may not be as visually appealing.

By weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each flooring material, homeowners can ensure that they make the best choice for their shower needs.

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