10 small bathroom flooring ideas perfect for enhancing compact spaces, from "fun and functional" to "dark and moody"

Add the wow factor with our small bathroom flooring ideas, fit for renters, homeowners, and those will minimal DIY knowledge

Bath tub with checkerboard flooring
(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Small bathroom flooring ideas can be challenging due to a lack of space, but there are always interior design tricks that can be utilized to add extra interest without making the space feel crowded or too busy.

From budget-busting ideas such as painting your floorboards to perfect tile selections, there's something for everyone in our interior designer rundown of flooring ideas suited to compact washrooms.

We've asked our favorite interior designers for their top advice for small bathroom ideas and they've delivered with 10 great ideas to consider.

10 small bathroom flooring ideas 

Our pro-approved small bathroom ideas to consider when choosing bathroom flooring include different tile options, painting your floor and quick fixes that won't break the bank, which will you love best?

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

1. Choose a different tile for your shower area

Small bathroom with shower on right, tiled wall and floors, green vanity,

(Image credit: R/Terior Studio)

One of our favorite small bathroom flooring ideas is to break up the floor space, visually separating different areas. For example, if you have a walk-in shower then define that space by choosing a different tile design. 

You can use the same color scheme but vary the tile size and shape to create a zoned area. We love the idea of using large format tiles on the main floor, and smaller geo tiles in the shower, it adds a decorative element and is ideal for small modern bathrooms

For similar granite looking square tiles consider these Bronze Le Leghe Porcelain Field Tiles and for the shower check out Cascade Porcelain Honeycombe Mosaic Wall and Floor tiles, both by Wayfair

2. Team small scale designs with plain walls

Small blue bathroom with floating marble vanity, textured blue wallpaper, small scale blue:white tiles

(Image credit: Brittany Ferguson / Michael Hunter)

When your bathroom is both small and lacking in natural light, it's best to embrace what you have. Dark small bathroom ideas are popular and can be a dramatic style statement. 

For the flooring, consider choosing a small-scale design that will take pride of place and create impact. If you choose a tile design that has some white, it will lift the whole space visually. 

3. Embrace pattern from ceiling to the floor

Green tiled bathroom floor, wallpapered ceiling, white walls, yellow basin, shower to left, towels hanging, mirrors, lighting,

(Image credit: Living with Lolo / Life Created)

We believe that small can equal fun! And this fabulous bathroom really embraces it in spade with its wallpapered ceiling (we love wallpaper in small bathrooms) and bright geometric tiles. 

"This pool house bathroom was created with fun and functionality in mind. A teal cement tile anchors the space, while the ceiling wallpaper and yellow sink add an extra fun pop of color," says Lauren Lerner, CEO and founder of Living with Lolo.

Lauren Lerner, Living with Lolo
Lauren Lerner

Lauren Lerner is the principal designer and founder of Living with Lolo, the interior design firm based in Scottsdale, AZ, since 2017. Fueled by her love for clean lines, mixed metals, colors, and timeless pieces, Lerner thrives on bringing a client’s home to life from the very beginning.

4. Match your floor to you wallpaper

Small black bathroom with large floral wallpaper above vintage vanity, mirror, wall lights, terracotta til

(Image credit: Maestri Studio / Jenifer McNeil Baker)

For a cohesive scheme, ensure your flooring complements the rest of the design features you've chosen. 

Eddie Maestri, principal architect and owner of Maestri Studio explains the design choices made on one of their small bathroom flooring projects, pictured above. 

He says, "We chose to go bold in this small bathroom, selecting the dark, moody hue of Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams and pairing it with the stunning grasscloth covering by Ashley Woodson Bailey

"We pulled out lighter tones from this motif for the flooring to keep the space from appearing too dark, as well as pairing nicely with the organic look of the vanity," explains Eddie Maestri, principal architect and owner, Maestri Studio

We think Wayfair's Arabesque Terra Cotta Wall and Floor Tiles are a close match. 

Eddie Maestri headshot
Eddie Maestri

Founded by Eddie Maestri in 2008, Maestri Studio is a multidisciplinary firm specializing in full-service architecture, interior design, and landscape design. Eddie leads the studio and delivers a truly custom experience for each client.

5. Play with layouts

White bathroom with tiles floor, cabinetry, mirror

(Image credit: Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture & Interiors / Erin Kelly)

White is the obvious choice for small bathroom floor, but if you want to make it more interesting and uber stylish, then consider playing with the scale and layout. 

You can use different shaped tiles in certain areas, creating what's known as a tile rug pattern.  

Mindy O'Connor, principal and founder, Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture & Interiors explains, "Artistic Tile is a master of natural stone, both classic and unusual, in mosaics, textures and unique configurations. They will lay out a tile rug pattern to perfection, as we opted to do in this timeless bathroom (pictured above)."

Walmart's FloorPops Virgin Vinyl Grey Remy Peel & Stick Floor Tiles would look great with white metro designs.

headshot of Melinda Kelson O'Connor, a dark haired woman wearing a dress, standing in a kitchen looking at the window
Mindy O'Connor

A registered architect in Pennsylvania, Melinda O’Connor is the principal of Melinda Kelson O’Connor Design Architecture & Interiors, a Philadelphia-based architecture and interiors studio. She offers a thoughtful approach to the needs and wishes of her clients and the inherent potential of the architecture they live in. 

6. Source a colorful rug for a decorative feel

Colorful bathroom in pink and green, green wallpaper, pink decorative rug, cottage style,

(Image credit: Molly Mahon)

If you're living in rental, re-tiling your small bathroom floor won't be an option. Instead, consider a fabulous rug. For a more muted approach, try the dusty pink bath mat available from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Textile block designer Molly Mahon, says, "For me, the bathroom is about creating a warm, cozy, and inviting space in which to unwind and relax. Using different textures adds depth and warmth, and there should be no exception for a bathroom floor — this is where I am barefoot most!  

"A rug takes the chill out of a cold winter's day and adds a wonderful sense of comfort. I had this rug (pictured above) made in Varanasi, and we now offer a lovely selection of colorful rugs all hand woven in chunky cotton, super soft and can go in the machine." 

headshot of Molly Mahon
Molly Mahon

Molly Mahon Studio began, in 2012, as a passion project, but is today a global lifestyle brand whose mission is to keep the art of block printing alive. Molly Mahon Studio is still very much a family-run business and holds traditional values to the fore.

7. Pick a graphic design

Small white bathroom with brass fixtures, circular geometric floor tiles

(Image credit: Demi Ryan)

You don't need to go all out with bright and bold flooring for your small bathroom, a subtle graphic design feature will work just as well.

A  floor design in two subtle colors will have an elegant feel, and help a small and dark space feel lighter. 

Murphy, principal of Demi Ryan says, "Geometric flooring tiles can add visual interest and depth to a small bathroom by drawing the eye and creating the illusion of more space. 

"Additionally, the geometric patterns can lend a modern and dynamic touch to the overall design, making the bathroom feel more vibrant and stylish."

Michelle Murphy, Demi Ryan
Michelle Murphy

Versatile, bold, and refusing to be boxed into one style or aesthetic, Michelle Palmer Murphy of DEMI RYAN is a designer to watch. Originally from New York and now based in Chapel Hill, NC, Michelle is branching out all across the United States, and her work is getting national recognition.

8. Opt for stripes for a statement look

small bathroom flooring ideas, teal bathroom with yellow and white striped floor tiles that go halfway up the wall, round mirror, view of wallpaper outside bathroom

(Image credit: Otto Tiles / Olivine Design / Rachael Smith)

For a truly beautiful bathroom floor opt for a striking design — and take it halfway up the wall too. This helps to distract the eye from the size of your space whilst adding color and pattern to your scheme. 

Damla Turgut, founder of Otto Tiles & Design, explains, “Bold enough to be eye-catching while not being overly fussy, the stripe is the easiest way to inject a client’s personality into residential projects. We’ve seen great examples recently that take the humble stripe and turn it into something a little more striking — combining horizontal with vertical, or mixing and matching different colours to create something more unique. 

"It's one of those patterns that really can be used anywhere in the home too, but we know it works particularly well in colorful bathroom to add character to an often forgotten space."

Using the same material on both the floor and walls creates a seamless and cohesive look explains Jason Cherrington, director, Lapicida. He adds, "This can make the bathroom feel larger and more unified. Continuity like this eliminates visual interruptions and can contribute to a sense of spaciousness."

Wayfair's Hudson Tangier Porcelain Arabesque Mosaic Floor & Wall Tiles would give you a cohesive, bright geometric pattern you can easily extend from the floor the the walls, and comes in 15 colorways.

Damla Turgut, owner of Otto Tiles
Damla Turgut

Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Damla Turgut turned her passions for art, design and her homeland into a career, launching Otto Tiles & Design in 2015. Her London-based company has three showrooms and the tiles she designs are handmade in Turkey by skilled artisans using traditional methods. She remains creative director at the helm of Otto Tiles & Design, now trading via a new US website.

Jason Cherrington
Jason Cherrington

Jason Cherrington founded Lapicida in 1984 and he's a leading expert on natural stone, marble, and new generation surfaces such as porcelain and ceramic.


9. You can't beat the look of marble

Marble bathroom with brass fixtures and fitting,modern tub, vanity,

(Image credit: Lapicida)

There's nothing more stunning than a bathroom with marble floor and walls – whatever sized space you have. For a small bathroom use large scale tiles to give the illusion of more footage. 

"Light-colored marble (or marble-effect porcelain as shown in this image), such as white or cream, can visually expand the space in a small bathroom. Light hues reflect more light, making the room feel larger and airier  which is especially beneficial in bathrooms with limited natural light sources," says Jason Cherrington. 

If you can, take it up the walls, but equally, marble looks fabulous with a white or off-white scheme.

Jason adds, "It can act as a neutral backdrop, allowing you to introduce accents or fixtures in bolder colors without overwhelming the space."

On a budget? Check out Amazon's FloorPops Cameron Peel & Stick Floor Tiles, White, that look like marble. 

10. Get crafty with floor boards

small bathroom flooring ideas, bathroom with pink shower curtain, checked floor, painted, pale grey walls, artwork

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

If you love a touch of DIY, then consider painting your floor, this works well if your surface is flat, and can be used on wooden floorboards. 

Make sure you pick a good quality floor paint and follow the instructions on the tin. We like Amazon's Rust-Oleum 365932 Floor Coating Base Coat Greige Paint

If you're feeling extra creative, match your floor color to your tub! 

Having a small bathroom does not mean you can't have a really fabulous floor, in fact, you can really make an impact because you don't need to fork out on a huge space so you can invest on creating a design that you love. 

Bathroom flooring can help make a small space feel larger as well as being striking and statement making. 

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.