Types of Shower Floors (Marble, Glass, Porcelain, & More)

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Are you having your bathroom floor renovated, or at least upgraded? If you’re looking for something new to elevate the feel and look of the room, you might consider taking a peek at the different types of shower floors that you can go with. Take note that not just any kind of flooring will work, because the material will have to resist the daily exposure to water and steam. Let’s take a look at your best options.

Types of Shower Floors

Marble

Marble is one of the most popular choices. It has a soft look, often coming in either polished or matte finish. Made of soft stone, marble usually comes with swirls of gray and cream (or any other color) that give off a familiar and inviting appearance. Even though it has been around for a long time, we can expect that it’ll stay on top of every homeowner’s list.

The best thing about marble is its natural beauty. It is elegant without trying too much. It possesses a timeless and effortless look to it. Not just that, it’s also quite versatile. It can be made into different shapes and forms, such as the standard four-by-fours to subway tile to basket weave. This availability of variety lets you get creative in experiment with different looks.

However, there are some downsides, too. Marble is prone to staining and scratching. These might seem like minor issues at first, but over time they can be bigger problems. Because the shower area is constantly exposed to (and soaked in) soap and other bath products, the marble’s surface can form a filmy substance. If you don’t use a good sealer, this can damage the floor immediately. 

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Between the two, honed (matte) marble is more resistant to scratches than polished marble. All in all, marble isn’t the best when it comes to preventing slips and slides, compared to other flooring options. Marble is also quite expensive, so be sure to check your budget.

However, this price lets you create amazing texture-on-texture contrast, thanks to the different styles and shapes of marble. Even traditional bathrooms can be complemented with a basket-weave floor pattern, adding simple but effective design contrast.

Travertine

Travertine comes in a wide variety of finishes. It’s easy to find a style that will fit your design vision. Choose from polished, honed, tumbled, or chiseled travertine. Because it is another natural stone, it gives us the best of the earth’s hues. From grays to golds to browns and creams, it is an interior designer’s dream come true. That’s why many luxurious homes all across the globe prefer it.

Many people love the material for shower flooring, mainly because of its unique swirls and veins, but that’s not all. They also love the high level of slip resistance that it provides. Tumbled travertine, in particular, is very slip-resistant. In addition to that, the material is also very durable and lasts a long time.

It isn’t perfect, though. Because of its porous nature, it can absorb some damage if you do not seal it properly. It is a must to seal it every year or two, unless you use a high-quality sealer that lasts longer. Besides this, you can also face some staining issues. You should only use mild detergents when cleaning. Any product that’s harsher can affect the surface. This means that you should be wary of the ingredients found in shampoos and soaps that you use.

Travertine comes in different sizes, typically in the standard 4 x 4 inch squares, 12 x 12 inch tiles, and 2 x 2 inch mosaics. There are more options besides these, of course.

Glass

If you’re looking for a way to give your bathroom a more modern look, glass mosaics can help. They have a cool and clean look that instantly add color to your floor. Alternatively, you can go for a minimalistic look with glossy white strokes. Glass is low-maintenance. So if you hate cleaning often, this might be a viable option for you. All you need is some glass cleaner and cloth, wipe it down, and you’re good to go. 

The surface is translucent, too, so you get a light and open look and feel in the shower. Another great thing about glass is, no matter how much it costs, it has a luxurious appearance.

Speaking of luxury, high-quality glass can really cost a lot. Besides its price, glass can also be accident-prone. It looks sleek, yes, but it also is literally sleek. There is little, if any, resistance to slips. If you have young kids and elderly in the household, you might want to hold off on glass and choose a floor type that has better grip instead.

Porcelain

If you are looking for something that “has it all” – look no further. Porcelain is made from a dense clay body. It lasts for a long time, is waterproof, and is durable. It’s very versatile, too. You can use strong detergents and bath products without damaging it. Daily traffic won’t scratch it, and constant exposure to water won’t damage it. 

To get a more visual impact, you now have the option to get it in a marble, stone, or even wooden finish. This lets you enjoy the appearance of any of these materials without actually having to use them. Porcelain also requires way lower maintenance than these. Cleaning it is pretty simple, and minimal.

One problem that you can face with porcelain is with grout. While using rectified porcelain does keep the grout joints small and narrow, there is still grout – which you’ll need to clean. If you get porcelain without a textured surface, there is also the problem of it getting slick.

Wood

Wood? You read that right. The concept might seem foreign, and it is, but more and more people are getting into it. Wood definitely does a great job in bringing warmth and style to any room. Plus, you get a smooth and flat shower entry!

The sleek and minimalist appearance of wooden floors is what attracts many homeowners, who want to incorporate it to their modern bathrooms. The wooden floors are placed a little bit above the shower base, with slats, so that water and soap can drain properly (if installed correctly). 

Moisture will fester less, and the wood will wear better if you observe regular and proper maintenance. There are often maintenance instructions that come with the purchase. Be sure to follow these guidelines, especially on how to seal the wood.

For the downsides – this won’t come as a surprise – but wood and water aren’t the best duo. Exposure to water and moisture in the long term can warp, fade, and discolor wood. Plus, there isn’t a direct access to the shower drain, which can make it messy and icky after a while. And of course, wood is an expensive option.

Pebbles

Finally, we have pebbles. Just by glancing at a pebble floor, you can feel its soothing touch. The organic look is also a plus, making you feel like you’re in an outdoor spa or retreat. Because of their natural texture, pebbles give great slip resistance. Pebbles have a distinct look, though, so they’re not the most popular, but they’re not the most unpopular, either. These are natural stones that provide a unique beauty. 

However, get ready for lots of grout, which will require cleaning as well. While they are slip-resistant, the hard and rocky surface can be annoying at times. It can hurt your feet, and you might find it challenging to stand on them for a long time during showers. If your house has hard water, you run the risk of developing a chalky film on the floor’s surface – something that’ll require further cleaning and maintenance.

Thankfully, there is a solution to the hard and rocky surface. Go for flat-surface surfaces which create the same look, minus the strain on your feet. Still, they come with grout that will require regular cleaning.

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