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What is The Best Flooring For Closets?

A collage of closet with hardwood flooring.

When it comes to remodeling your home, closets aren’t typically thought of as a priority. This is usually reserved for kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. However, this doesn’t mean closets aren’t an important aspect of your home.

In fact, depending on the type of closet, they can add more space and incredible depth to any room when done right. Because these spaces aren’t as big as other spaces in your home, renovating them can oftentimes be done in a more cost-effective way.This is a spacious walk-in closet with hardwood flooring to match the brown wooden cabinetry lining the walls.

One of the easiest ways to spruce up a closet is to add new flooring. Closet flooring, especially in older homes, can look outdated and stick out like a sore thumb in rooms that have been recently renovated. In this article, we’ll dive into different types of flooring to help you decide what flooring is best for your next project.

Related: What Absorbs Moisture in Closets | How to Protect Suits in Closets | How to Prevent Mildew in Closets | How to Keep Spiders Out of Closets | Best Lighting for Closets | Bedroom Closet Ideas | What are Best Colors for Closets

The Best Flooring For Walk-In Closets

The top three material choices for walk-in closets are hardwood, vinyl, and laminate flooring. These are the top choices because they encompass two of the most important design features for a walk-in closet; durability and comfort.

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Durability will ensure that your closet ages well over time through the everyday wear and tear of daily life. Comfort coupled with durability is even more desirable when, at the end of a long day, you can come home and kick off your shoes and feel the freedom of bare feet against a quality floor.

Comfort and durability aren’t the only benefits from choosing hardwood, laminate, or vinyl flooring for your closet. It is also far easier to maintain the same design elements not only from your closet to your bedroom but also throughout the house as a whole. These materials make for a great neutral, design base in any home.

Vinyl & Laminate Flooring

A man installing vinyl flooring that looks like wood.

Both laminate and vinyl flooring are excellent alternatives to hardwood if you happen to be working with a tighter budget. These two options have made significant progress in their design, sustainability, and durability over the past several years.

This is not your laminate or vinyl floorings of the past; nowadays you can find the perfect laminate or vinyl flooring that gives you the perfect look of hardwoods without breaking the bank.

Whether or not the bedroom or other rooms close by having the same flooring, or are carpeted, it is easy to find an option that brings the design together in a cohesive look. Laminate and tile are both incredibly versatile materials, which allows them both to be compatible with multiple different designs, styles, elements, and aesthetics.

Hardwood Flooring

A woman walking on the heated hardwood flooring.

Hardwood floors are always a beautiful addition to any room; walk-in closets included. It seems like a small or inconsequential design choice, but the true elegance of hardwoods comes from the winsome detail it adds.

An additional bonus to hardwoods is that, due to the natural properties that help it insulate, it will not be as cold to the touch on your bare feet.

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Keep in mind that you will want the hardwood to match the rest of the design elements in the closet as well.

You certainly want there to be a cohesive flow from floor to ceiling. It is important, though, to remember that hardwoods do tend to scratch more easily compared to other flooring options. It makes it an ideal choice for closest, however, as that is a low trafficked area of the house.

Radiant Heat Tile Flooring

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Radiant heat tile flooring is a simple way to up the opulence and grandeur of your walk-in closet. The flooring is comprised of ceramic tiles that sit atop channels of electric heating wires.

You never have to worry about your feet getting cold while standing on the ceramic tile, though, as you can turn on the heat through a knob on the wall. The heat level can also be set to your desired comfort level all winter long as the floor uses just a tiny bit of electricity.

While radiant heat flooring may be the priciest of the flooring selections for a walk-in closet, it also adds equity back into your home. It truly takes your walk-in closet to that next level and gives it a spa-like quality. Not only is it an unexpected and lovely surprise, but the material makes it easy to maintain and clean.


A walk-in closet with white cabinets and shelves complemented by a brown carpeted flooring.

Carpet is a versatile and inexpensive option for a walk-in closet. It also is an easy way to complete the bedroom design if the carpet has already been laid in that room. If you don’t currently have carpet in your bedroom or will be replacing the carpet in your bedroom, the closet can be carpeted at the same time.

On the other hand, if your bedroom is already carpeted, a simple installation method provides for a seamless transition between the old carpet in the bedroom and the new carpet in the closet. Even with brand new carpet, it is always important to remember that the finished project won’t have that same polished and upscale finished look compared to some of the other flooring options.

Carpet still has its benefits and advantages, however. If you are on a tight budget, carpet is much more budget-friendly than other choices you could make for your floor.

Aside from being budget-friendly, the carpet also helps add an element of warmth to any room, but especially bedrooms. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a soft, plush, warm carpet under your feet first thing each morning as you step out of bed.

Ceramic Stone or Tile Flooring

If you are looking to add an elegant flair, while maintaining a natural aesthetic, ceramic tile flooring or stone make for excellent options. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that there is no heating element under the tile or stone to help keep your bare feet warm.

Adding an area rug of some sort will not only add an extra design element within your closet, but it will also help keep your feet warm. A simple, weekly cleaning of the rug is all that is necessary to help maintain a clean and tidy closet.

If You Choose Carpet

If you end up choosing carpet for the walk-in closet, remember that it may start to pull up at the edges eventually. It is important to be aware of this potential hazard because you want to be aware of the potential for trips and falls.

Keeping this detail in mind when choosing other design elements inside the closet can help eliminate potential future injuries.

The Best Flooring For Small Closets

Not every closet in your home is going to be a walk-in closet. Smaller closets tend to have more concerns about the lack of space, but fewer concerns over the design features. The most important element to consider for smaller closets is choosing a sturdy floor that also looks aesthetically pleasing.

With smaller closets, the most important thing to consider when making design decisions is: what is the purpose of the closet? Think about what you will be using that closet for most. Is it storage for seasonal ornaments?

Is it storage for seasonal clothing? Is it storage for art supplies or childrens’ toys or other miscellaneous materials? These questions will help guide you to choose the most appropriate flooring to suit your needs.

Time to Clean House

Anytime you are doing a home renovation project is a good time to do a little side house cleaning, but especially when you’re redoing a closet. If you are going to be putting in new flooring, you’ll need to clear everything out of the closet anyway.

While you have everything from the closet out, take this time to go through and decide what you need to keep, and what you don’t. Perhaps you end up deciding that you want to keep should be stored someplace else now.

Or perhaps once you’ve gone through everything you’ve decided to donate or get rid of most of it. This is a great time to think of ways to remodel that unused storage closet into a much more functional space for your home.

Consider Carpet

If you are reflooring your closet, and it is on the smaller side, the best option to choose is most likely carpeting. This is also not for the reason you may think, either. Most likely, the subfloor has been neglected, and may even have some draft coming through as well. Carpet offers the perfect and budget-friendly solution to this problem.

The additional padding underneath the carpet also helps further serve as insulation on the floor of the closet. Another plus is that the installation for the carpet is simple, easy, and quick. In order to help make the lifespan of the carpeted flooring in your closets last, it is always a good idea to keep the doors closed when not using them. This helps keep pets out of the closet when it is not being used and will keep the floors looking newer longer.

Taking Closet Lighting Into Consideration

The amount of lighting, type of lighting, and placement of lighting in your closet will help you determine the type of flooring you ultimately choose.

Do you have a lot of space with excellent overhead lighting that makes the whole closet bright and luminescent? A nice dark, rich colored hardwood or a beautiful stone tile with a darker natural hue.

On the other hand, you may prefer to not have that contrast between light and dark, and choose to just bring in as much lightness as possible through your floor and design choices. If your closet is not a walk-in or on the smaller end of the scale, choosing a lighter color flooring option helps keep the space feeling bigger and more open.

No matter the size of your closet, choosing to go with a lighter colored flooring option, no matter the material, will automatically make space feel brighter. The only difference between choosing a hardwood, laminate, vinyl, tile, or carpet flooring is the overall aesthetic of the design you are going for.

See Your Outfits

If you are not currently satisfied with the lighting situation in your closet, switch it out with a few different possible options to see which you like best. The size and shape of your closet may dictate the options that would work best, but there will still be more than one option for you to try and find what works best for your wants and needs.

If you have a longer and more shallow closet, you may want to consider track lighting or several different recessed lights across the ceiling. This allows you to get lighting down the entire length of the closet and see at the far ends. You want to be able to get the most use out of your closet, so ensuring you can see the entire length of it is beneficial.

If you have a larger or walk-in closet, you could look at using a multi-tiered chandelier or light fixture to not only add extra light but some style as well. If needed, you could even add in some smaller additional lighting out from the more central, larger light fixture to add extra brightness.

However, if you don’t want to add the smaller, additional lighting, then stick with a lighter colored flooring choice and you can achieve the same effect of lightness and brightness.

What’s Underneath?

So what’s the best way to get started? Simple – find out what’s currently under the floor of the closet (or closets!) you want to update.

Once you have done that, you know your starting point. From there, you have numerous possibilities for the directions you can go when choosing a new floor for your closet.

A close look at a man installing laminated wood flooring.


Flooring can be crucial to the comfortability and function of your closet, which is why searching for closet flooring should be done carefully. Do your research based on the type of closet you plan on renovating and go from there.

As we mentioned at the start of this article, if you have a walk-in closet, you’ll be spending more time inside it with your bare feet, so installing something soft, warm, and comfortable (like carpet) might be important to you. However, you might care more about aesthetics, in which case, hardwood or laminate/vinyl tile are more ideal options. Whatever the case may be, take your time, and choose wisely!

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