Think about your dream home for a moment. What does it look like? What kind of decor is on the inside? What materials do you use to finish off each room?
According to a study done by Hardwood Floors Magazine, two-thirds of homeowners stated their dream home would include hardwood floors.
Especially here in Colorado, we take our outside living seriously. Hardwood isn’t just a wishlist item; it’s a way of life. And while we use hardwood in the main living space, we also wish we could use it in every room in the home.
Yet if you’ve done any research, you know hardwood and water don’t mix. How can you use hardwood in bathrooms? Is it possible? Or is it a recipe for disaster?
Done properly, hardwood can be a welcome addition to any room. If you want a continuous look as you move from room to room, hardwood may be a suitable choice for your bathroom. Before you install it, take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of using hardwood flooring in the bathroom. Consider your options, and you’ll love your flooring for many years to come.
Advantages of hardwood flooring in the bathroom
Before you install hardwood throughout, the first step is taking your lifestyle into account. A half bath off the living room might not be a problem for hardwood. Hardwood in a child’s bathroom where bath playtime is a daily event might have you regretting your decision. Despite the aesthetics of having one flooring material throughout, there are other considerations to keep in mind.
Tile is one of the most popular flooring choices in bathrooms. Yet if you’ve ever stepped on a cold tile on a dark, winter’s morning, you know it has its drawbacks. That’s why many homeowners are attracted to adding hardwood to the bathroom. Hardwood gives a comfort factor not found in other flooring products. It also provides a natural soothing sensation, making you feel like you’re a part of nature. Who doesn’t want that for a room, especially if you’re trying to create a spa-like atmosphere?
Speaking of aesthetics, very few flooring choices offer the beauty of a hardwood floor. That’s its biggest advantage. It’s also why many of today’s top flooring products do whatever it takes to mimic the look. What further enhances the use of hardwood is the fact that no two rooms will ever look the same. Each board is handcrafted to draw out the natural beauty of the material being used. That makes it a classic choice to allow your own personality to shine.
Hardwood flooring is one of the oldest materials used in home construction. It comes from a natural resource that can last for decades if well cared for. And when you do have a problem with the top layer, you can sand it down, smooth it out, apply a new finish, and guarantee yourself many more years of use. Even if you spend a little more on the initial installation, you’ll know it can be with you for as long as you own your home if it’s well cared for.
Disadvantages of hardwood flooring in the bathroom
If you’re reading this article, chances are you already have concerns about installing hardwood flooring in a bathroom. There are good reasons for that. Hardwood is a porous material that allows moisture and other liquids to seep in, even through finishes. Technology is changing that, but it can still be of concern. Especially in a bathroom.
Water is the biggest problem hardwood will face in a bathroom. If you’re continuing your flooring from a living space to a half-bath, the water can be more easily contained. But water in a place where you take daily showers and baths will present issues. Water droplets can splash out at bath time. Shower spray can hit the floor every time you open the door or slide the curtain into place. To protect wood from water damage, you’ll need to wipe up all water spills quickly. That’s difficult when it’s a constant barrage of water.
Droplets from showers and tubs present issues. Floods from broken pipes and overflowing toilets are disastrous. No matter what finish you apply to hardwood, that much water will have an impact on the integrity of the floor. Chances are you will be replacing the flooring if and when this happens. Regular maintenance for all of your bathroom appliances should be on your to-do list, as well as paying extra attention to the way you move around while getting ready.
While standing water and floods can cause problems, the humidity that appears when you bathe or shower adds a new level of wreaking havoc on your hardwood floors. When bathrooms get steamy, the effects of the humidity can settle in everywhere. It gets between the boards and settles in along the baseboards. Over time this can cause a variety of issues, from cupping to warping. Once damaged, you can’t just refinish the planks. It requires starting over with new floorboards.
Think of the variety of products you use in a bathroom: toilet cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, hairspray, body lotion, and other personal items. As these settle onto the floorboards, they can impact the hardwood in many ways. It can stain the wood, lighten the color, or even penetrate through the finish. This leaves the planks more vulnerable to other potential problems.
Other bathroom flooring options
Hardwood flooring in the bathroom isn’t something you necessarily have to avoid. It’s up to you and your lifestyle. Just be aware you will have additional maintenance requirements if you decide to install it.
Luckily, there are many other options to give you the look and feel you desire. Engineered hardwood, laminate, luxury vinyl planks, and even wood-look tile can all give you the look you desire coupled with easier maintenance.
Want hardwood flooring in the bathroom? Open to other options? No matter what your preferences are, we can help you find the perfect flooring option to suit your needs.