Renovating or designing a bathroom is a lot of work. Since you would probably like to get every last detail just right, you are sure to take plenty of time in selecting flooring for it. Many things need to be taken into consideration when choosing the floor for your bathroom. You often go barefoot in the bathroom, for instance, so the feel of its floor is just as important as it looks. Also, since the bathroom is the most humid room in the house, you will want to go with a floor known for its water resistance and dimensional stability.
Is wood an ideal flooring option for your bathroom?
There are quite a few people who advise against installing a hardwood floor in a bathroom, citing primarily the potential problems that moisture can cause. Any kind of moisture is harmful to wood, and the bathroom is the most humid room in the house. So, can you put hardwood floors down in a bathroom with a clear conscience?
Want Wood? Try Engineered Hardwood Flooring Instead
The idea of a luxurious wood floor in the bathroom may sound great, but it is fraught with all sorts of issues. A wood floor must be impeccably installed to stand a chance in the bathroom, where moisture and standing water can destroy it in no time flat. Plus, the wood must be finished in a precise way to make a go of it. If you would like the look of wood in a material that can withstand the perils of the bathroom, engineered flooring is for you. As long as you are installing engineered wood, you can select virtually any species. But white oak, red cedar, and redwood are especially good options for a bathroom floor.
What is engineered hardwood?
Engineered wood flooring is manufactured by layering wood on top of one another, capped by a veneer of solid wood, which often varies in thickness, averaging around 5mm, but often exceeding 10mm depending on the quality of the product. Each of the layers is very carefully secured with special wood glue to ensure that a cross-grain construction is made, which lends to its robustness and good threshold to water and dampness. In addition, this also helps prevent the wood from bending over time, which can be one of the big issues that homeowners face with traditional flooring methods.
Engineered hardwood flooring is dimensionally stable and therefore does not fluctuate too much in response to humidity, so it is generally best to go with engineered floors instead of solid wood. And though moisture – both in liquid form and as water vapor – can cause problems in engineered wood floors, the presence of enough water to damage an engineered hardwood floor indicates a more severe problem that will eventually cause problems with any type of floor. For example, suppose there is a leak around a toilet’s closet bend or excess condensation dripping from the tank. In that case, that water will eventually work its way into the subfloor anyway, regardless of the floor covering.