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.
Other advantages of engineered wood floors
There are several advantages to be found when choosing engineered wood flooring over other flooring options. One of these is that it is often considered more universal by nature; since engineered wood floors are generally only about three-eighths to five-eighths of an inch thick, they can be fitted on top of existing floor surfaces, including often tricky concrete floors.
In addition, it is also considered more flexible and easier to install and maintain than many alternatives. This is largely due to being typically sold in easy-to-fit systems; you can choose between lengthier panels for installs which are ‘floating’ in style, or simply choose the straightforward tongue and groove pieces, which makes it more realistic to contemplate laying the flooring without the need of any professional assistance. Engineered wood also comes prefinished or finished in the pack – meaning no further preparation such as waxing or oiling of the wood needs to take place. This not only cuts down on extra costs for finishing products but also means that your flooring is ready to go, straight out of the box, saving you or your re-fitter costly additional labor time.
Is engineered wood flooring durable? The simple answer is yes, and the better you care for the floor, the longer it is likely to last. Maintenance of engineered wood flooring is simple to carry out and can be as easy as applying a quality laminate and wood cleaner ever so often. These specialist cleaners are neutral detergents that form a self-polishing film, highly resistant to wear and dirt that helps clean and protect the product. More intensive maintenance can also involve sanding down the surface or damaged parts of the wood. Bear in mind that there are only a limited number of times that manufacturers will recommend sanding down your engineered wood flooring. Typically, a professional sanding machine will remove anything from 0.25mm – 1mm off the top layer of the wood. For the varieties of engineered wood that feature thinner veneer layers, this must be done rarely and with caution.
Getting the Bathroom of Your Dreams
You don’t have to sell yourself short when it comes to choosing a floor for your bathroom. There are many modern choices – like engineered wood floors – that allow you to enjoy the look of classic materials without all of the issues. Take your time shopping for floors for your bathroom. Don’t make your final decision until you have investigated every option. Most importantly, don’t compromise on the look that you want. By checking out some of today’s best options, it is more than possible to get the style that you need at an amazing price.
What type of underlayment should you use? How many inches thick? How do you install it? And how do you avoid damaging your floors in the process?
When you work with Factory Flooring, you don’t have to worry about these questions. Our team of professional flooring installers will handle all the heavy lifting for you — literally. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the savings on your energy bill.
Need to get more flooring ideas first? Our design blog has dozens of articles to help you get started. Whenever you’re ready to tackle your insulation project, we’ll be here to help. Contact us online to get started, or call Factory Flooring at 469-583-7053 .