Installing hardwood flooring is one of the best ways to renovate your home, update the look and style of a room or your entire house, and increase the value of your property. But just because wood floors are great in one room doesn’t mean they’ll work in another, and it’s important to install wisely. The bathroom is one example of a room that isn’t suited for hardwood floors, and the main reason for this is moisture. That being said, hardwood can work in powder rooms and half bathrooms, because these rooms don’t have the same high level of humidity as full baths.
Wood is a living material that can absorb moisture, and as it absorbs and dries out, it expands and contracts. When this happens repeatedly with the flooring, it can cause warping and buckling, and that’s not something that you want to happen to your hardwood floor. The bathroom is one of the most high-humidity rooms in the house because of steam from the shower and bathtub, which is the main reason why hardwood isn’t recommended in the bathroom.
The bathroom is also a high-traffic room in the house, and when you combine this with the beating your floor takes from sink and shower water, you’ll realize why you might want to opt for an alternate flooring material. Whether it’s the kids sloshing around in the tub, you having your morning shower, or even just brushing your teeth before bed, bathroom floors often have water splashed on them, and this can lead to water damage that requires regular maintenance and repairs to combat rot and mold. As such, you’ll want to choose a bathroom flooring material that’s more water resistant and more dimensionally stable.
Although it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid hardwood in the bathroom because of the potential for water damage and rot, you might be able to get away with installing wood floors in half baths and powder rooms. These rooms are suited for wood floors because they don’t have showers and tubs, which are responsible for the majority of the humidity in a bathroom. However, to avoid water and moisture damage, it’s essential to keep the bathroom well-ventilated, clean up spills immediately, and use rugs or mats to protect the floor.
Hardwood floors look great, they feel nice on your feet, and they can increase the value of your home, so it’s easy to see why many homeowners are tempted to install this type of flooring in every room possible. But hardwood isn’t ideal in all situations, and high-humidity bathrooms are one place where you’re better off going with another flooring material or choosing engineered wood instead. But if you’re really keen on natural hardwood floors, you can install them in half baths and powder rooms that don’t have showers, as long as you take care to keep them clean and dry.
Learn how to maintain and protect your hardwood floor, as well as how often it should be refinished.