Your bathroom should be a place of peace, comfort, and calmness. Natural materials such as woods can lend an organic, soothing presence to a space while making it more inviting and beautiful. That being said, folks have come to us concerned whether a wooden floor bathroom is the right choice for them, let alone a practical one.
We’re here to tell you that yes, it’s a wonderful choice! That said, there are some caveats to consider along the way. Let’s dig into them further.
Some species of hardwood including IPE, white oak, maple, teak, red cedar, and cherry make for excellent bathroom flooring choices because of their less porous nature. Teak has natural oils and resins that make it more water-resistant, so it’s a particularly desirable option among homeowners renovating their bathrooms. What you don’t want to use is a softer, more porous wood what has less or no water resistance, as it can otherwise get damaged and warp over time.
Regardless of the wood species you choose, and while maintenance needs are generally minimal, you should still seal your flooring to ensure it remains visually stunning and protected for a long time. This can help to extend the lifespan of your flooring before needing to replace it again. A waterproof seal is always a good idea, and you can combine this with a hand-rubbed linseed or tung oil finish to not only protect it but create an immaculate finish. Oil or water-based polyurethane waterproofing sealers are your best bet, as they dry quickly, but it’s really a matter of preference.
Engineered Wood Options
An alternative to hardwood is engineered wood. Constructed in a manner similar to plywood except the grains run the same direction through each layer stacked together when produced, they are strong and won’t cup or crown easily. While these can be cheaper than hardwood and promote moisture resistance, most folks prefer the real thing.
On the subject of looks, hardwoods in particular come in a dazzling array of not only grains and patterns but striking colours. From bright and airy ash to luxurious and deep mahogany, there’s something for everyone. A hardwood bathroom floor can lend tremendous warmth to the aesthetic of the space, especially if your walls are a neutral colour and draw the eyes to the flooring itself with minimal mat coverage in front of the tub or toilet.
Other Ways to Protect Your Flooring
On the subject of bathmats, we highly recommend using one in front of the tub at the very least, as this is where your bathroom will inevitably be exposed to the most moisture and water droplets (from stepping out of the shower and such). Therefore, the wood needs to take a fair bit of “abuse” in this area, so a moisture-repellent covering where you step out is a proactive investment to make, even if your flooring is water-sealed.
Lastly, you’ll want to regulate your indoor relative humidity. Conditions that are too low can promote cracking and other forms of damage in various woods, and high humidity can cause severe issues including warping and rot. While a moisture barrier in the form of a water sealant is essential in this regard, having a fan installed to help keep your relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent as much as possible should be part of your renovation plan. This is especially important if your bathroom has limited ventilation as it is, or a small window.
Hardwood is an excellent choice for a bathroom of any size, especially if you’re aware of the fundamentals of maintaining it. For assistance or insights into the flooring we have available, we’re happy to help you here at Rome Flooring. Contact our team today, and let’s discuss your bathroom reno plans together!