Once the kids have moved out and you want to turn your bathroom into more of a spa than just a place to complete your daily tasks, many folks consider putting hardwood flooring in.
This usually leads to several questions about wood floors in bathrooms. Do hardwood floors mix with high humidity, splashes and drips? Is hardwood flooring a good choice for a bathroom? This floor buying guide provides some of the good and bad about installing hardwood flooring in a bathroom.
Solid Hardwood Flooring is Not a Good Choice for Bathrooms
Do not consider solid wood flooring for most bathrooms. It might be fine in a small guest lavatory, but should not be used where a shower or bathtub will be in frequent use.
Solid hardwood flooring will absorb moisture whether it is from high humidity or water spilled onto it. The wood will swell as a result. When it dries, the wood will shrink. Learn more about hardwood flooring water damage here.
Cycles of swelling and shrinking will eventually lead to damage. The wood may curl, warp, crack, cup or crown. Adjoining pieces will pull apart from one another.
In short, moisture will destroy a solid hardwood floor sooner or later – probably sooner in bathrooms that get heavy use.
Engineered Wood Flooring is the Right Option for Bathrooms
If you’re not familiar with engineered hardwood flooring, here’s a brief description. The top layer of engineered flooring, known as the wear layer, is made from the same hardwood species used in solid hardwood flooring. You’ll find white oak, red oak, maple, walnut, ash, hickory, mahogany, teak, bamboo, tigerwood, Brazilian cherry and more.
Beneath the top layer are several more layers of plywood stacked and glued so that the grains of the layers run in opposite direction. The result is a wood flooring product that is far more stable, with something home flooring pros call dimensional strength. It won’t swell with moisture nearly as much as solid hardwood flooring, so it doesn’t have the associated problems.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring Prices
If you’ve been considering solid hardwood flooring, then you probably know that the installed price ranges from $6-$15, depending on which type of wood you choose. The installed engineered hardwood price is about the same — $6-$12 for most products, slightly more for some exotic wood species. If you love hardwood flooring and want to carry it all the way into the bathroom, then engineered hardwood flooring is a great choice.
Learn More About Bathroom Flooring Options
- HGTV – Always one of the top places to find home improvement ideas, HGTV has a section that helps to inspire you with new ideas for your bathroom flooring that includes pictures and expert advice.
- This Old House – Have a small bathroom? This Old House can help you come up with remodeling ideas to make that bathroom look larger, brighter and more inviting.
- Home Flooring Pros – Take a look at our selection of bathroom floor tile ideas for 2018
Would you, or did you put hardwood flooring in your bathroom? Share your experience with our readers below.
About the Author:
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 12 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years’ experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-over complicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”