Hardwood in the Bathroom
Wow. I just saw a picture of a bathroom with hardwood flooring, and it was stunning. There are lots of people out there who think installing hardwood for your bathroom floor is not a good idea, mainly because of moisture and water concerns.
And there are just as many that say they have installed hardwood flooring in their bathroom and have never had a problem with the wood, and it is the most beautiful bathroom in their home.
So let’s go with installing hardwood for your bathroom floor. There are risks, but people do it all the time, and are very happy with it.
The most obvious risk is water penetrating the wood. Water has a funny way of finding every crevice, groove, and gap. And it doesn’t stop there. Once it finds a place to go, it keeps going, into and around the wood, and under it as well. Not only is there a high risk of the hardwood floor in your bathroom warping, the water that finds its’ way under the wood also poses a risk for mold to develop beneath the floor. Also, when a hardwood floor becomes wet, and then dries, it is going to get squeaky pretty quick. There will be no walking on this floor in secret.
Another risk is the humidity level in your bathroom. Humidity can warp wood floors. Hot showers and baths give off a tremendous amount of humidity. Condensation on the toilet feed pipes can also become a problem. Make sure your bathroom is well ventilated. You can also find products to address toilet condensation.
Manage the Risk
Ok, we have mentioned the risks, but we want to do it anyway because we know it is going to be beautiful. Let’s talk about how to manage the risks.
Choose a Really HARD Hardwood
Most Oaks qualify as really hard; with White Oak being the hardest. The harder the hardwood, the less it will soak up the ambient moisture in the bathroom. It will also be more resistant to water damage. The Janka hardness rating reflects the hardness of different hardwood species.
Have It Professionally Installed
I cannot stress this enough. You don’t want to fool around with this one. How the hardwood is installed is crucial. You want an installer with experience laying hardwood flooring in bathrooms, specifically. The closeness of the boards, as well as the preciseness of the expansion gaps at the walls needs to be exact. The type of moisture barrier used beneath the hardwood, and making sure the floor is leveled properly is vital to a successful installation.
Make sure you discuss the installation in detail. Even the most beautiful hardwood floor will be significantly compromised if not installed correctly. Luckily, most flooring companies have professional installers. The Flooring Professionals at Just Around the Corner have been doing it for years, and would be happy to walk you through the entire installation process.