What is the Best Hardwood Floor for a Bathroom?

The best hardwood floor for a bathroom is one that is durable and water-resistant.

The bathroom is one area of the house that experiences a lot of damage due to daily use and the creation of steam and water spillage.

So, can you put hardwood floors down in a bathroom with a clear conscience? Yes. And when it’s executed correctly, you’ll have a beautiful floor that stands out from typical, tiled bathroom floors. It also helps that wood floors are warmer underfoot.

As you prepare to install a hardwood floor in a bathroom, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

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Selecting the right species and type of hardwood floor for a bathroom

Any kind of moisture is harmful to wood. Since the bathroom is the most humid room in the house, you’ll want to go with a floor that is known for its water resistance and dimensional stability.

Engineered hardwood flooring is dimensionally stable and therefore does not fluctuate too much in response to humidity, so it’s generally best to go with engineered floors instead of solid wood.

As long as you’re installing engineered wood, you can select virtually any species. But the following species are especially good options for a bathroom floor:

  • White oak has closed tyloses, making this species less porous and more water resistant than most wood species.
  • Red cedar and redwood are also quite water resistant, making them popular candidates for outdoor applications like decks and patio furniture. Both feature rich, red hues that add character and sophistication to any space.
  • Reclaimed hardwood floors already have natural character. Consider installing reclaimed or distressed engineered wood floors in a bathroom to help any possible water damage blend into the design of the wood.

Here are some guidelines for your clients to follow to keep their newly-installed bathroom floors looking fresh:

  • Urethane coated floors are recommended.
  • Place mats in front of the sink, near the bath/shower, and anywhere else that might be exposed to standing water.
  • Install a high-power fan in the bathroom to keep the humidity low.
  • Do not clean the floor with vinegar or bleach — check out this list of approved cleaning products for hardwood floors.

Trying to figure out the best type of wood to install in other areas of the house? Check out the other blog posts in this series:

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