Installing Hardwood Floors In a Bathroom
I had a client recently ask if it would be ok to install wood floors in a full bath, often used by kids in the home. It reminded me of a blog I visited a while ago asking the same question, and out of the thirty or so responses, it was a pretty good split between yes and no, ranging from “NO WAY” to “Yes, I have been living on them for over thirty years and I love them.”
There really should be very little concern about putting wood floors in a full bath, just the way kitchens are perfectly acceptable today, as they both have been for hundreds of years. And your floors do not have to be a laminate or a pre-finished floor to make it work. To the contrary, a true traditional wood floor will be so much easier to maintain, and will stand the test of time, just as our ancestor’s floors have. I grew-up in a late 1800’s home with one bathroom, and six siblings. The floor was original wide pine, and it is probably still there today.
Here are a few things you want to think about when installing your floors in a bathroom that has a shower and/or a tub and a commode. Today’s bathrooms are well ventilated with a ceiling fan that wisks away the moisture. You can buy commodes with an insulated tank liner to help the sweating pipes from leaving water around ANY bathroom floor, and if you are doing a bathroom remodel, now would be a great time to have your plumber add a mixing valve to your commode, mixing warm water with the cold, to completely eliminate sweating.
A few more things to think about with traditional wood floors in a bathroom are:
- finding the most suitable finish for your home from all that is available today
- using the best quality flooring to ensure stability of the boards
- assessing your true expectations of your flooring
For a finish, Carlisle can provide prefinished wood flooring or you can also consider a site applied finish like Carlisle Traditional Finish or high resin tung oil, which would seal the wood. If you are replacing your sub-floor, look into the wax impregnated OSB board, such as Adventec, as this will help seal moisture out.
As for the material, work with a company that understands wood, that will work with you on the installation methods, and is known for using only the best quality timbers available today. The installation can be perfect, but if the material is low quality, your chances of having problems are greatly increased. I would prefer to have a floor I can let acclimate to the home, then install it and put a good finish on it, rather then a pre-finished floor I have less control over.
Finally, what are your expectations? Are you looking for that perfect laminated, linoleum look, or is a natural wood floor, with a slight gap here and there, more your style? The beauty of real wood is unsurpassed, especially in today’s plastic world. And the wider the plank, the more real your floor will look.
Don’t let a little puddle from the kids shower scare you away from having a beautiful floor. (Click here for some other tips to protect your wood floor.) The way we live in our homes today, with throw-rugs, and wiping up after ourselves, there really is nothing to be concerned about. GO FOR IT!