Hardwood Floor in a Bathroom: Bad Choice
LESLIE: Joan in California wants to talk bathroom flooring. How can we help?
JOAN: Well, I want to put hardwood in my bathroom …
JOAN: … and when I mention that to people, they think I’m crazy. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Well, you might be, Joan, because if you use full-thickness hardwood in the bathroom and it gets wet, it’s going to warp and twist and you will not be able to repair it.
LESLIE: Well, it doesn’t even have to get soaking wet; it could just be from moisture.
TOM: Right. Exactly. So we’ll give you two ideas. The first one is a product called laminate floor. Now, laminate floor can look just like hardwood up to and including the graining in the wood. Now, laminate floor can be completely submerged and it won’t twist. If you are absolutely convinced that you do not want laminate – you want some real wood product – the only choice is engineered hardwood.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And the reason why engineered will work in a high-moisture environment is it’s built in the same way that plywood is built, so it’s put together in layers of opposing grains which makes it structurally stable and then that topmost layer is the actual veneer of that hardwood that you want in the space.
TOM: But whatever you do, Joan, don’t use solid hardwood in the bathroom because, believe me, one spill – one toilet that overflows – situation like that, you may not have planned it, it just happens …
LESLIE: Poor ventilation.
TOM: That’s right. It could really be a big mess.
JOAN: Ah, OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Joan. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.