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Wood Flooring in Bathrooms

If you have been researching the qualities and characteristics of wood flooring on this and other sites you will have, almost certainly, become aware of the issues that can arise with wood flooring due to moisture and humidity.

These include: expansion and contraction; bowing and cupping and general movement of the boards. For more detailed information on this topic please check out our trouble shooting guide.

These issues are caused by the fact that wood will absorb moisture either directly or through the ambient humidity in the atmosphere which, tends to vary throughout the year.

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For this reason, we do not recommend solid wood flooring for bathrooms and other wet areas because it is the most susceptible to these effects. However, there are other options if you are keen to achieve the look of wood flooring in your bathroom.

Laminate flooring in bathrooms.

Although laminate flooring has a core of wood fiberboard such as MDF or HDF which can be affected in much the same way as wood, the clear melamine wear layer is extremely durable and will virtually seal the boards against penetration of moisture. It will, however, be necessary to use a flexible acrylic sealant around the edges of the room and any other possible points of water ingress, such as around pipes and bathroom fittings.

Added to this, many laminate flooring manufacturers supply specialised laminate flooring specifically designed for use in the bathroom. These feature innovations such as impregnated cores that are resistant to the absorption of moisture and seals within the Clic-lock fitting systems.

For more information about types of Laminate, locking systems and what you get for your money check out our guide on why pay more?.

Engineered wood flooring in bathrooms.

Engineered flooring, due to its construction of a plywood base with a solid wood wear layer is a far more stable product than solid wood flooring when it comes to the issues of expansion etc caused by moisture and humidity.

  • This means that engineered wood flooring can be a viable option for bathrooms so long as care is taken to select the correct finish. For example, a lacquered finish would be more suitable than a brushed and oiled finish as it literally seals the wood completely.