The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your home, and like the kitchen, a beautiful one can add value to your home. When it comes time to upgrade, you may find yourself wondering, what is the best wood floor to use in a bathroom?
There are so many different types of wood that you could consider, including oak, maple, cherry, or even pine.
However, when it comes to your bathroom, only one kind of wood flooring takes the cake, and it can be any of those. Curious yet? First, let’s talk a bit about the basics.
Bathroom Floors 101
The bathroom is one of the few rooms in your home that wet floors are a part of daily life.
You use rugs or towels to keep the moisture from pooling after your shower, but water damages the floor one way or the other. When it comes to natural hardwood floors, humidity is your enemy.
Check out our article on protecting hardwood bathroom floor for more information.
Options for Wood Bathroom Floors
If you are in love with the look of wood, nothing else will do. That said, wood that has rotted due to too much moisture is not a good look.
Because of the primary use for bathrooms, few good options can give you the look of wood, and one clear winner for the best option. Let’s cover the options here.
Wood Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring can look like wood, but it’s a human-made and water-resistant flooring choice for a bathroom. It can also look very convincingly like wood.
Wood laminate flooring is not, however, wood. Laminate has a core of high-density fiberboard, but instead of a wood veneer, the “face” of the boards is an image or design of wood.
Laminate wood flooring options are the cheapest option for getting a wood-look bathroom floor, but the feel and look are different. It is also easy to clean and has low maintenance.
To know the difference between laminate and solid wood flooring read this article: Laminate Vs Solid Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood also known as mass timber, composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board. It has a plywood core and a layered design that is more resistant to moisture than natural wood. Its surface, unlike laminate flooring, is not merely a picture of wood, be it ash, oak, or cherry – but a thin slice of real hardwood.
Those thin slices of hardwood give you a sturdy floor, with the look and feel you want, that stands up to abuse bathroom floors receive.
Composite wood comes in many varieties of hardwood veneers, including all of the most popular. Generally, you can find whatever finish wood you want, from dark to light, or type of wood you want.
To know more about how to protect newly finished wood floor read this article.
The layered design of the slats adds extra stability as well. Not only will it stand up to moisture better than hardwood flooring. Usually, this runs cheaper than wood. It’s generally easy to install and long-lasting.
Like all other types of flooring, there are pros and cons to composite hardwood. While it’s less expensive than solid wood, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing it, such as the core, cleaning & maintaining. Some companies practice cost-cutting methods like using inferior cores.
- Less expensive than solid wood flooring
- Looks exactly like the type of wood you love, from oak to cherry
- Stands up to moisture better than wood
- Generally available in whatever finish (stain) light or dark you are looking for
- The layered design adds extra stability
- Economically friendly
- Not solid hardwood
- More expensive than laminate or tile flooring
- Beware of flooring made with fiberboard cores, which may be less stable
For more information on solid wood and engineered wood read this article: Solid Wood vs. Engineered Wood Flooring
The Bottom Line
Choosing your bathroom flooring material is a big decision, and making a poor choice could leave you with some pretty big bills for repairs. While it’s not as tough as finding a work-life balance, it is a decision that you should consider carefully.
Real wood isn’t the best choice for bathrooms because of the moisture. However, some engineered hardwood floors or laminate floor can give you the look and feel of wood without the risk of rot.
Laminate flooring with a real wood look can do the job; however, it’s not real wood. If you want the real wood look and feel without having to worry about your floor rotting, the real winner of the best wood floors for bathrooms is composite wood flooring with a real hardwood veneer.