Wooden flooring has been a staple of interior design for centuries, gracing homes worldwide with its timeless elegance and natural beauty. It’s a classic choice that continues to captivate homeowners and interior designers alike. But now, thanks to modern technology, wood floors for bathroom has taken on new dimensions, offering a variety of patterns and textures that were previously out of reach.
Is Wood Flooring in the Bathroom a Good Idea?
In the quest to bring warmth and character to bathroom spaces, wood flooring is gaining favor among interior designers. According to Nicola Harding of Nicola Harding & Co, “Floorboards in a bathroom add warmth and natural texture.” James Lentaigne, the creative director of Drummonds, emphasizes the character that real wood brings to the bathroom. He describes it as a way to infuse personality into the space, making it more inviting and prosperous.
Choosing the Right Wood for Your Bathroom
While wood flooring in the bathroom can enhance the aesthetics, it’s essential to consider the bathroom’s unique conditions. Bathrooms experience fluctuations in temperature and humidity, which can potentially lead to wood warping. Therefore, it’s vital to consult your flooring supplier before purchasing. Not all wood products are suitable for bathroom use.
Engineered wood is often recommended for bathroom settings due to its construction and tolerance for different environments. Unlike solid wood boards, which are made from a single piece of timber, engineered wood consists of solid wood layers over layers of ply, resulting in a more stable and durable product. Additionally, engineered wood can often be used with underfloor heating, making it a practical choice for bathroom and shower floors.
Where Should You Use Wood Flooring in a Bathroom?
Using wood flooring in the bathroom requires some precautions. Water left on the wood surface can lead to marks or discoloration over time. As a result, it’s not recommended for wet rooms, family bathrooms frequently used by young children, or areas prone to splashing or damp towels left on the floor.
However, for bathrooms with careful users, wood flooring can be an excellent choice. It adds a touch of natural beauty and provides a warm contrast to the clinical look of an all-tiled bathroom. Interior designer Nicola Harding suggests combining floor tiles in the shower area with wooden flooring in other parts of the room. This creates a harmonious yet softly contrasting atmosphere.
Maintaining Wood Flooring in the Bathroom
Maintenance recommendations can vary depending on the specific product you choose, so it’s always wise to consult your supplier. Some wood floors come protected and sealed with hard wax oil and receive a final oiling upon installation. Maintenance oil is often available for periodic application, typically once or twice a year, to nourish the wood and enhance the finish over time.
Alternatives to Wood Flooring in the Bathroom
If wood flooring isn’t suitable for your bathroom due to its location, household usage, or budget, some alternatives can provide a similar look:
Wood-Effect Porcelain Tiles
These tiles are fade, scratch, and moisture-resistant, making them suitable for modern bathrooms, even wet rooms. Advances in digital printing have allowed porcelain tiles to mimic the natural variation found in real wood, creating the same visual warmth.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Modern technology and manufacturing techniques have made it possible for luxury vinyl flooring to mimic the appearance of wood. Some vinyl tiles have a wood-like texture, making them an excellent non-slip bathroom option.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Both ceramic and porcelain tiles can replicate the look of wood and are easier to maintain, making them suitable for busy households.
Wood flooring can bring warmth and character to your bathroom, but it requires careful consideration and maintenance. If wood isn’t the right choice for your bathroom, there are alternative materials that can provide a similar aesthetic while being better suited to the specific demands of the space. For a personal touch, you might also consider creating a DIY bathroom mirror frame. Choose the option that best fits your needs and style preferences.