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Bathroom Hardwood Floors

Yes, you can enjoy the warmth of hardwood floors in your bathroom. Kitchens are ground zero for water splashes and humidity. The bathroom is no different. That being said, water and wood don’t mix.

There are precautions you must take to protect your floor.

Humidity and water splashes are inevitable. These elements will warp the wood and encourage dangerous mold. Wood breathes; it expands and contracts based on the relative humidity. When it contracts, it leaves the sub floor vulnerable to water damage.

Proper installation is the first step to protect the sub floor. The floor needs a layer of hardy backer cement board to ensure that water doesn’t seep through the hardwood floors to the sub floor. This is the same material used under tile countertops in the kitchen and bathroom. Its sole purpose is to act as a barrier between water and wood.

Next, you need to choose your wood wisely. Cherry hardwood bathroom flooringAvoid softwood and stick with hardwood. Good examples of hardwood include:

  • walnut
  • hickory
  • maple
  • ash
  • oak
  • cherry

Apply an oil-based polyurethane varnish to the floor. The depth and slight ambering will emphasize the natural beauty of the wood grain and make it highly resistant to stains and moisture.

Once your floor is installed, you’ll need to maintain it. Clean up water spills right away and periodically refinish the floors to ensure a tight seal.

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For information about remodeling your bathroom using wood floors, contact our bathroom remodeling contractors.

Yes, you can enjoy the warmth of hardwood floors in your bathroom. Water and wood certainly don’t mix, but new materials and sealants have made it a viable option. Here’s what you need to know.


The total cost of installing hardwood floor in the bathroom depends on the size of the room, whether you plan on completing the project yourself or hiring help, and the type of wood used. All in all, it should run about $10 to $12 per square foot.


Provides natural warmth that tile and other materials can’t match.

Can be refinished multiple times, making hardwood a very practical flooring option.

Creates a higher-end, luxurious look.


If water is allowed an entry point, certain types of softwood will buckle, warp and eventually rot.

Even if spills are cleaned quickly, the bathroom can still be one of the most humid rooms in the home.

Hardwood requires more maintenance than other bathroom flooring options.


Hardwood is generally a very durable flooring option. However, if it’s installed in a bathroom, extra precautions need to be taken in order to keep them looking great for years to come (applying several coats of varnish and avoiding water spills).


To keep your wood flooring resistant to stains and moisture, begin by applying an oil-based polyurethane varnish. When it comes to everyday maintenance, clean up water spills immediately and periodically refinish the wood. 

Common Questions and Answers

How can water stains be refinished?

Begin by rubbing the water stain with #000 steel wool and wax. If the stain is still there, use #00 steel wool and wood floor cleaner. Once the floor dries, stain, wax and hand-buff it.

Can wood floors be damp mopped?

No, it’s never good to intentionally place water on a waxed floor. Follow your floor manufacturer’s instructions for the best choice in cleaning supplies.

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