February 23, 2023

The Beauty and Dangers of Using Hardwood Flooring in Bathrooms

Modern white plain clean toilet bathroom with shower tiles and hardwood floors from ground level

In 2022, hardwood flooring was one of the most popular surface covering materials for many interior designs. They’re durable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting while adding a timeless look to any home. While homeowners can reap numerous benefits by installing hardwood floors, they can be a cause of concern in rooms with high moisture levels, like bathrooms. Although there are specific varieties of hardwood you can use for the bathroom, they need higher levels of maintenance and care. Find out the pros and cons of using hardwood floorings in your bathroom.

Notable Advantages of Hardwood Floors in the Bathroom

On a surface level, having hardwood flooring in the bathroom presents little benefit. Hardwood planks are weak to moisture and humidity, and these are always present in such a space. While there are noticeable drawbacks to installing a hardwood floor in a bathroom, there are notable aesthetic gains in using them.


Some of the most common flooring options for bathrooms are ceramic tiles. While they handle moisture and humidity well, they can be a bit cold to your feet, especially during winter. They can be a recurring and uncomfortable issue when using the bath.

With hardwood flooring, homeowners can cut back the cold the room emits during chilly days. They give the space a warmer and more comfortable underfoot. In addition, the natural earthy tones of the hardwood make the area more inviting and welcoming.


While it may seem contradictory due to the hardwood’s natural reaction to moisture exposure, solid hardwood floorings are durable, long-lasting additions to your bathroom. With proper maintenance and care, these wooden floors can serve bathrooms for more than two decades. They may look more fragile, but hardwood planks are tough, like stone and ceramic tiles.

Applying water-resistant finishes or using prefinished or engineered hardwood for your floors can help to make hardwood floors more resistant to humidity.


The most notable benefit of using hardwood flooring is its contribution to beauty. For centuries hardwood served as flooring for many homes, most of which are breathtaking due to the wooden floors’ effects. Depending on the color and pattern of the hardwood planks used, your floor can lend a sense of natural wonder to spaces. In addition, they also provide a unique appeal due to their different graining and knots.

Hardwood floors are a timeless addition to any home because it transcends centuries of style. Unlike other flooring options, they don’t subject to crazes of interior design. This unique and classic feature also extends to the bathroom. Installing hardwood flooring in your bath space draws attention and makes it an elegant room. They also offer design continuity in-between living areas.

Notable Dangers of Using Hardwood Floors in the Bathroom

While it takes longer to notice the beauty of using hardwood flooring in bathrooms, the same can’t be said for their disadvantages. Although many homeowners are aware of the problems they can encounter, not many understand that it all boils down to how moisture affects the hardwood.

Spills and Splashes

Two main concerns of any flooring used in bathrooms are spills and splashes. Showers and baths tend to cause tiny and big splashes of water. Rinsing your face in the sink can still send water droplets spilling across the floor.

Water-resistant finishes can only protect the hardwood to an extent. Due to that, it’s crucial that you wipe up any spills and splashes immediately to prevent moisture from wearing away at the plank and seeping into the seams. Many manufacturers specify this in their warranties. Most contractors make the warranty null and void if their recommended cleanup methods are not followed.

Lack of Moisture Barrier

Many people nail planks directly to the subfloor when installing their hardwood floors. When this happens, the traditional vapor barrier becomes unusable because the nails punctured it. The moisture seeps past the surface of the hardwood and reaches the flooring's structural components. Upon reaching the area, it starts eating away at the subfloor and your underlayment. Due to this, many hardwood floors use adhesives or click-together methods when installing them in bathrooms.

Mold and Mildew

The bathroom can have high moisture levels 24/7. The more moisture present in the room, the faster mold and mildew will grow. When this happens, they can cause severe damage and concerns to homeowners.

These harmful, organic substances thrive in hot, wet places and feed on organic materials like hardwood. The finishing coats protect your floors, but mold and mildew can grow in-between boards over time. In some cases, they also grow beneath the planks.

When these problems occur, people can find them dangerous, not only for the safety of the structure but for their health. Some people with health conditions can experience severe bouts of allergies and sensitivities.

Working With the Best Hardwood Flooring Contractor in Austin, TX

There is beauty and danger in installing hardwood floors in your bathrooms. While people know the distinct downsides of putting hardwood flooring in humid areas, not many are aware of the benefits they offer. Understanding the pros and cons of wooden floors in your bath areas can help you make the necessary interior design choices to fit your needs and wants.

Visit Kelly Hardwood Floors today to consult with a professional!