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Vancouver Interior Designer: Wood Flooring in the Bathroom? Yay or Nay

By 09/10/2011January 28th, 201731 Comments

The other day when I posted a picture of my mom’s bathroom in her new carriage house and said that I love hardwood floors in bathrooms, I received a comment asking if this was something I always recommend.


So, here’s the thing. I also love the seamless look from room to room and the fact that most hardwood floor tones go with a lot of different colours. Any tile that is not basically white or a barely-there shade highly dictates your bathroom colour scheme forever. And I think it’s a great idea for a master bathroom and definitely in a powder room, but only if you already have wood flooring in the other connecting spaces. I would not install wood flooring in a bathroom from a carpeted bedroom for example.


And obviously in a main bathroom it would not be practical with small children splashing, etc.

Over to you my lovelies, do you have wood flooring in your bathroom/s? How do you like it?

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Related posts:

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Which Flooring is the Best for your Kitchen; Tile or Hardwood

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  • Cats says:

    I don't have hardwood in my bathroom, but I do in my kitchen…and I love it! My dishwasher leaked once, and I was worried that I would have some warping, but nothing happened 🙂 Love how the same flooring carries throughout my house!

  • Anonymous says:

    I had wood flooring in a powder room in my last house. It looked great. But then my children went through potty training and it was not ideal for cleanup. And then the last straw and almost its demise was when our septic tank backed up, and out the toilet in that bathroom!!! And it did warp the floor. What a mess. So with my past experiences I am more likely to ask for tile. That's just personal history talking though.

  • Brillante Interiors says:

    Wood floor is beautiful everywhere and with the proper care it is perfect in a kitchen and in a bathroom (possibly with a window and or a very good fan to avoid too much moisture). Beautiful images.

  • Kimberly says:

    What do you think about the much more durable laminate or fake woods?

  • Tiina says:

    Aesthetically speaking, I would want wood floor everywhere, also in a bathroom. But, I've had bad experience with wood floors in the kitchen, where the sink area a bit impractical, and it allowed water drip to the floor everytime we washed the dishes… So that part of the floor didn't look too pretty, although it had been installed only a few years ago, and that amount of water was probably a fraction of what a bath/shower would cause. So I don't think I'd ever get wood floors – or laminate, for that matter – in a bathroom.

    (By the way, a new reader here from Finland!)

  • Anonymous says:

    We had wood floors in a first floor bathroom and the sweating toilet totally wrecked them. Haven't solved the sweating toilet problem but it's easier to deal with now.

  • Nan @ Playful Decor says:

    Maria, I heard there was an earthquake out there – are you ok?

    I love gray painted wide plank wood floors for baths, bedrooms, porches – I think I'm leaning away from the regular stained wood. There must be a significant amount of varnish so cleaning is easy!

  • Wendi @ Classic Chic Home says:

    I've never had hardwood flooring in my bathrooms, but they are appealing. I do prefer tile simply because of the moisture involved from leaving the shower, etc. I'd probably only consider using hardwood in a powder room.

  • lisaroyhandbags says:

    We had wood flooring in our master bath at the last house we owned – it was installed by the previous owner who built the home. While it looked nice, it wasn't practical as they had allowed it to get damaged by the water that would inevitably seep out at the corner of the glass shower door.
    And so we inherited it that way and short of prying it all up, I simply put down a bamboo bathmat to disguise the damage. I would definitely never install it myself. My preference – marble – always classic and doesn't matter what floor you're transitioning from.

  • Red Door Home says:

    We have hardwood flooring in our 1/2 bath but tile in all tho others. I love the look of wood floors in a bathroom and agree with your advice about them looking best when the surrounding space also has hardwood. I also wanted to tell you congrats on your comment in House Beautiful. I just received my copy today and recognized your wonderful yellow sofa right away!

  • Anonymous says:

    As much as I love wood floors, I would never, ever, have them in areas where water leaks/damage could occur. My kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room have a nice, neutral, travertine-look porcelin tile. Speaking from experience 🙂

    • Elizabeth says:

      I am currently building and can’t decide what type of flooring to put in the kitchen. Found a nice travertine called Noce, any chance you went with this color?

  • Mom of 2 Cuties @ Sprinkles of Joy and Laughter says:

    I have wood floors in my powder room. I too like the flow of all the same flooring,but as much as I like it I could never have it in my other baths. Not sure who splish splashes more, my mister or my little girls.
    Love your informative blog!
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wood looks lovely, but just does not function for an area with water. I'd go for cork or vinyl, in that order. Tile or stone without rugs is too cold and hard on the feet for me.

  • Annie@A View On Design says:

    i personally would do it in a heartbeat if I wanted that look, I'd be aware tho that maintenance would be paramount, if I felt that would be difficult (eg. kids bath area) then I wouldn't do it. ensuite sounds fine.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have hardwood in both baths (and kitchen)in my house and I love it. If you have a major leak, you've got trouble no matter what the flooring because it's going to find its way into the sub floor.

  • Janet in Ashburn says:

    I love the look of wood flooring in a bathroom – & we have it in a powder room which seems to be holding up – but don't think I would do it otherwise. Was wondering if a polyurethane finish would help? Still doesn't work for cracks, but…

    Also, was wondering about the chandelier over the tub – again, looks stunning, but isn't that against code (fixture may fall in tub, electrocution worries)?

  • Velvet and Linen says:

    I agree, wood floors aren't practical in a bathroom used by little children, but I love using wood in Master bedrooms!
    We have wood floors in our bathroom, and they still look great 10 years later.


  • Anonymous says:

    LOL! If the chandelier fell in the tub it would no longer be connected to the electricity. I'd be more worried about the mirror glass spontaneously exploding.

  • Victoria says:

    I have wood floors in all my bathrooms, the powder room comes off of more wood but the full baths come off of a sisal look berber. Love them
    had them in my last house too which was wood everywhere. No grout to clean and I feel it looks like an older home and adds character. In the last 13 years nothing but hardwood in the baths no problems at all.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi there –
    I think this is the old form/function debate. As a designer, I find this f/f issue comes up alot. As in: lush, silk draperies are so darn ballgown beautiful but will fade in the blink of an eye; honed stone is so much warmer and organic than regular but is stained beyond recognition in a couple of years; wood floors in a bathroom, so lovely but one bathtub overflow – you're replacing main floor ceilings…I almost always defer to function when it comes to my clients but in my own home, all of the above are most welcome.

  • Debbie says:

    Like one of the Anonymouses mentioned, I hear that cork in wet areas is excellent and it seems to have those lovely woody tones…maybe this is a nice alternative and less problematic.

  • Christina Rodriguez | The Diva's Home says:

    I love hardwood flooring in the bathroom. The kitchen too. if you're afraid of the flooring getting warped from water, you can use a marine polyurethane to protect it.

  • mrsben says:

    I would have to say 'nay' but only for practicality and possible resale of a home since H/W flooring it is not the norm … but not ruling out 'different strokes, for different folks'. 🙂 -Brenda-

  • Anora says:

    It sound good.. I like it very much, because in white color the decoration looks gorgeous…
    Scavenger Hunt Ideas

  • Donna says:

    This is just such a great idea Maria! I realize now, that we could replace our bathroom and laundry room lineoleum with wood flooring that matches the rest of the house. The entire house, except for those rooms is covered in wood. It would be very pretty to cover the bathroom floors that way too.

    In fact, we have more wood laminate in storage, left over from the original flooring. Thanks for the advice!


  • Anonymous says:

    I have wood in both the bathroom and kitchen. (I'm in an old building converted into lofts.) It's impossible to keep the wood from buckling or squeaking in places. I don't mind since I like the feeling of being in an old place, but for people who like everything pristine and new, I'd say nay.

  • Keith says:

    I prefer to choose tile flooring in my bathroom than wood flooring. I think there will be too much moisture if I install wood floor. It won't be easy to clean. But, actually a bathroom with wood flooring is very beautiful. Love the pictures 🙂

  • Ronald Hart says:

    Hardwood flooring in the bathroom always looks beautiful, though I always worry about it getting wet! Maybe with an older household though, with less activity.

  • Valz says:

    Laminate in wet areas is even worse than wood. I wouldn’t ever try laminate in a bathroom.

  • Diana mclean says:

    No wood floors in bathrooms. I raised boys. Enough said.

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