Wood bathroom floors have evolved from purely functional installations into statements of truly impressive artistic concepts. Wood in the bathroom floor was the only option to hard concrete that never was intended to be anything other than a necessary construction finish for a very utilitarian purpose.
The idea that bathrooms to could be stylish and grand sprung in the royal houses of Europe only in the middle of the 19 th century. In today’s world a bathroom can be just as decorative as any other room in the house without the ornate trappings of royal chambers. However, a cardinal rule about wooden flooring is that excessive moisture is going to ruin it eventually. This might seem discouraging to those new home designers who envisioned a gloriously styled bathroom with wooden planking.
There is no need to despair. Wood can be pressure treated with preservatives that
prevent the deep penetration of moisture into the wood. This is where the material is
most vulnerable to decomposition from moisture. The incising method allows the preservative to flow into the wood along the grain. Sealing the wood like this also prevents termites and other organisms access into the softer interior of the woods. So the ideal solution is to use water-resistant planking for a bathroom floor. Obviously, this will restrict your spectrum of choice for the type of wood you can use. Only certain species are conducive to moisture resistant treatment. Engineered hard wood usually incorporates water resistant wood into its composition. So that would be a common sense choice over solid hardwood.
Where is the Ideal Area for Wooden Flooring in the Bathroom?
However, if you are adamant about solid hardwood flooring for the bathroom, you could design the floor space in a way that least exposes the bathroom wooden flooring to moisture. For instance, areas prone to wetting can be cordoned off with good shower curtains or glass partitions and floored with other material. Shower stalls like this would be insulated from the rest of the bathroom space.
‘Complementary but softly contrasting surfaces on the floor can make the room flow beautifully,’ says Nicola Harding. Another option would be to design the bathroom into cellular spaces with parapet separations to contain moisture. The separation could be opaque or transparent according to the designer’s plans.
This will sequester the wooden bathroom flooring from moisture and allow the wood to remain intact for a longer period. But engineered wood needs to be inspected frequently for warping in this setting as even a little moisture can seep into its joints and layer separations. It is evident from this, that wooden flooring for bathrooms work best for large floor area bathrooms. It will be easier to separate the decorative area of wooden flooring from the functional utility of the bathroom. Larger space will allow more room for maneuvering through such separations.
‘You do have to be more mindful of a wooden floor in the bathroom, as water left sitting on its surface will ultimately mark or discolour the timber over time,’ says interior designer Victoria Gray of Olivine Design.
But after all is said, the allure of its natural charm can make wood flooring the perfect finish for bathrooms. Diligent home owners can maintain their wooden bathroom floors very efficiently for long periods of time. It offsets the clinical feel of a ‘tiled all over’ scheme, with warmth and appeal.
How do You Maintain the Wooden Flooring in a Bathroom?
Recommendations to preserve wooden flooring in the bathroom tend to be product specific, so you need to always examine the properties of the material before you actually buy it. Wooden planking can be protected by sealing the wood with special hard wax oils or resin varnish. ‘We also supply maintenance oil, which can be applied one or two times a year as necessary, to feed the wood and enhance the finish over time,’ Lisa explains. Another effective way to preserve the wood in the flooring of a bathroom is to use carpeting with moisture sealing material at the bottom over a good portion of the floor. You might feel that would defeat the whole purpose of a wooden floor in the bathroom, but skilled designers can make this concept even more attractive than exposing the whole flooring. Exhaust fans become very necessary to keep the air dry inside the confined space of a bathroom. Hot showers generate large quantities of steam that must never be allowed to condense as moisture on the floor.
In order to take the edge of the cold and neutral look of bathrooms, wood flooring ideas are quickly firing the imaginations of designers. ‘Floorboards in a bathroom add warmth and natural texture,’ explains interior designer Nicola Harding of Nicola Harding & Co. James Lentaigne, creative director of Drummonds, focuses on its character. ‘Using a real wood floor is a wonderful way to bring personality into the bathroom, making it feel like a “real” room and one with a soft, rich feel,’ he says. Sometimes, wooden flooring as an option may be ruled out completely due to unmitigated factors – you have small too little space or the bathroom location or your budget. There are other options to create a similar look.
Luxury vinyl bathroom flooring can clone almost authentic wooden flooring, some with very convincing wood-like texture even. They also provide an anti-slip feature for added safety. Bathroom floor tile ideas are a feasible alternative to wooden flooring. You can achieve the look and feel of wood with both ceramic and porcelain tiles. They are easier to maintain for durability and hygiene.
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