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Can You Put Hardwood in Bathroom? (How To)

Hardwood floors are gorgeous, so it’s only natural that you’d be wondering just how it would look in your bathroom. But most people are deterred and think that any kind of wood flooring should not be used in a bathroom. However, that’s not true.

Hardwood flooring in a bathroom can actually be quite a good idea, and it certainly looks very attractive. Although there are considerations to remember such as moisture and humidity, this kind of flooring is durable and long-lasting.

man fixing the wood floor

If you want to have a bathroom with a natural appearance with flooring that feels warm to the touch and requires minimal maintenance to last up to 25 years, you should definitely consider hardwood.

Should You Put Hardwood in Bathroom?

clean modern floor bathroom

Hardwood looks good no matter where it is used as flooring, but bathrooms are known for being humid, so it’s only natural to wonder if it’s a good idea in this space.

You can put hardwood flooring in a bathroom if you take the right precautions. Use only high-quality hardwood planks and good adhesive that provides a form of protection against moisture.

It’s also a good idea to use bath mats next to showers, sinks, and bathtubs to avoid too many frequent water spills.

What Tools Do You Need to Put Hardwood in Bathroom?

tools for floor

No matter what kind of project you take on, you will need the right tools to ensure that every step is completed successfully and efficiently.

To install hardwood flooring in a bathroom, you will need high-quality wood adhesive, a level, measuring tape, and basic cleaning supplies to ensure the floor surfaces are clean once you’re done.

What Preparations Do You Need to Put Hardwood in Bathroom?

installing wood for floor

You won’t be able to simply jump in and start installing your new hardwood flooring. There are several steps to take before the actual floor installation starts. 

Installing hardwood flooring in your bathroom will require several preparations, such as removing fixtures and the current flooring. You will also have to ensure that the floor surface is level and clean before installing the new flooring.

How to Put Hardwood in Bathroom

confused man standing

Putting hardwood in your bathroom can be a very time-consuming project and requires a bit of hard work. Once you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, though, you can start installing the new flooring and get it done in good time.

Installing new hardwood flooring in your bathroom isn’t overly complicated, but will be rather exhausting, so make sure you set aside a few days for this project. You should also plan the layout you want and use the right adhesive.

Here’s a step-by-step look at how to put hardwood flooring in your bathroom:

Step One

You won’t be able to successfully install your new hardwood flooring in your bathroom without removing the old flooring first.  Although it sounds like a daunting task, removing the old flooring won’t be too difficult. 

You’ll have to be careful not to damage your subfloor, though. It may also be necessary to remove the baseboards if you plan to install click-lock luxury vinyl.

Step Two

While you’re working on removing the old flooring, you should also remove the existing bathroom fixtures, such as the sink and toilet, if you can. By doing this, you can achieve a far more uniform appearance.

Step Three

Once you’ve removed the old flooring and fixtures, you can start to finally install your new hardwood flooring. However, you first need to ensure that the floor is level so your new flooring is even and beautiful.

If you find that the floor isn’t completely level, you can apply leveling compound with a trowel or putty knife. A sanding block or hand sander will help you ensure the compound is level with the existing floor.

Step Four

Now you have to cut your hardwood planks so they’ll fit perfectly in the bathroom. You’ll have to cut holes for the plumbing and fixtures using a circular saw or jigsaw.

Note that for your toilet, you have to aim for a hole that will extend between two and three inches inside where the toilet base will rest. A larger hole will make the placement easier, though, so use your own discretion when cutting the holes in your new flooring.

Step Five

It is important that you plan your layout before you start actually installing the new hardwood flooring in your bathroom. Part of this is cutting the holes for fixtures and, if you have a specific pattern in mind for your flooring, you can make sure you actually achieve it.

Step Six

For the installation, you should start in a corner and work your way out from there. Wherever possible, use full-length pieces rather than cut ones because they’re easier to place and also look much more attractive.

Step Seven

You should use a reliable and high-quality wood glue product for your installation. The glue should be able to help with water resistance and keep the wood planks firmly in place for a long time.

Step Eight

It is important to remember that bathrooms are exposed to lots of humidity, and high levels at that, so your wooden planks will expand as a result. For that reason, you should leave a gap of 1/8 inch horizontally along the bathroom walls.

A gap of 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch between the planks and the bathtub footing should be enough. The gap is especially important around the bath, which is usually the wettest area in the room.

To fill these gaps, you can use clear silicone caulk.

Step Nine

Should it happen that your flooring raises the toilet fixture by half an inch or more, you will have to use an extender piece. Typically, they’re easy to install and should be able to mount on top of the existing flange.

Step Ten

Now you can start permanently placing your wood flooring by applying glue on the back of the planks and gently pushing them into place. Allow the glue to set for at least 24 hours before you start using the room. Clean the floor before use. You should also apply a waterproof seal to your flooring.

That’s all there is to putting hardwood flooring in a bathroom.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on January 4, 2023.

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