A Timber Floor Bathroom: The Pros and Cons

A timber floor bathroom might sound a little unconventional, but with bathrooms taking on a modern edge, timber floors for bathrooms have become a trend. But this doesn’t mean that every timber floored bathroom is free from problems, nor does it mean the timber used is suitable for wet areas according to the Building Code of Australia. We’re here to shed some light on a timber floor for a bathroom, so you know what to look for and what questions to ask.

Bathroom Wood Flooring Pros

Timber floors add warmth to bathrooms

Timber floors are the perfect solution for people who want to add a little extra warmth to their bathrooms. The natural look and feel of timber floors make them an ideal choice for relaxation and comfort. This is especially true when it comes to a neutral or contemporary palette. Timber flooring in bathrooms combines a unique, warm and cosy look with the natural beauty and durability of wooden floors.

They’re durable and easy to clean

Timber floors are naturally stain-resistant and, for that reason, are a wise choice for wet areas like a bathroom. The durability and natural look of the timber floors make them an excellent choice for bathroom installations.

They are long-lasting

Hardwood floors can last for up to 30 years, making them the most durable flooring option. When they do get scratched, you can sand and refinish them to get back that original shine, and if in 20 years you decide on a refresh, timber flooring is much easier to remove than tiles.

Bathroom Wood Flooring Cons

Only certain types of timber are suitable for bathrooms

Timber flooring has become a popular flooring option for homes across Australia thanks to its beautiful, rustic appeal. But, only certain types of timber are recommended for use in a bathroom. For instance, softwood timber isn’t recommended for bathrooms as it has poor water resistance, and repairs are needed every few years. Read on for the best type of timbers for bathroom floors.

Be prepared for the noise

Just like any floorboards in a house, floorboards for bathrooms also bring the noise factor. If you need a quiet floor for your bathroom, timber flooring probably isn’t for you.

You’ll need to avoid splashes

Water will inevitably splash around the bathroom. If your flooring isn’t level, this water can also run downwards and pool, causing further problems. The thing with a wooden bathroom floor is, leaving the water there without drying it up could void your warranty. Ensure the bathroom floor has been properly waterproofed and sealed because you don’t want to attract termites either!

Humidity & Ventilation

If you’re house hunting and find a property you love that has a timber floor bathroom, one of the first things you should check is the ventilation. Bathrooms become very humid spaces, and if there is not enough ventilation via windows or exhaust fans, the humidity can harm timber flooring. From warping to twisting, humidity is not suitable for wooden floors or your health. Humidity can also cause a build-up of mould in your bathroom.

There needs to be a moisture barrier

When a timber floor is installed without a moisture barrier, water can seep into the subfloor. To ensure there are proper adhesives and/or click together mechanisms, and no water damage, have a building inspector carry out an inspection.


What is the best type of timber for bathroom floors?

Some timbers have a tighter grain to others, and when it comes to timber bathroom floors, the tighter, the better. The timber should also be solid. Solid timber with a tight grain means the flooring will be less affected by moisture. Examples of this timber are Mahogany, Cedar, Bamboo and Teak.

Engineered hardwood flooring is another popular option and still made of real wood. The wood is layered and capped by a solid wood veneer and then secured with special wood glue, an engineering design perfect for dealing with moisture and preventing bending.

You may have never thought a timber floor for a bathroom possible, or maybe you’ve wanted one for a long time. Either way, it’s good to understand the pros and cons of timber in a bathroom, particularly if you’re buying a house, because there could be many things wrong that you can’t see.

In that case, give us a call about your pre-purchase inspection.  

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