Hardwood flooring is very popular among homeowners from around the world so it should be no surprise to notice that it is used in countless bathrooms. The problem is that this is a room that has a really humid environment. This automatically means that you need to be careful. All bathroom flooring options have advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages of hardwood flooring for bathrooms are associated with the following specific dangers.
Splashes And Spills
Whenever you install flooring in any bathroom you have to worry about splashes and spills. Baths and showers will naturally cause splashes. Just think about when you rinse your face. Water droplets surely spill out across the area around your sink. Similarly, the bathroom that has a tub or a shower surely sees water reaching the floor from time to time.
Hardwood finish is surely going to protect the floor but it is still very important to wipe up all spills as soon as they happen. This protects the material and moisture will not wear it down.
Having a floor that is not level means water will slide towards some areas. Puddles soon appear. Such moisture puddles are damaging and will normally weaken structural integrity. This is mainly because water is going to just seep through seams. You have to be sure that subfloor preparation is proper so that the base is flat. This prevents much of the water damage that can appear with hardwood floors.
No Moisture Barrier Present
Hardwood floors are usually installed in a simple process that involves nailing the planks right to the subfloor. Because of this, you cannot use the common vapor barrier. When moisture goes past the hardwood surface, it reaches structural components. This leads to the underlayment and subfloor being affected. For a bathroom, it is better to install hardwood flooring with adhesive or some click-together methods.
This is always a threat to think about in a bathroom but with hardwood flooring, you need to be extra careful. When pipes leak or there are malfunctions with a bathroom fixture, you end up with a room filled with water. Sometimes damage can be undone but generally, it destroys the flooring installation. This is true even if you have proper sealing. It is close to impossible to seal hardwood flooring against full floods.
In a bathroom, you use different body products, cleansers, and soaps. Most of these are a little acidic. When a spill happens, it is possible that the chemicals will eat away at the flooring’s finish. Alternatively, permanent staining can happen inside the wood. You need to quickly clean up all cleansers that fall to the ground to remove the potential damage.
Really High Humidity
Most homeowners just think about the water damage that comes from splashing or puddles. What you need to also think about is bathroom humidity. As you take a shower, your bathroom becomes steamy. As a result, moisture reaches every little corner of the room. Just some amount enters hardwood floors but in time, it can easily accumulate and cause damage. Every single side of hardwood flooring can be attacked.
Mildew And Mold
Last but not least, a bathroom is moist. Whenever the environment is moist, you need to worry about mildew and mold. Such harmful organic substances really love wet and hot environments. They are going to feed on the natural organic materials present. Hardwood is an organic material. You will get protection from the finish but as time passes, mildew and mold can end up growing in right between boards. Whenever these problems appear, health problems become a concern for people inside the home.