Can You Use Hardwood Flooring in a Bathroom?

Natural wood is a timeless feature to include in any home remodel. From rustic touches in the kitchen to gorgeous hardwood flooring, finished wood surfaces offer a versatile touch of craftsmanship that will never be out of style.

With that in mind, it makes sense that more and more homeowners want to include wood’s organic aesthetic in their bathrooms as well.

There’s just one problem: bathrooms are unique spaces with unique conditions.

Elevated moisture levels (think splashes, drips, and steam) are assumed to be hostile factors for a material like wood, leaving tile as the go-to option for a long, long time.

So, is this accurate? Should wood be left outside the door?

Good News! Wood Works Just Fine in the Bathroom

In reality, wood and water mix all the time (look no further than boats, docks, piers, etc.).

Whether or not wood will flourish depends on several key factors that you and your bathroom remodeling professional can discuss:

  • Where is it going in the bathroom?
  • What kind of wood is it?
  • Does it have the proper seal/finish?
  • Is it installed in a way that allows for natural expansion and contraction?
  • Is your bathroom properly ventilated?

What Kind of Wood Is Best for a Bathroom?

One option in particular floats to the top of the list because of its unique characteristics.


Naturally water-resistant and extremely dense, teak is a gorgeous, functional choice that will excel in your bathroom, no matter how steamy things get.

Here’s an example from a home remodel we completed in Greenwich. Paired with a floating vanity and Arabescato Corchia marble, this guest bathroom is overflowing with modern, yet timeless, style.

wood flooring in a bathroom

How About the Look of Wood without the Concerns?

Maybe you agree with what we said above, but you’re still having trouble feeling comfortable with the idea of your toddler taking a bath over a hardwood floor.

We hear you.

Another option is one that we recommend to those who love hardwood but have pets with damaging claws. Porcelain tile flooring can be engineered to look almost exactly like your favorite varieties of wood, and with a massive spectrum of finishes mimicked as well. You really can enjoy the best of both worlds, pairing the natural warmth and character of wood with the moisture-resistant durability of tile. As an added benefit, you can use any cleaner you’d like, avoiding the need for special, gentler treatment.

We suggest that as you near the launch of your project, you sit down with a reputable remodeling professional. Discuss your needs, goals, lifestyle, and preferences, and they can certainly help guide you to the right decision.

You also might want to start by checking out this overview of the year’s major bathroom remodeling trends. We hope you get inspired!