Can Engineered Wood Flooring Be Used in Bathrooms?

If you’re thinking about giving your bathroom an image overhaul, you’ve probably considered investing in a new floor. Vinyl flooring and ceramic tiles are inexpensive options, but they’re not the most stylish of choices. For many, nothing beats the rustic aesthetic and natural character of hardwood flooring.

Although attractive, hardwood flooring isn’t particularly well-suited to bathrooms. All that moisture will quickly take its toll, ruining the appearance of your flooring unless you’re prepared to commit to constant maintenance and refinishing.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance alternative for your bathroom, consider engineered wood flooring. Offering all the same visual appeal as hardwood, engineered wood is a more durable option that’s perfectly acclimatised to moisture-rich environments like bathrooms.

At Wood Flooring Ireland, we’ve been producing engineered wood flooring products for more than 15 years. With everything from long planks to premium parquet styles to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your bathroom.

Adding Engineered Wood Flooring to Bathrooms

If you’re aiming to create a sophisticated bathroom interior, wooden flooring is a great option. However, most hardwood flooring isn’t suitable for moisture-rich environments like bathrooms.

Traditional hardwood flooring doesn’t cope well when exposed to moisture. Sufficient water damage will eventually lead to your wooden floors warping and distorting. This isn’t just unsightly, but incredibly difficult to correct unless you’re prepared to regularly sand and refinish your flooring material.

The advantages of engineered wood flooring make it an ideal choice for bathrooms. Unlike solid hardwood, engineered wood flooring is made up of several layers. The core layers of long plank wood flooring or parquet tiles are made up of durable plywood. These individual layers are bonded together with hard-wearing adhesive, resulting in a robust foundation.

It’s this core that makes engineered wood far more durable than everyday wood flooring. Not only is it more stable underfoot but it’s also designed to cope with extreme environmental changes. Temperature changes have little impact on engineered wood, while the combination of a multi-ply core and premium veneer layer protects against spills and moisture intrusion.

How Water-Resistant is Engineered Wood Flooring?

Moisture exposure is the main problem facing hardwood flooring in bathrooms. Generally speaking, engineered wood is far more resilient. A high-quality engineered wood floor will be able to withstand the effects of steam from your daily shower or the occasional spillage as you climb in and out of the bathtub.

However, it isn’t completely impervious to moisture. You should clear up any spillage as quickly as possible to prevent discolouration of the veneer layer. Larger spills also have the potential to seep into the plywood core. If enough moisture is allowed to penetrate the interior of your engineered wood flooring, there’s a chance the structure will warp.

For peace of mind, aim to clear away spills as quickly as possible. Avoid introducing additional moisture, so stick to a dry rag or wrung-out mop instead. Although it will be able to withstand far more punishment than traditional hardwood, you should also ensure that your bathroom is fitted with a reliable ventilation system. Use an extractor fan whenever taking a shower or running a hot bath.

For an added layer of protection, consider adding rugs to certain areas of your bathroom. Place a mat near your vanity unit to absorb any spillages as you brush your teeth or wash your face. A deep-pile bath mat or duckboard will also protect your floors as you get out of the shower or climb out of the tub.

Why Should I Use Engineered Wood Flooring?

We have already mentioned that they handle moisture and spillage better than hardwood flooring but are there more reasons as to why I should opt for engineered wood instead? Simply put, yes there are.

It’s Easy to Install

Bathroom flooring installation can be complicated. Many bathrooms suffer from awkward layouts, limiting your options when it comes to flooring material. This is why so many people turn to inexpensive vinyl or easy-to-cut tiles. What’s more, underfloor heating systems usually rule out the prospect of a hardwood floor.

Thankfully, engineered wood is one of the most compatible flooring materials on the market. Whether you’re interested in long planks or Versailles panels, your flooring can be ordered to size, making installation simple. Furthermore, it can usually be installed above most underfloor heating systems, requiring little to no preparation beforehand.

If you’re working on a tight schedule, this flooring works well. It takes a fraction of the time to install compared to hardwood flooring or tiles. In many cases, you can simply lay your flooring panels down on the existing subfloor layer.

Cleaning and Maintenance is Simple

Hardwood flooring might look impressive, but it takes considerable effort to keep it looking its best. If you’re not prepared for a substantial amount of upkeep, engineered wood flooring is a better alternative.

Bathrooms are one of the most heavily-used spaces in a typical home. An average bathroom will require a deep clean once a week, while bathroom flooring will need a quick once-over every few days. All that cleaning takes its toll on flooring materials. Hardwood floors don’t do well when exposed to moisture and cleaning agents.

By contrast, engineered wood flooring is designed to withstand more intensive cleaning schedules. You can give your flooring a once-over with a dry mop every day if you wish. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any surface debris as often as you want. Provided you’re steering clear of aggressive cleaning chemicals, engineered wood will maintain its eye-catching aesthetics for many years.

Refinishing an Engineered Wood Floor

Although engineered wood flooring is designed with long-lasting durability in mind, there may come a time when you’ll need to refinish it. Thankfully, refinishing it is simple. Provided you’ve invested in a product with a thick enough veneer, you can sand down and refinish it several times during its lifetime.

While you can of course refinish hardwood flooring, solid wood can be trickier to restore. If hardwood has become heavily damaged by moisture, you’ll likely have to sand away many millimetres of material before being able to think about refinishing. Furthermore, unsightly knots will only become more visible when you apply finishing waxes and oils.


Another trendy idea to consider in addition to engineered flooring in your bathroom is a wood wall accent. The right amount of reclaimed wood juxtaposed with a minimalist bathroom design gives a kiss of rustic that brings an extra level of relaxation to your “rest” room. Adding some biophilic design around a tub or sink can help invite in some zen vibes for you and your guests.

Realise Your Dream Bathroom Design with Engineered Wood Flooring

If your bathroom floors have seen better days, it’s time to wake up to the wonders of engineered wood. Offering all the same visual appeal as traditional hardwood, engineered wood flooring is simple to install and easy to maintain.

What’s more, you’ve no shortage of styles to choose from. Check out the different types of wood flooring available at Wood Flooring Ireland. You’ll find everything from long planks to chevron flooring, herringbone flooring and Versailles panels. We’ve got plenty of premium design options you’ll love.

Ready to see the range for yourself? Why not clear your diary and pencil in a visit to our Cork showroom? If you’d rather speak to the team today, send us a message via the online contact form or call us on 021 4629913.

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