The big question: Do I get hardwood floors or something else? Like marriage and tattooing, being impulsive can get you into trouble. Unless you have a money tree in your backyard, you can’t afford to make a bad decision.
Below are locations where you might think twice about solid hardwood—unless you are prepared for the risk.
In Which Rooms Do I Plan to Refloor? Are you planning to redo your kitchen or bathroom floors? Well, most plumbing contractors will warn you: Don’t put solid hardwood in a bathroom or kitchen. They tell you this because leaks are practically inevitable in moist places like baths and kitchens. If you take away anything from our website, you will remember that water and hardwood do not mix. Water warps wood. Bathrooms and kitchens are best floored with lino, laminate or tile materials.
The Kitchen: You want to be able to clean the floor 100% in kitchens, where your main activity is food preparation and food consumption. Think of how sticky a kitchen floor can get in just a week of general use; you may then realize that you want a flooring material that you can wash– and wash well. Maybe you claim you’ve never dropped a single grape, not one glass of water on the floor, though it would be hard to believe (and there’s a first time for everything). If you want a hardwood look, simulated wood flooring (laminate) would be better in a kitchen.
Although some tenants may find kitchen carpet revolting, some landlords still insist on it because it’s less expensive and easier to remove and replace when damaged.
The Bathroom: If you plan on reflooring your bathroom, stay away from solid hardwood, not to mention carpet. Topical moisture from hot showers can cause damage. Lino, tile or stone flooring are most sanitary for places like bathrooms.
Once upon a time, in the seventies when carpet was popular in bathrooms, there lived a man who took a walk in the woods. With his shoes still on, he walked onto a carpeted bathroom floor. A short time later, he returned to the bathroom to find a toadstool growing.
With solid hardwood in your kitchen or bathroom, you may become neurotic about its upkeep. It may be stressful as you may worry about every drop of water (and often the harder you try not to spill, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy). Even a small leak can warp solid wood flooring.
If you insist on solid hardwood: Solid wood flooring can be treated and sealed or prefinished if you insist on it for the kitchen or bathroom; it is not our first recommendation for those rooms, though. Maybe you own a summer house where bathrooms are only used infrequently; in that case, hardwood might be okay. To have the best of both without the risk, consider getting tiles or laminate or even laminate with a tile border in your kitchen or bathroom.