Kitchen, Bathroom Flooring



    I’ve been seeing a lot of showroom images where wood is used for the bathroom/kitchen flooring. My contractor and my mom has advised me against this – saying it will be a problem longterm. I’ve never used the homedepot/lowes wood flooring before. I’ve always had solid oak wood floors installed and then sealed/stained. Is there a right way/a certain type of material to use for “wet/moist” areas like the bathroom and kitchen?

    I am also thinking about doing another kitchen in the retro black and white checkered squares, installed at a diagonal. What materials do you recommend for this?

    6 Replies

    1. I have used real linoleum (Forbo) in the kitchen and been very happy with it. I like the marbled look and it’s soft on the feet. It’s not cheap though. Ritchie’s Bay Ridge Carpet & Linoleum carries it and is a certified installer. They are very nice people to deal with. I recommend using a medium color with a marble pattern since it will show the least amount of bumps and dirt.

    2. Agree with above. Definitely do not use wood in the bathroom because it will damage quickly due to humidity/hot water vapor/etc. The way my contractor explained it to me, use tile in high-traffic areas (kitchen, bath, front door entryway, maybe hallway), and hardwood for the rest.

      If you get pre-finished hardwood for the kitchen, it will have the small gaps between boards in which various foodstuffs and whatever happens to be spilled in the kitchen will get stuck. The checkered tile pattern seems like a better idea. I personally like the 16×16 tiles.

    3. As the others said, do not use wood in the bathroom.

      You can use wood in the kitchen, but I would investigate a better grade finish as I have seen many kitchen floors with the finish worn away by the sink. I suspect water gets into the wood and pushes the finish away from the underside (someone may challenge me on this; I am guessing that is what is happening; the wood may also expand and contract, breaking the finish).

      Oil based finished do not do well in the kitchen even though most folks still believe that oil based product is better than water based finishes. This is what I would do, check out some of the water based finishes that use a cross-link (a hardener). Some of these will definitely out perform an oil finish and any of the run-of-the-mill water base finishes such as Varathane. One brand I have used is Street Shoe by Basic Coatings; I am not saying that this is the one – if you wait some other folks will write in here an recommend other products that they have used in kitchens.


    4. Would definitely not recommend wood for the bathroom floor. If you really like the wood look for the bathroom, check out this product,

      You can definitely carry the wood flooring into the kitchen, but like said above, there are potential problems with durability and water damage. In terms of solid wood versus engineered flooring, some engineered will actually hold up better because the bottom layer of the product is laminated “cross-grained” which helps stabilize the board. The top layer is still real wood, the quality of the product depends on how thick that top layer is. The products in Lowes and Home Depot are usually not the best quality but i am sure they still have decent higher end lines.

      For the retro black and white, just porcelain tile is the way to go.
      Or i am sure home depot has something if you wanted to go 8″x8″ or 12″x12″.

    5. Agree wood in the bathroom is no good. Don’t do it.
      I have wood on the floor in the kitchen and it is very nice but got beat up near the door to the backyard.
      Would also recommend a mat. Also if this is ground floor and you have any water issues (backyard rain flow, etc), get this fixed because these problems will damage your floors.

    6. Most of wha you are seeing is probably engineered flooring that looks like wood. i personally can’t stand that stuff so I’ve never checked out how it holds up to wetter areas like kitchens and baths. Good thing about them is if they don’t work out you just take them up.

      I have a few kitchens where I have hardwood floors and they are fine. In the areas where you stand the most though, I’d use one of those gel rubber mats that you can get at a lot of places. Easier on your feet, especially if you use tile.

      Tile for bathroom.