If it suits the personal taste, there is hardly anything to object to laying parquet or planks in the bathroom.
In principle, many types of wood are suitable for wet rooms. So there is no reason to forgo cosiness and naturalness in the bathroom. Wood outside lasts there forever with proper treatment. Why should this be different indoors?
So there is nothing to get in the way of laying the parquet in the bathroom if you like it. However, some special features have to be taken into account when using the natural material wood.
Wooden floors in the bathroom – this must be taken into account
This has to do with the number of joints, because parquet rods are usually up to 60 cm long and therefore have a variety of joints. This can potentially allow moisture to penetrate, which is why it must be properly sealed.
On the other hand, the number of joints is much smaller if the floor covering is made of long and oiled wooden planks. These can be easily sealed with neoprene. For the wooden floor in the bathroom: the less joints, the better for the durability.
In the case of parquet, joints can swell between individual parquet rods, or even individual parts can detach if these areas have not been properly sealed. It is also important to repair minor damage to the surface immediately, because moisture can also penetrate the parquet floor through this.
Suitable wood types for parquet in the bathroom
When laying parquet or planks in wet rooms, it is particularly important to choose the right wood. Basically, a type of wood must be used for the bathroom that does not react strongly to moisture. Wood species that swell strongly and dwindle like beech are completely unsuitable in this respect.
Very suitable are small-pored hardwoods such as Jatoba, Doussie, Merbau or Teak, which are also used in shipbuilding for ship planks. Due to its durability, the popular teak wood is also often used to make patio floorboards, window frames, doors or garden furniture.
Also suitable for wet rooms are woods that naturally contain a high proportion of resins and oils such as Douglas fir or pitch pine. The Douglas fir, which has a higher density than the oak, is also often used for terrace floorboards because of its durability.
In the case of the native woods, oak – also as smoked oak – and walnut are particularly well-considered for the bath. These woods hardly swell and dwindle when moisture is moist.
Which parquet is suitable for the bathroom?
Of course, it has an effect on the parquet price if you do not want to do without a wooden floor in the bathroom. This is where solid adhesive parquet must be used. Glued solid parquet has the advantage that it can be renovated frequently. In addition, it is very stable in the edge area.
With the glued solid parquet in the bathroom, the joints must be sealed with neoprene, just like the floorboard. Neoprene can be sanded like the parquet if this is necessary.
Prefabricated parquet is not suitable for wet rooms, because it is very thin in the groove area, so that deformations occur immediately in case of ingress of moisture.
Parquet in the bathroom must be glued
The parquet floor in the bathroom must be absolutely waterproof. The solid parquet in the wet room must therefore be glued to the full surface. For this purpose, a permanently elastic adhesive must be used. After bonding, the parquet floor must also be reworked immediately with a care oil.
A floating installation is not possible, as there must be no leaking edge joints in the wet room. With a floating installation, water could easily get under the parquet, which would have fatal consequences. Only with the fully glued solid parquet can movements of the floor be avoided and joints and edges securely sealed.
Before gluing the solid parquet, the screed should best be filled with a 3 mm strong cement equalizing compound and primed with epoxy resin if you want to be completely safe. By the way, you should do without skirting boards with a parquet floor in the bathroom, as moisture can accumulate here and lead to damage.
Use parquet oil instead of parquet varnish for parquet in the bathroom
In the bathroom, varnishes are completely unsuitable for sealing the parquet floor. With water laughter on the parquet floor, moisture could penetrate the wood within a very short time and let this swell. In addition, when using varnish, moisture can easily “slip” under the seal and cause unsightly grey veils on the wood.
This must be ruled out in the case of neatly oiled surfaces with parquet oil. However, the effective protection provided by the oil film must be renewed regularly in order to maintain it. When the parquet in the bath is oiled, the oil penetrates the pores, ensures an impregnation against moisture and still lets the wood breathe. By the way, an optimal solution are oiled wooden planks, which are sealed with neoprene in the joints.
Parquet in the bathroom needs care
The maintenance effort for parquet in the bathroom is higher than, for example, for a tiled floor. In contrast to the tiled floor, the wooden floor does not tolerate standing moisture or excessively high humidity of more than 70 percent.
Water laughter must therefore be wiped immediately and the bath ventilated after use in order to avoid permanent humidification of the wood surface. Mats on a parquet or floorboard in the bathroom must also be dispensed with, as so-called waterlogging can form underneath, which would inevitably lead to wood damage.
To ensure that the parquet floor in the bathroom remains beautiful for a long time and maintains its resistance, the floor should be oiled at regular intervals. As a rule, this should be done three times a year to preserve the oil film that protects against moisture.
Cleaning of the parquet should only be done by slightly damp wiping. Before using cleaners that could damage the protective oil film, one should refrain from using them.
Bathroom parquet on underfloor heating
If you do not want to do without underfloor heating in the bathroom, or if one already exists there, it is important to make sure that the temperature on the floor is compatible with the parquet adhesive. This means that the flow temperature of the underfloor heating must be adjusted so that the floor does not become warmer than 28° C. Exceeding this temperature can otherwise lead to a major problem with the parquet floor.
You can find out more about underfloor heating and parquet flooring in the bathroom here in another article.