If a prospective home you’re looking at has a timber floor bathroom, you’ve scored because timber in the bathroom is bang on trend and can definitely help with property value. But before you get too excited, have the bathroom inspected.
There are right ways and wrong ways to use timber in a bathroom; you should make sure you’re not inheriting the problems of a poorly renovated bathroom. From the type of timber used to the kind of sealant, some things can make or break the attraction of a timber floor bathroom.
What type of timber in a bathroom?
Being a wet area, swollen and warped timber is a common bathroom problem if the incorrect timber is used. Timber that is suitable for wet areas is one that can keep its structure when it gets wet, absorbing and releasing moisture while staying exactly the same. Tight grain, solid timbers are the best option for timber floors in wet areas as they can withstand moisture. Examples of these timbers are cedar, teak, mahogany and locally grown bamboo. Timbers not suitable for wet areas will hold in the moisture, and expand, warp and lift as the timber dries.
What to look for in a timber floor bathroom
On the first inspection, a newly renovated bathroom may show no timber damage or rot, but that doesn’t mean the potential for problems can’t be identified. During a detailed inspection of the bathroom, an experienced building inspector can determine the type of timber used and if it is suitable for wet areas.
The timber used in wet areas should always be adequately sealed and waterproofed. Any timber bathroom floors coated with wax or polyurethane carry a higher risk of water damage than a natural oil-based finish on hardwood. Moisture can become trapped underneath wax or polyurethane, leaving the timber unable to breathe, causing warping and swelling. A natural oil-based finish allows the timber to breathe. When it comes to timber flooring in wet areas, moisture regulation is essential as is adequate bathroom ventilation to withdraw moisture from the atmosphere.
Don’t let a timber floor bathroom put you off buying a house just yet because if it’s done right, it could just pay off in the long run.
If you need some professional advice on your timber floor bathroom, contact us to arrange an inspection.