Hardwood floors are a popular flooring solution. But you might wonder if hardwood floors can be installed in a laundry room; can they withstand moisture and humidity? We have researched answers for you.
Although it’s tempting to install, hardwood flooring is not ideal in laundry rooms or anywhere that deals with a lot of humidity and moisture. Hardwood flooring can warp and swell, which can be very difficult—if not impossible—to fix.
Figuring out the materials that would functionally complement your laundry room can be challenging. Keep reading below to learn more about which materials will be able to withstand various unpredictabilities in laundry rooms as well as how to maintain your laundry room.
What Happens When Hardwood is Exposed to Moisture?
When hardwood is exposed to too much humidity or moisture, the quality of the wood and flooring will be compromised. Here are things you can expect if your hardwood is placed in a humid area:
- Cupping: where the center of the floorboard is dented, forming a cup-like shape.
- Crowning: where the center of the floorboard is bubbled upwards, forming the shape of a hill or crown
- Buckling: where the floor separates from the subfloor, creating a hollow sound when you tap on it and making the entire floor unstable.
- Cracking: where the heavy air forces the floor to expand until it reaches its limit and cracks.
Although these issues are preventable, it is best to avoid installing hardwood floors in humid areas in the first place.
What Flooring Should You Choose for Laundry Rooms?
Since hardwood floors are a risky choice, you can try other flooring options that will not only make your laundry rooms more functional but also elevate their visual appeal.
These options have been proven to be durable and resistant to humidity and moisture. These floors also come in a lot of colors and designs, so you can choose one that will match the aesthetic you want your laundry room to have.
Here are the flooring options you can put into your laundry area:
Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring solutions most homeowners go for. There are various kinds of laminate flooring, so you need to check if what you're purchasing is water-resistant.
The polyurethane layer protects its surface from moisture damage, so make sure that the flooring has that component when purchasing them.
Since they are relatively easy to install and remove, it would not be a hassle to replace them when the flooring somehow gets damaged. Make sure to maintain them well so they can last longer in your laundry room.
Vinyl flooring, whether in sheets or in luxury vinyl planks and tiles, is the best material you can use for laundry rooms. They are highly water-resistant, and they can withstand changes in temperature and humidity levels.
Since you will be dealing with bleach and soap solutions, you would want the flooring to be stain-resistant so your laundry room won't look messy--and this is what vinyl planks and tiles can boast about. They are easy to clean, and dirt won't stick to them.
Vinyl sheets, on the other hand, can be considered waterproof. They come in a layer of sheets that are attached to the subfloor, making them highly durable.
They have a sleek appearance with an often warm-neutral tone, making them aesthetically pleasing.
Tile flooring, such as ceramic or porcelain, is a tried-and-true flooring solution. They are one of the most common choices if you want something reliable, relatively low-maintenance, and durable.
Just like Vinyl flooring, they are waterproof and chemical-resistant. Make sure to hire a competent contractor when installing your tiles because you don't want the tiles to suddenly bubble up or crack when you're using them.
Don't attempt to do it yourself unless you are an experienced professional.
If you want flooring that is purely functional and highly waterproof, concrete flooring is the way to go. They are one of the most durable materials you can install indoors.
A drawback of concrete flooring is its lack of aesthetic value.
They don't exactly suit elegant or airy interiors, and you would need to switch the style of the laundry room so it can look more industrial or minimalist.
They are also not ideal if you live in a cold area since concrete can become cold, which can make your feet uncomfortable when doing chores.
How Can You Warm the Cold Floors?
Nothing can drive people to stop doing chores quite like overly-cold floors.
They are uncomfortable at best, and borderline hurtful at worst. Having cold floors is not ideal, especially in laundry rooms where the cold can intersperse with the humidity.
Here are heating solutions you can apply on your floors.
Utilize Radiant Heating
Radiant floor heating is a safe and reliable solution for cold floors. They are easy to control, energy efficient, and are attached under the floors so they don't take up space.
They tend to be expensive, but they are an investment in your home's functionality and your own comfort.
Use Gel Mats
Gel mats are not only used to provide comfort for your feet on cold days but they can also be used as a cushion to help your legs relax so they won't get fatigued.
They are an affordable alternative if radiant heating can't available yet. You can also use them if the coldness is slightly tolerable but still want that level of comfort while you're doing your chores.
They come in a variety of colors and designs, so they can add to the visual appeal of your laundry room.
How To Clean Laundry Rooms
Cleaning your laundry room regularly is key to maintaining all the materials inside, including the floors.
Having a clean laundry room will not only make the materials last longer, but it will lessen the stress when you look at the pile of laundry that needs to be washed.
Here is how you can clean your laundry room.
- Scrub your washing machine with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Run a cycle with hot water to rinse.
- Run a lint on the inside of your dryer to get rid of leftover dirt.
- Vacuum and sweep the floors. Mop regularly with mild detergent. Avoid wax polish since it could be slippery on all kinds of surfaces.
- Dehumidify the area to reduce moisture.
Hardwood floors may be ideal in some parts of the house, but they are not the best option for laundry rooms. Other flooring options are available, and you can improve their functionality using other materials or machines.
As always, make sure to maintain your laundry room's floors so they can keep being functional and visually pleasing.