Hardwood floor in powder room-Will I regret it?

nhbasketsFebruary 24, 2014

We are building a new home. The first floor will have hardwood floors except in our master bath, mud room area, and laundry closet. DH wants for the powder room to also have tile rather than hardwood. The bath will have a pocket door, so I'm guessing the door will be open, or partially open, when not in use. Given how you approach the bath, I just thought hardwood would look better than having a different floor surface. Will I regret it? Since our master bath is only a few steps away, I'm guessing I'll be using that rather than the powder room.

This is a sketch that I did of the first floor when I was attempting to figure out furniture placement while we still had time to make minor interior changes.

Would love to hear anyone's experience with hardwood in a powder room, good and bad.

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Our powder room has the same hardwood floor as the rest of our downstairs. I love how it looks, but grimace whenever my family's hands drip water reaching from the sink to the nearby hand towel (seriously, it's RIGHT THERE; I do not understand how they end up dripping water on the floor). Plus, whenever we have to use the plunger, I'm nearly a basket case.

If I had a "do over", I think I'd choose a really beautiful tile.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:34PM
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We have had hardwood in our powder room for years with no problem. Looks great and is my favorite room in the house!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 8:02PM
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I was all for hardwood until I took a look at your layout. If I'm deciphering the spaces correctly, the little entry where the bench is as you come in from the garage will have tile & the laundry closet just beyond will have tile. I'd be tempted to just tile from the garage door into the powder room including the laundry closet. You can have your tile set at the same height as your hardwood with just a thin metal transition strip so any trip hazard has been reduced. I think it might flow better + should the washer spring a leak you have a little more floor protection in the area than just tile underneath the machine.

With that being said, if you weren't tiling the mudroom/bench area I would be back to hardwood. Do you live in an area with lots of rain or snow that would make hardwoods in the mudroom a problem? If not, why tile it? We have hardwood in our mudroom and adjacent powder room and have had no problems other than the same water dripping from hands issue mentioned above--happens in my kitchen too only its both the floors and huge pools of water on the counter. And its the men in the house that have the problem--I just don't get it!

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:57PM
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I have Heart Pine in my powder room. I love it, but we do live in a winter area, it is the only bathroom on the main floor, and it sees a lot of traffic, so the floor shows any mud/slush people track in and needs frequent wipe ups. And yes, they get waterspots on the floor.

Honestly, in your situation, I'd probably tile the whole area from garage to powder room, but I also have to admit, I am not a fan of the whole layout - it feels like the master bedroom entrance is off a utility area!

But it's not my house! If you like it, that's all that matters.

Always ;-)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 8:53AM
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Like your layout! I'd do hardwood, but have a "rule" that "when coming in from garage messy shoes are left at the built-in bench."

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 9:11AM
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I have wood in my powder room and drippy hands are not the issue so much as a toilet leak or other problem. Be mindful of that and it is okay -- low flow toilets make an occasional overflow less likely to happen too. However, yours is essentially part of your laundry area and I would never put wood under a washer and dryer, and it will look better to have one flooring in that space than to stop and start wood, so I'd make that whole area tile.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:42AM
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For flow purposes, tile would make more sense. Since basically that whole utility area is all tile anyways. What you need to figure out is where to end tile before hardwood begins in kitchen! :>)

Just out of curiosity, what is that little room off your family room? A den? At first I thought that was another toilet just behind the french door, but I'm guessing maybe a secretariat?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:17PM
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My in-laws have a one bathroom house with hardwood throughout. The hardwood in the bathroom has done just fine for at least 15 years (20? 25?). Currently a family with 3 children lives there and it's still fine. If you decide you want hardwood there, I wouldn't worry about it.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Thanks everyone for the comments. I had considered tiling from the garage entry through to the powder room, but really don't want to see the tile from the kitchen area. We live in NH and have snow and mud season. DH and I will be entering from the garage and we already have a shoes off policy, so that shouldn't be an issue. In fact, I didn't want to put tile in that area but gave in to DH. Need to pick my battles. The laundry closet which is across from our master bedroom will have tile. I'm thrilled to have laundry on the same floor as our bedroom as I've never had this my entire life. The little room off the living room is an office, which DH has claimed as his. Works for me as I'll get the bigger tv!

They finished sheet rocking over the weekend and I'm really liking the feel and flow of the house. In our current home the powder room has real slate on the floor. I think hardwood will be much easier to maintain. We'll just keep our fingers crossed on leaky toilets.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:36PM
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Your OP mentioned "hardwood would look better than having a different floor surface". But, the floor leading into the PR is tile, so that is why I suggested you stay with tile.

I have hardwood entirely throughout my main floor except for the Bathrooms. I still have plywood in my front entry as I go back and forth trying to decide on which surface to use there. As we have been renoing, I thought I would wait until all the big heavy items had been carried through there, for now I think I will do hardwood..., but I think I would be leary of using HW even in just a PR due to potential toilet leaks. I guess the good thing is if you decide to go HW, that you will have to deal with a leaky toilet right away (ask me why this is a tender issue for me LOL)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 4:19PM
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I'm a little confused! Is your kitchen HW? If so, I don't know why you would be concerned about the small amount of water on the PR floor. The kitchen has way more spills.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:33AM
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I've had wood flooring in our master bath and in the public first floor powder room. No issues whatsoever for the past 15+ years.

The negative I have seen is if you have humid summer months and your toilet tank sweats and drips condensate on the floor. That continual wetness could be problematic. But that's usually just an issue in non-climate controlled houses.

As an alternative, have you looked at "hardwood look-a-like" tile?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:23AM
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Thanks for the additional comments. Our kitchen will be hardwood, as is our current kitchen. I've had no problems over the past 20 years, so I don't think it should be an issue. Our house will have a geothermal heating and cooling system, so I don't anticipate any toilet tank sweating.

At this point, I'm going with the hardwood. Thank you all for your input!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:53AM
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We have hardwood in our powder room also and have been in our house almost 15 years now. Not a single problem and DH uses this bathroom quite frequently rather than go to our Master bath. We have a granite-topped vanity and I keep a towel laying on the side there rather than hanging away from the sink, plus I have a small standing towel bar I can use on the vanity or I use disposable towels if we have guests.

Ours is off one of the main hallways so I wouldn't think of using tile here. It just wouldn't have looked right.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 3:35PM
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nhbaskets - we live in Northern MA, not far from NH. The powder room is handy to the mudroom and the garage so even with the road salt, snow, mud, sand, etc the HW floor is still looking great.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:58PM
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