Hardwood in Laundry Room?

bowyer123August 18, 2012

We are at the point in our build of making flooring decisions. We have a side entrance to the house accessible from the garage and a 'friends entrance.' This area includes a laundry room, half-bathroom, walk-in pantry and a small office. We were planning on using hardwood in all the areas, but are not sure if the laundry room is a bad idea.

I have never had a washing machine leak, but I know it happens. Would you stick to the wood or go with a ceramic tile, or a travertine that we have in the bathrooms? Cost is not a deciding factor as the square footage is not too large. Anyone use wood in a laundry room, or is it just a bad idea?


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Annie Deighnaugh

We went with porcelain tile in our mud room...very durable, scratch resistant and easy to keep clean.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:23AM
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I wouldn't use wood in a laundry room, but it really is a personal choice. My laundry/mud room is similar to what you describe. It is the one room in my house that has sheet vinyl. I chose this because it's easy to clean (no grout as with tile), doesn't scratch like wood might, and is softer underfoot than tile. I didn't really consider leaks. The vinyl I chose is pretty nice. People have often touched it to be sure it was vinyl and not tile. I have wood in the adjacent areas.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Is a washing machine more likely to leak than kitchen appliances or sink? I ask that because people seem to worry about water in a laundry room far more than a kitchen. If you have wood in your kitchen I don't think it is a big deal.

I would be tad worried about putting it in an area where kids will come in and out the house before they can take their shoes off.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:22AM
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I agree, think on of the most likely things to leak is the fridge ice maker/water dispenser, but that would never dissuade me from putting hardwood in my kitchen. It is personal preference though as it does affect other people's decisions and that is why some people don't want hardwood in their kitchen.

As for the shoes argument, where I live no one removes their shoes when they go into someone's home! It also doesn't rain often, but I am sure if someone's shoes where muddy they would remove them :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:46AM
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I would treat it the same as you did your bathrooms... use the travertine. However, whether your space is ok for wood depends on your climate and family.

Our space potentially has snowy/wet boots or shoes, wet towels, wet dogs, dripping coats, etc. I don't want to baby wood in a room like that. I did put wood in our smallest bathroom. It's near the family room and I wanted continuity. The room has a shower that has only been used once in two years, and I expected that would be the case. I can baby that floor once every two years for the trade off of having wood in there. :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:53AM
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If you use wood some things to consider:

A washer pan underneath.

Good metal mesh connections (not just rubber tubing that rots) for the water connections.

A waterhog mat (LLbean's brand or other for the entry and next to the washer for wet clothes that get thrown there.).

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Thanks for the replies!

We met with the guys laying the wood and talked to the builder and the consensus was to go with tile....we'll have the same travertine that we have in the bedroom-bathrooms...no extra charge! :-)

The builder said it is rare for front-load washing machines to leak, but if they do, the wood will buckle, where if tile is used, the grout will typically give out and be easier and cheaper to repair. Also, if we ever decide to sell, more people are gun shy with wood in the laundry room versus tile.

I agree that refrigerators with ice-makers are as likely to leak as a washing machine, but we still put wood in our kitchen.

Thanks, I'll be sure to keep posting pictures as our build progresses.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 2:09PM
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