Our floor was completely trashed out, and we had to start from scratch on a new one. Since we don't have the budget now for the totally pimp sea glass hex tile I wanted, I had to compromise. We decided on a hardwood floor since Lumber Liquidators has dirt cheap white oak lumber.
Hardwood in a bathroom? Am I crazy? Well, possibly. I do have 4 insane male children. But hardwoods CAN work in a bathroom... and I thought I would share with you my process for making my hardwood floor as watertight as a dolphin's butt. I shall dub thee "Bathroom with Robin's Egg Blue Floor."
1. Here you see our subfloor which was just installed over the 1 x 12 planks.2. The subfloor was covered with 15 pound asphalt felt. This comes in a giant roll from the hardware store for under $30. Overlap the seams by 3 inches, and a few staples to tack it into place and you're golden. 3. Install the hardwood floor. We had such a small space to do, we decided to hand nail everything in rather than rent a floor nailer. Just remember to pre-drill the holes because hardwood floors are, indeed, hard. Steven broke so many bits on this little project. There are entire sites devoted to installing hardwood, so go there if you need excrutiating detail.
4. Use wood filler on your counter-sunk nail heads. Then sand!
6. Primer. I like Kilz, but Zinsser or Bin are fine, too. I like water-based paints. Hey, oil-based are being discontinued anyway.... So a primer meant for latex is always good. They even make mildew resistant and all that. I did 2 coats of primer.7. Paint. I used a high gloss enamel paint. Here's the deal... I used floor paint in my kitchen, and you could totally use that. I went for high gloss enamel since I knew I was going to be sealing it anyway. The floor paint can will say "no need to seal." Yeah, that's a load of bull. I didn't seal my kitchen floor and in 6 months it looked like crap. I did 3 coats of paint. Because I am obsessive and I don't want my floor to look trashed in 6 months ago.
8. Sand. A super fine grit with a palm sander worked just nifty.
9. Clean again like you've never cleaned before.
10. Seal. I used high gloss Varathane. I know some people use polyurethane on their floors. I wanted something super resilient and, dammit, this is a bathroom. Varathane is specifically made for floors and I wanted that super-deep gloss finish. The floor is the statement in my bathroom, so it has to be just right. I did 3 coats of varathane. You could do less, but the more coats you do, the "deeper" the paint looks. Sort of like the difference between a paint job on a Ford Focus and a Porsche 911. I don't want my floors to have the "krylon touch."