When you are building or remodeling a bathroom, natural wood can be a great choice. Beautiful aesthetics, variety, and pricing give natural wood a strong advantage over engineered materials. Let's discuss the most important aspects of using natural wood in your bathroom.
First off, natural wood has many benefits, including appearance and sustainability. Organic features found in natural wood are often difficult to mimic in engineered materials. And its grainy look and softer feel make it a strong choice compared to stone or laminate products.
Original wood is also organically renewable, so it makes a great choice for environmental enthusiasts. Stone or engineered materials are not renewable and must therefore be created from assembled or irreplaceable resources.
Choosing the right species is vital in bathrooms. High condensation periods and frequent contact with water, rot- and mildew-resistant natural wood limits the number of suitable wood species. Some of the most popular choices include:
Once you’ve chosen the right species for your bathroom, your next step is to select the proper finish. Finishes such as oils, lacquers, shellacs, and varnishes are all widely used on natural wood – each with its own benefits and effects on final appearance.
Shellacs should be avoided as a natural wood finish in bathrooms due to their low moisture resistance, which can quickly discolor the shellac and the color of your natural wood. Varnishes and acrylic lacquers are the most water-resistant finishes available, making them a strong choice for longevity.
With all finishes, proper application is key to maintaining the natural beauty of your wood. It’s best to take the time to practice applying your chosen finish on scrap pieces of the wood you’re using for your project. Testing your finish allows you to not only practice your application skills, but also reveals how your finish will affect the aesthetics of your wood.
Premium wood options, such as teak, typically require minimal maintenance, though all wood options will require periodic touch-ups to preserve the look.
Choosing your natural wood will depend on your budget. Premium species like teak can run between $25 and $30 per board foot, making it the most expensive option available. More common species such as oak, cedar, maple, and birch range from $5 to $9 per board foot. The relatively low cost of these widely available species make adding protection worth the cost.
(Keep in mind that lumber prices fluctuate, so the prices given above may be different when you read this post.)
Good luck with your bathroom project - and check out our natural wood options here!