Conventional wisdom states that you should not use wood in the bathrooms. Tiles and stones are the more ideal, not to mention practical option. But it’s so hard to resist the dark mocha-chocolatey warmth of wood. It’s our link to the natural world, a grab at the elements that are alien to us in these modern times and we can hardly be faulted for considering the option of incorporating wood decor elements in our bathrooms.
Even though wood and water (or moisture) sound a disastrous combination, modern technologies have made it possible to use wood in our bathrooms. While we’re still a long way off from enjoying a sauna-like ambiance in a thick wooden chamber, there are some combinations that can work a miracle.
Here are few smart ideas you can consider.
Flooring & Walls
Hardwood floors have always been a desirable addition to living rooms and bedrooms, but now, they’re gaining popularity in the bathroom as well. Surprisingly, if you take the necessary precautions and maintain it well, wood can prove to be a strong performer in humid environments.
Talk to your contractor about the techniques to protect your wooden walls and floors in the bathroom. One of the best things to do is to apply layers of oil-based polyurethane. Also, fill the cracks and gaps between the boards with wood putty to prevent water from seeping in.
However, if water is allowed to sit on wood for too long, it can find its way in. So, for practical reasons, consider a wooden accent wall, away from the splash of water. If you’re insistent on having a wooden flooring, consider installing an enclosed watertight shower cubicle to prevent the water from spreading across the floor.
The combination of richly textured wooden countertop and smooth ceramic basin gives an extra oomph to your bathroom. But aesthetics aside, you have to think about protecting the wood from water splashes, make-up spills and toothpaste stains. Use a combination of tung oil – a naturally-derived product used to waterproof ship hulls – and Rubio Monocoat – a mixture of linseed oil, beeswax, and catalyst drier – to prevent stains from seeping into the wooden surface and give it a satin finish and rich hue.
If you are really worried about the extra maintenance required by a wood countertop, a good alternative would be a marble or ceramic one set atop a wood base. Not only is it more practical, but in an elegant bathroom, an open wooden vanity base can add a striking touch to the textural palette.
Like we said before, a wooden vanity is a stunning addition to any bathroom and there are a variety of styles and sizes for you to choose from. For those who love DIY, an antique chest of drawers can be repurposed as a nifty vanity, after being fitted with a stone or ceramic countertop and sink. Distressed wood is also a great choice for bathrooms since it imparts a rustic feel to a bathroom. If you have a smaller bathroom, consider a floating vanity. The extra space at the floor level opens up the bathroom and makes it look bigger. Teak is a hardy addition to any bathroom since it’s one of the most rot-resistant types of wood out there. Pairing it with brass fixtures and hardware is a smart way to hide modern storage solutions behind a vintage looking facade.
As you can see, this is a classic example of ‘having your cake and eating it too’. Not only can you finally shush the naysayers and bring wooden decor elements into the bathroom, you can also take preventive measures to protect the wood and not regret your decision in the long run. The deal doesn’t get sweeter than this.