As Nature Intended
Modern bathrooms can sometimes feel clinical and detached. What is more natural than the lumber that comes from trees? Wood finishes have a natural warmth and texture that can be just the antidote you are looking for to once again make your bathing space sincere and inviting.
Now conventional wisdom will tell you that wood and excessive moisture in your washroom is not a good mix because once the lumber is wet, it will begin to decay but fortunately there are ways to make this work.
From simple paints and sealants to modern innovative building materials such as hardwood tongue-and-groove planks you can readily overcome this former predicament.
Absorbing and Releasing Moisture
Of course some types of timber resist moisture better than others, notably cedar, redwood and teak and each variety has its own unique characteristics and colors. Beautiful grain patterns can be used to highlight walls and floors, however in order to retain a rich finish, counters, walls and floors must be properly sealed and maintained.
Highlighting Grain Patterns
When styling your home, colors dictate the mood of a room and most woods can be enriched with stain to enhance the characteristics and grain of the material for interior design treatments.
For example, dark vintage planks not only add a welcomed optical texture to the bathing space but it’s also a beautiful counterpoint to sparkling chrome fixtures. Light-toned woods tend to emanate a contemporary flavor while the darker varieties works well in a more traditional styled washroom.
Making a Stunning Statement
For walls, tongue-and-groove paneling is a trendy addition to any lavatory. These 3-5 inch wide slats are a snap to fit together no matter whether your washroom is a luxury suite or a high-traffic family grooming space.
Beaded hemlock wainscoting with a simple chair rail and baseboard adds beautiful and stylish trim work to add classical or country charm to any washroom. A Wooden fir countertop and antique furniture not only enriches the space but also invites you to linger in a more familiar setting.
Underfoot, timber as compared to tile and stone is warmer and welcoming. Oak, maple and cherry are excellent choices given proper preparation and installation. Engineered wood products can also be used for floors and walls but be diligent in your search for the best brands because cheaper version can delaminate if exposed to excessive water.
As a design element, thinner floorboards approximately two-and-a-quarter inch wide seem to work better in the smaller space of a bathroom than do wider slats. Another benefit of the narrower boards is that they have a tendency of absorbing less moisture when the humidity swings and will thereby swell and shrink less than wider planks.
So how do you safeguard your investment? For walls, paint helps any wood stand up to the conditions of a bathroom. The most durable type to use is the exterior brands manufactured for porch floors.
One way to protect your bath floor from the damaging effects of water and humidity is to apply a number of coats of a clear polyurethane sealer or epoxy finish. Please note, while there are also watershed protectors which repel water much better than oiled or wax type finishes, for best results, a polyurethane coating applied several times over the surface and seams will make it almost impossible for water to penetrate.
Debunking Wet Zones
Applying a marine grade finish makes sense but remember while this barrier is designed to protect the surface, any water that gets through the seams or sides of your floor planks will invariable do damage so make sure all planes are properly sealed.
It’s also a good idea to mop up any standing water just in case it finds a crack and penetrates down to the timber. A bath mat is a simple way to absorb any excess water as you step from the shower or tub.
Making Smart Choices
Are there any areas that you should not put wood in your bathroom? The answer is yes. The shower is one such place. While you can put in moisture resistant lumber such as teak and seal it to your heart’s content, over time the constant pummeling it would take from the water will eventually take its toll and find a nook to seep through.
Another thing you may want to take into consideration when thinking of putting in a wooden floor in your lavatory is the warranty. While the majority of new floor installations come with a guarantee, however most are voided if the floor is installed in a moisture ridden environment such as a washroom.
Staying Ahead of the Game
There is no doubt about it, wood finishes are wonderful but to stay ahead of damaging dampness you must renew your defensive finishes every couple of years. An additional preventive measure is to install a ventilation system big enough to pull away any excessive humidity from the room.
Enjoy the Comfy Cordiality of Wood
Besides its natural beauty, wood can help soundproof your lavatory. Vertical v-groove paneling along with crown molding can add a warm cottage feel to the room. With the option of being installed both horizontally and diagonally as a wall treatment it adds a rustic element to create a comfortable and pleasing bath.
Square edge paneling is simpler without any prominent shadow lines thereby producing a more contemporary grooming space. And don’t forget about wood en sinks and Japanese soaking tubs, while a bit unconventional , they are a great addition for those that want to go the extra mile. The choice is yours…So what are you waiting for, go ahead and grab some redwood bevel siding for your walls and create a space that is stylish and inviting!