Pros and Cons of Wooden Elements in Your Bathroom

Pros and Cons of Wooden Elements in Your Bathroom

Bathroom Remodeling
By Mateos Glen Hayes November 15, 2022

Your initial instinctive reaction to wood in the bathroom may be that it’s an undesirable or impractical option for a room with so much moisture and humidity. Indeed, wood is a bit more complicated to work with than, say, ceramic tile, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be a wonderful material to integrate into your bathroom design. As you will soon see, a wooden bathroom is quite a beautiful design option in terms of aesthetics as well as sheer comfort. 

Advancements in building techniques make it much easier nowadays to make wood last a long time, even in the face of moisture and other elements. All this to say that wood is a great choice for your bathroom so long as you know how to work with it and take care of it. Of course, there are also plenty of qualified bathroom contractors ready and willing to help make your wooden bathroom dreams come true.  

Get A Bathroom Remodeling

Uses of Wood in Bathrooms

Wood could be used as a beautiful accenting material to add an element of luxury to a modern bathroom design.

Wood could be used as a beautiful accenting material to add an element of luxury to a modern bathroom design.

There are quite a few ways to use wood in your bathroom. In general, water-resistant woods like cedar, oak, cherry, or walnut are the ones you want to use in your next bathroom renovation. While they may look nice, softer woods such as pine or fir are not ideal because they absorb more moisture and therefore will break down faster in a wet environment, such as your bathroom. 

Wood Ceiling Bathroom 

A wood ceiling bathroom is a surprising but unique bathroom design option to add a little spice to your washroom.

A wood ceiling bathroom is a surprising but unique bathroom design option to add a little spice to your washroom.

“A wood ceiling in the bathroom?” I presume you are wondering. Yes indeed, a wood ceiling bathroom is a fantastic addition well worth considering. Having hardwood overhead makes for a wonderful sense of natural warmth in the privacy of your bathroom. While it might seem a bit risque to have wood ceilings directly over your shower or bathtub, it shouldn't be an issue so long as your wood ceiling bathroom is well-ventilated and the wood is properly treated. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll be left with a unique wood ceiling bathroom like no other.  

Solid Hardwood Bathroom Walls

Wood paneling for bathroom walls is the next best thing after a wooden ceiling as hardwood can act as an excellent accent material for a variety of bathroom designs. Whether you prefer minimalism or want a Slavic-style sauna aesthetic, hardwood paneling for your bathroom walls will add style and dimension to the bathroom design. Wooden walls are easier to install than drywall, which often needs sanding and creates quite a mess during installation.  

Wooden Fixtures 

Adding wood to a few fixtures in the bathroom makes for a textured style with lots of visual variety.

Adding wood to a few fixtures in the bathroom makes for a textured style with lots of visual variety.

If you’d rather not go all out with a completely wooden bathroom, you can also just have some wooden fixtures installed in your bathroom for extra style. For instance, a wood shower could be a delightful addition to your bathroom that adds some of that rustic farmhouse charm without going overboard. There is also a wide selection of wooden bathroom vanity cabinets on the market with multiple styles catering to all tastes. 

Hardwood Flooring 

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention hardwood flooring. Indeed few improvements can give your bathroom a premium feel in quite the same way as hardwood flooring can. A wood floor in your bathroom makes for a durable, stylish, and comfortable experience each time you walk into your water closet. Hardwood flooring is also relatively easy to install, and if you add it to the rest of your house it can create a nice sense of aesthetic continuity.  

Pros of Wood in the Bathroom

Wood both has a warm natural appearance and feels warmer to the touch than bathroom tile, perfect for colder climes.

Wood both has a warm natural appearance and feels warmer to the touch than bathroom tile, perfect for colder climes.

We’ve touched on a few of the advantages of having wood in your bathroom, but let’s dive a bit deeper to understand just what is so great about this increasingly popular trend. 

Get A Bathroom Remodeling

More Comfortable Than Tile 

When it comes to the wood floor in the bathroom, this is perhaps the biggest benefit. Unlike cold tile, hardwood is a warmer and more comfortable material to walk on, especially when we're talking about heated bathroom flooring. This is a significant benefit since you will be barefoot in the bathroom often and nobody likes walking on a cold floor. 

The wood floor in the bathroom is also visually more comfortable, offering beautiful warm colors that remind you of nature. The fact that every piece of hardwood has its own unique personality only further augments this effect. Complementing this delightful sensory experience is the fact that wood also smells quite nice, providing a wonderful natural aroma that even absorbs unwanted odors.  

Diversity of Materials 

Wood is very versatile because it can be paired with a variety of other materials and design styles, and can be painted to match your interior design.

Wood is very versatile because it can be paired with a variety of other materials and design styles, and can be painted to match your interior design.

As with many other parts of your home, a bathroom is a place where multiple details come together to make the whole. When all of these aspects are just right, that’s when you have a truly amazing design. Even a wooden bathroom must still have other materials integrated into the design as well. Granite, brass, copper, ceramic, aluminum, and many other materials can work together to provide extra texture and variety as all these materials work together in perfect concert. 

Timelessness

Another key to the success of wooden bathrooms recently is their remarkably timeless quality. The natural beauty of wood just doesn’t seem to lose its luster no matter how many years go by, and wooden bathrooms are making their way into all sorts of new housing developments all over the world. This is partly to do with the rise of Scandinavian-style designs as well, as this aesthetic greatly values both natural materials and natural forms. 

Cons of Wood in the Bathroom

Wood is more susceptible to moisture and so requires treatment to prevent warping, mold growth, and other problems.

Wood is more susceptible to moisture and so requires treatment to prevent warping, mold growth, and other problems.

As you may know, wood is not without its drawbacks as a material. Fortunately, however, for every disadvantage that wood might present for your wooden bathroom, there is a viable workaround. Whether you are a DIYer or working with a bathroom contractor, there are options available for circumventing any issues that are within your budget and not too complicated. 

Poor Moisture Resistance 

This is unsurprisingly the biggest weakness of wood and it is true regardless of where you use it. Of course, wooden bathrooms are especially susceptible to moisture problems since bathrooms are especially wet and dark places. Because hardwood is liable to absorb moisture, this can cause it to warp, discolor, split, and wear out faster. This in turn provides fertile ground for mold growth, which is bad news for respiratory health. 

However, none of this is a dealbreaker. For one, there are products on the market that when applied to wood will keep moisture from getting into it. Namely, linseed oil, urethane, and tar paper when used together provide a strong barrier against moisture, preventing all of these problems. A vent fan is also essential for wooden bathrooms as this will keep air circulating and prevent mold growth. 

Installation Difficulties 

This might sound a bit contradictory, but hardwood is both difficult and easy to install. It is easy to install because oftentimes the tongue and groove method allows for quick and trouble-free installation, but difficult because there are some limitations to how this can be done. You cannot, for instance, nail the hardwood planks so that they stay in place. Putting nails through them means adding holes in the hardwood that moisture will eventually seep into. 

Instead, you will have to use an adhesive or buy specially designed click together planks which can be more costly. Once the hardwood is installed it will have to be immediately treated with a coating, finish, and any other water-proofing products deemed necessary as warping will happen quite quickly. Finally, if the wood is not installed precisely, meaning the planks do not sit level or are cut to an improper length, this will also cause warping, splitting, and other potential damage.  

Requires Regular Cleaning and Maintenance 

Regular waxing is required to help wood maintain the distinctive sheen that makes it so attractive to look at.

Regular waxing is required to help wood maintain the distinctive sheen that makes it so attractive to look at.

Once your wooden bathroom has been built and treated, it will require constant care to maintain its beautiful look and pleasant appearance. This can include mopping or sweeping a wood floor daily, revitalizing wood with liquid scratch concealers, wood polish, light occasional sanding, floor waxing, and even brushing. 

All of this maintenance is pretty easy to do on your own and helps to increase the longevity of your wooden bathroom. However, even with this care, wooden surfaces will still wear out after ten to fifteen years, at which point the worn planks will have to be replaced. The bright side is that replacing planks is a pretty affordable and simple procedure that doesn’t take much time at all. 

Get A Bathroom Remodeling

MG

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes

comments

Under Construction - Coming Back Soon!

We are currently working on bringing you an improved experience. Please leave your name and email address and we'll let you know as soon as we relaunch.