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.
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