Recently we’ve had a lot of customers wanting to use live edge slabs in their bathrooms. They’ve been using our slabs for projects ranging from custom bathroom vanities to floating shelves.
Some common questions we’ve been getting have been:
- Can I use live edge slabs in my bathroom?
- What is the best wood type for bathrooms?
- What is the best finish to use in my bathroom?
In this guide, we’ll answer these questions to the best of our knowledge
Can I Use Live Edge Wood in my Bathroom?
The answer to this is yes, but building a vanity or shelves for your bathroom is going to be very different than using live edge wood for other applications.
Live edge slabs will warp when moisture levels in the air change and one side of the slab is exposed to more moisture than the other. Because of this, bathrooms are not typically the ideal location for live edge wood.
The moisture levels in a bathroom change numerous times a day, especially as people take hot showers. Since the area is damp, then dried multiple times a day, live edge wood isn’t always the best fit for a bathroom.
However, it can be done if your bathroom is properly ventilated and the wood is finished.
What’s The Best Wood Type to Use in a Bathroom?
There are a few good options when it comes to selecting a wood species for your bathroom. Oak, especially white oak, is known for being inherently resistant to moisture and decay. This is also true for cedar. Maple is another good fit for bathrooms and it’s commonly used for vanities, shelving, and cabinets.
Many use cheaper species such as pine for their bathrooms. Although any species should work as long as it’s sealed and finished properly, we usually recommend hardwoods since they aren’t as easy to scratch.
If properly cared for and refinished when needed, wood in bathrooms has been known to last for 40+ years.
What’s The Best Wood Finish To Use in Bathrooms?
The best finish is hard to answer, because there are many good options. If you choose a finish such as polyurethane, you’ll protect the wood and only have to refinish the top every few years at most. If you choose an oil finish, it’s recommended that you refinish your piece every month or so.
Polyurethane – This finish is probably the most common wood finish we see used for bathrooms. It’s moisture-resistant and can withstand light abrasions. However, it is harder to repair than other finishes. If you plan on using polyurethane as a finish, we recommend doing at least 3 coats on the top, sides, and bottom of your piece.
Epoxy – Bar-top epoxy can be used to finish vanities and bathroom shelves. It’s applied in one very thick layer and seals the wood. However, it does have a very glossy look that some don’t prefer. This finish should never need repaired if the epoxy cures properly.
Oils – Oils offer less protection than film-forming finishes such as epoxy, polyurethane, shellac, or lacquer. However, they are easy to maintain. If using an oil finish, just simply apply a coat every month or two.
Bathroom Vanities, Shelves & More
If you’re looking to shop for a live edge vanity or shelves for your bathroom, we can help. We can provide unfinished slabs, or build the piece from start to finish for your home. Shop our live edge slabs by clicking the button below.
Nolan is the Marketing Manager for Lancaster Live Edge. When he isn’t working on our marketing initiatives, he’s in the shop building tables and furniture with the team. Prior to working with Lancaster Live Edge, he worked for a digital marketing agency for nearly 4 years. His family owns a custom building company and he’s helped build everything from custom furniture to home additions. Nolan has been woodworking for nearly 20 years.
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