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17.08.2018

Wooden bathroom – is that possible?

When it comes to bathroom design many people shy away from using wood because it can swell and shrink due to the moisture. However, using wood is not a problem at all provided a few things are observed.

by Sandro Abbate

The classic among bathroom designs looks as follows: Tiles on the floor and tiles on the walls. Better safe than sorry. After all no one wants to put up with damage caused by moisture that naturally develops in bathrooms. As a result, bathrooms are sometimes uncomfortable and in the worst case, even appear to be a little sterile. But things can be different. If you follow a few rules and select the right material, then moist rooms like the bathroom can be covered in wood and create a warm atmosphere. Furthermore, since wood is a natural material it contributes to a healthy indoor climate.

What types of wood are suitable for the bathroom?

Not all wood is the same. And therefore, different types of wood react very differently to a high ambient humidity or changing temperature conditions. The so-called “smooth wood” is the best choice for the bathroom. This includes types of wood that are not sensitive to variations in humidity and can withstand being treated with cleaning agents. These types of wood include, for example beech, alder, spruce, maple, pine, cherry wood, walnut, elm, ash, teak, wenge, Douglas fir and larch. Despite oak being very popular in furniture making, it is important to be careful when using it in the bathroom. Although oak is considered a smooth wood, it does tend to stain when it is cleaned with cleaning agents.

Bathroom floors can also be made of wood

The floor is a design feature that is just as important in the bathroom as in all other rooms of the house. Whereas tiles are considered to be particularly uncomplicated, many are afraid of laying a wooden floor in the bathroom. However, today this is no longer a problem. With a special moist room laminate or parquet floor, it is also possible to create a pleasantly warm walking sensation in the bathroom. Robust types of wood such as walnut or oak are used for this purpose because they barely absorb any moisture, i.e. are less likely to swell and shrink like other types of wood. However, it is important to make sure that the floor is completely glued together and the surface is oiled regularly so that no moisture can penetrate the wood.

If you do not want to oil but want to varnish solid wooden boards, it is advisable to do so with great care. Water can even penetrate through small hairline cracks, which can tear open the varnish after some time. The best varnish is spar varnish, however it should only be applied to the upper surface of the boards so that the wood can breathe from below. Furthermore, any splash water that falls after showers or baths must be wiped away immediately. Please note that this does not just apply to floors, it also applies to the design of the walls and ceiling. Wood can be used to skilfully emphasize features that create a feel-good atmosphere in the bathroom. However, it is very important for the wood panelling to be rear-ventilated, so it should not be attached directly on to the wall.

Wooden bathroom furniture

In addition to functioning as storage space for hygiene and cosmetic products, furniture in bathrooms from an aesthetic point of view, also fulfil a very important purpose. They make a substantial contribution to a good atmosphere and are a key element as to whether you spend time in the bathroom or not. In this case, wood is a great material to create a natural charm in the bathroom. Types of wood such as Bangkirai or ash are used for bathroom furniture. The latter is made resistant to humidity by means of heating, which then gives the wood a wonderful brown colouring. Bathrooms in a country house style can also be made of wood, if they are lasered or varnished in antique white.

Using wood in bathrooms is nothing new

The preconception that wood is not suitable for bathrooms is incorrect. In the strictest sense, using wood as a building material in the bathroom is really nothing new. In many old buildings the bathrooms still have wooden boards, and after all, wood is used in saunas. If you follow a few rules, which also includes regular ventilation, then nothing stands in the way of enjoying wooden elements in the bathroom for a long time.

Weitere Inspirationen, wie das eigene Bad mit Holz ausgestattet werden kann, haben wir auf unserem Pinterest Board für Euch gesammelt.

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