Wood in bathroom

wood-counter-top
Many bath surfacing materials have a rich look, but none of them can compete with the gleaming and familiar warmth of wood. Conventional wisdom has long dictated that wood and the moisture in the bath shouldn’t mix, but there are ways to make it work.

Underfoot, wood is friendlier and more resilient-and warmer-than cook, hard natural stone or ceramic tile. Any wood species successfully used for flooring is appropriate for the bath provided it is installed and  prepared properly. However, do keep in mind that certain woods resist moisture, and the decay that results from it, better than others, notably  cedar, redwood, and teak. Narrow floor boards-2 inches wide, fore example-work better in the bathroom than wide boards. The skinny strips absorb less moisture and swell and shrink slightly less than wider boards. To protect any wood floor from the effects of moisture and humidity, apply several coats of polyurethane, or try one of the new sealants called watershed protectors, all of which repel water better than and oiled or waxed finish. However, even a protected floor can be damaged by standing water, so wipe up spills right away and use a bath mat when you step out of the bathtub or shower.

Finish wood countertops with the same sealants you would use on the floor or invest in a ready-made, pretreated butcher-block counter. There is some evidence hat natural substances in wood prevent the buildup of bacteria, a bonus for a bathroom countertop. Resist the impulse to cover the shower in wood-the constant exposure to water takes a serious toll, even on moisture-resistant species that have been sealed.

Vacuum or sweep wood floors and wash regularly with a barely damp mop and mild cleanser or special wood soap. Stay ahead of moisture damage by renewing protective finishes every few years and installing a ventilation system to whisk away humidity.

How to care for natural stone

Some people like the look of a little wear and tear with their stone surfacing, but others, having spent a bundle on the stone, want it to link next to the perfect. As a surface for the bath, natural stone is almost perfect-but not quite. Most stone is hard, durable, and water-resistant. But even extra-hard granite may stain if exposed to harsh chemicals or acidic substances, and it requires a periodic application of a sealant.

Mable and limestone are beautiful in the bath, but they stain and scratch easily. Be cautious with hair colorings and other chemicals, and wipe up spills right away. Use was to protect a marble finish, and safeguard limestone with a sealant.

Protect all types of stone from gritty dirt, which dulls finishes over time, by sweeping regularly, then damp-mopping with a small amount of mild, non-acidic soap or cleaner. Too much soap will leave a film. Polished stone  may benefit from a periodic application of a commercial polish to enhance luster and beef up protection, and repair kits are available for some stains and scratches.

Choose the Right Countertop Material

Countertops play an important supporting role in the bathroom. They don’t have a mechanical function like a faucet or toilet, but they make a big visual contribution to the room. Beyond that, a countertop must meet certain practical requirements-resistance to stains, water, and wear chief among them. There is a fairly long list of materials that fits the bill, available in many colors, patterns, and price rangers, including options you might not have thought of.

One important consideration in choosing a counter top material is making sure it’s compatible with the sink or vanity cabinet you have or are planning to get. For example, if you’re planning  for a solid-surface counter, consider an under-mount of the same material. If you’re planning a tile counter, look for a tile-edge sink, a type that’s specifically designed for a flush installation in tile. You may also want the color or pattern of the counter top to match the cabinet underneath.

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on counter tops, and in some cases a top-of –the –line material might be worth it. If you’re planning an overhand of a first-floor powder room that will be frequently used by guests, you might want to choose a material that makes a big impact, like granite or marble, even if it’s pricey.  After all, you’re not going to need very much of it. In the family bathroom upstairs, where you may have a lot more counter space and where the material will be exposed to more constant use, it’s probably more sensible to go with a less expensive option, like plastic laminate.

Common counter tops materials:

LAMINATE  $

. Attractive,  hard-wearing surface available in hundreds of colors and patterns.

. Low in cost.

.Non-staining and impervious to water.

.Works best with a drop-in sink.

.Sharp objects can scratch surface.

.Water leaks will damage substance.

WOOD $-$$

. Warm hues and figure of natural wood makes and earthy contrast to man-made materials.

. Can be paired with many sink types.

. Many varieties of wood can be used.

.Should be finished carefully and refinished when the surface show signs of wear.

SOLID SURFACE $$

. Man Made material composed of resin and a mineral filler.

. Available in a variety of colors and patterns.

. Easy to clean, nonstaining, and can be repaired.

. Can be jointed with a solid-surface sink to create a seamless counter installation that won’t collect grime.

NATURAL STONE  $$-$$$

.Many colors and textures are available.

.Most stone is extremely durable, but it can stain if not sealed.

.Variety of edge profiles are available.

.Needs very little maintenance.

CONCRETE $$

.Inherently versatile.

.Can be cast in any shape and dyed to any color.

.Will stain unless sealed.

.Because of weight, should be ordered through local fabricator.

TILE $-$$

.Many colors, sizes, and shapes are readily available.

.Wide range in prices.

.Tremendous design flexibility

.Ceramic tile is impervious to water and very durable.

.Hard and unforgiving surface.

.Damaged tile can be replaced(set aside a few extra tiles for this purpose during installation).

.Grout line will need sealing.

STONE COMPOSITES $$

.Man-made material combining quartz with a small amount of resin binder.

.More stain resistant than natural stone.

.Dozens of colors are available.

.Extremely durable.