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bathroom wood paneling tile

Wood and wood grain patterning are distinctive textures in any space. With the right preparation and product, that can include a bathroom. Here’s what we mean.

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There used to be a time when wood in the bathroom was unthinkable. The constant humidity would warp and eventually damage the wood. But with today’s enhanced treatments and sealants, it’s possible to use this beautiful and versatile material even in the most humid of environments. (If you’re not convinced, check out this post on Houzz. There are plenty of tips and instructions on how to properly set up and seal wood for bathrooms.)

As a result, wood has made an appearance in recent bathroom design. It’s definitely a nice change from standard tile and stone; there’s a warmth and a vibrancy to wood that can’t be matched by any other material. Let’s have a look at some trends emerging in wood bathroom design.

Rustic touch

If you are lucky enough to have exposed wood beams in your home, leave them be in the bathroom too. Just use extra sealant to make sure they stay safe in the humidity.

You can add matching woodwork along walls and windows to enhance the rustic effect too. You don’t need to add much; just a few natural wood beams will do the trick. Complement with a chair and a wood chest for your towels, and you’ve got a beautifully balanced bathroom.

Keep it low

If you’re still worried about using wood that’ll come directly in contact with water, you can use it for surfaces that are less likely to end up wet. Think storage space below counter level.

Start small by changing the doors of your current storage space, or my adding a wood veneer to those already there. It lets you test the look without committing too much money or time. Even just a little wood will make a big difference in the feel of your bathroom.

Panels on walls

Do you prefer playing with the surface of your walls? With today’s easy wood paneling products, you can add a wood layer on top of your current walls. Leave it natural or paint it according to the colors of the season! Vertical or horizontal paneling works, whichever suits your style best.

If you choose dark wood paneling, make sure to use plenty of lighting to bring out the best effect. Too little lighting will make your bedroom dark and claustrophobic.

Sauna style

Love the comfy, warm style of a sauna? A slatted bench next to the bath along with a wooden arch around and above the sink for storage will give your bathroom a hint of a sauna.

A sauna-style bathroom (without all the heat of a sauna) will become a haven of relaxation and quiet. You’ll have to put up a schedule on the door!

Reclaimed

A big trend right now is reclaimed wood or driftwood, and the bathroom is part of it. A counter of reclaimed wood with the proper treatment or a sink carved from an old wood stump is original, beautiful and, of course, made of wood.

Of course, always make sure that your wood can withstand the humidity of the bathroom. There are plenty of tutorials and information online to help you decide what kinds of wood to use and those to discard.

All over

And, if you’re a real fan of wood, you can always go for the all-over look. Wood isn’t appropriate for the inside of a bath or shower, but everything else is fair game.

You can always try this style in a powder room: no daily steam to warp and wet the wood. It will make the powder room cozy and warm, too!

An alternative to wood: wood ceramic or porcelain tile

All right, maybe you’re still not convinced about using wood in the bathroom. That’s fine–I’d be a little worried too. But you can still get the look of wood with our innovative wood-veneer ceramic and porcelain tile. The great look of wood in all its types and shades, without all the fuss to protect it against humidity.

wood grain porcelain tile takla volcanic

Takla Full Body Porcelain Tile – Wood Grain Collection – Made in USA Volcanic Ash / 6″x24″ from BuildDirect

Wood in the bathroom: good or bad idea?

I really like this trend. It’s a great change from the all-tile, all-white bathrooms of my life, which are mostly sterile and without style.

I think I’ll be adding touches of wood to my bathroom, if only with a wood soap dish, toothbrush holder and hand soap dispenser.

How about you? Do you like wood for the bathroom  or do you prefer stone and tile? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.