Hints and tips on waterproofing wood for bathrooms are among the frequent inquiries we receive at Just Wood Furniture.

You may want to use one of the many forms of wood materials to build or renovate a bathroom, but moisture and vapor will easily corrupt and deteriorate wood unless properly treated. The fact is, timber and logs make toilets and washrooms look simply amazing, but achieving longevity is always at risk when there’s water around.

  • So, how can you keep the magnificent oak floor in a good shape for years to come?
  • How do you proceed with a bathroom remodel without bearing the wrath of moisture?
  • How to avoid the harm that H2O wreaks on wood?

Aside from tiles and ceramics, adding wood to your bathroom, be it solid or MDF, adds a unique and highly-desirable feel.

What Woods Are Best For Bathroom Interior

In this guide, we provide you with the ins and outs of our years-long experience of preserving lovely wooden furniture, accessories, and decorations without having to worry about bathroom dampness ruining.

Wood is classified from 1 to 5. C lassifications describes the extent of wood resisting moisture:

  • Class 1: Wood must be less than 20% wet.
  • Class 2: Wood may sometimes be exposed to moisture levels over 20%.
  • Class 3: Wood is routinely exposed to humidity levels above 20%.
  • Class 4 wood may be exposed to water vapor of above 20% and can also be exposed to fresh water.
  • Class 5: The toughest timber. It may even withstand salt water.

Hardwood & Bathrooms

Because of its low shrinkage factor when under dynamic and changing conditions, along with strong resistance to rot, fungi, and mildew, teak is one of the few hardwoods with the ideal attributes for a moist environment like a bathroom.

Because of its natural slip-resistant properties, hardwood is now the most widely used decking material, both for the classic outdoor patios and saunas.

Teak Wood

Teak is an excellent choice for a bathroom vanity top that needs waterproofing. Teak does not require much varnishing, but it is astonishing better when oiled, as it retains the same sturdy properties and looks, says bathroom renovation expert Aaron Donovan.

Softwood & Bathrooms

For the bathroom, cedar, pine, and Douglas fir are acceptable and widely used alternatives.

Cedar Wood

Cedar performs admirably in steamy environments such as toilets and shower rooms. It possesses a distinct natural aroma and, compared to other timber varieties, comes with a reliable and very low shrinking factor.

The resilience of softwood to warping, twisting, and cracks is first-class. Cedar is ideal for any modern bathroom, for both its historical appearance, but also proven resistance to moisture.

METHOD 1: Create a Warm, Hand-rubbed oil Finish

Tung oil, extracted from the Chinese Tung tree, and linseed oil, derived from the seeds of the flax plant, are the foundations for practically all hand-rubbed (a.k.a. wiping) oil finishes.

These oils have been used to beautify and protect dark-grained woods like walnut and mahogany for centuries, and they’re still in use today—with a few tweaks, comment bathroom professionals My Handyman Services.

Drying periods are sped up, and eliminate stickiness is by combining the oils with additional substances.

You can buy pre-blended Tung oil and linseed oil products or make your own to get a unique look.

One part oil (either Tung or boiled linseed), one part mineral spirits, and one part polyurethane make up a basic hand-rubbed oil combination.

Here’s how to put yours to use:

  • Stir everything together completely.
  • Apply with a natural bristle paintbrush to sanded and clean dark-grained wood. (If you’re waterproofing lighter-colored wood, such as pine or ash, use one of the next two methods instead; hand-rubbed oils have a propensity to yellow over time.)
  • Allow the oil to absorb into the surface before reapplying to any areas that appear to be dry.
  • Wipe away any remaining oil with clean dry towels, wiping vigorously to remove all excess.
  • Allow for thorough drying of the wood. Depending on the amount of oil in the mixture, this could take anywhere from a few hours to overnight.
  • Use fine-grit sandpaper to softly sand the surface.
  • Repeat the process with as many more coats as necessary to achieve the desired finish.
  • Feel free to play with the mixture as you get more experienced with oil-rubbed blends.
  • Reduce the amount of mineral spirits for a thicker product.
  • Reduce the amount of polyurethane if you want extra working time before the finish dries.
  •  On the other hand, if you want a glossier finish and a faster drying period, use extra poly.

You can make a ton of different bespoke blends!

Method 2: Sealant Protection

Polyurethane, varnish, and lacquer are tried-and-true sealants that provide excellent waterproofing. They’re brushed or sprayed onto sanded, clean wood, then allowed to dry completely before being lightly re-sanded and re-coated. Apply your finish in a “room temperature” atmosphere for optimal results.

Also, never shake or vigorously agitate sealants before applying them; doing so can cause air bubbles to form on the surface, which will stay long after the sealant has dried.

Although these sealants dry quickly (some in as little as 15 minutes), they often contain chemical solvents, necessitating ventilation during application.

Polyurethane Sealants & Moisture

They contain a variety of solvents in addition to acrylic and polyurethane resins, allowing you to choose your preferred finish effect—anywhere from a high-gloss shine to a gentle, soft sheen. Polyurethane doesn’t yellow like it used to, so it’s a fantastic choice for light-toned woods.

The most durable polyurethane is oil-based, but brush cleanup requires mineral spirits or turpentine. Cleaning with soap and water is a breeze with water-based polyurethane, comment experts Quick Cleaning.


Varnish is a hard-shell finish that resists scratches and does not yellow.

It is made up of resin, solvent, and drying oil.

  • Choose a marine varnish that contains UV absorbers to protect wood that will be exposed to the elements.
  • Spar varnish is a good choice for interior use on end tables and coffee tables to withstand annoying cup rings.
  • Brushes should be cleaned with turpentine or mineral spirits.


Lacquer is a mixture of dissolved tree resin or synthetic resin in alcohol.

It brings out a rich, warm, and exceptionally scratch-resistant finish on deep-toned woods, despite the fact that it can develop a yellowish tint over time that is deemed unsightly on lighter woods.

It comes in several sheen options and can be diluted with lacquer thinner. Apply many light layers of lacquer for the best effects.

* Note: Because lacquer generates strong fumes, enough ventilation is required; work outside or open windows and use fans.

Epoxy Resin

The use of epoxy resin is not your common preference of choice, but for luxury bathrooms, it could protect surfaces indefinitely.

Wood & Bathrooms, Conclusion

For a more contemporary and eclectic aesthetic, try mixing and matching lumber throughout your entire bath interior, from furniture to towel racks and decoration.

Regardless of the method you use, be it classic solutions or more extravagant options, if you follow these simple tips, you will waterproof wood in your bathroom, keep its fantastic looks, and praise high ROI on any bathroom remodeling project. The method you’d choose depends on how much you will invest.

If you’re doing a large project that involves an entire house, the last option, stain-sealant, is both more effective and saves time. Make sure to follow all safety precautions, such as wearing gloves, protective goggles, and specialized air filtration or mask.

You’re dealing with synthetic mixtures, not just fluids. Simply repeat the technique on a monthly basis and keep your bathroom looking great for years.

Now is the time to make your decision and purchase your goods from your local hardware store. Wishing you the best of success with your waterproofing project!


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