FWIW, an oak top for a vanity can work. Some years ago I bought a small
antique washstand and converted it into a vanity w/ plumbed sink. Stand is
oak. I used a standard drop-in vanity sink. (I did have to do some
creative reworking of the drawers to make room for the drain pipes, but IMO
it looks good in a 90 y.o. restored bath.)
Also, there is a designer style that has modernized this approach. I could
not find what I think are the best examples of what I am talking about, but
these give a general idea:
While none of this may be persuasive, just in case the "person in charge"
is insistent, oak can work. -- Igor
On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 20:34:31 -0700, Patriarch wrote
You have a real bugger here. Ipe is great for resistance to
water/sun/whatever, it is the nature of the wood. The problem is all the
staining issues brought up. You'll most likely have to apply a film finish
which in and of itself kinda defeats the reasons to use Ipe. Most any wood
could be used with a good finish.
Pop. Woodworking (latest) has an article by Flexner on exterior finishes and
goes into the differences (among others) of varnishes. The true, bought at a
marina, varnishes are superior, but they still need maintenance,
If it was me and I new I'd be careful to prevent scratching, I'd consider a
decorative wood covered with epoxy.
FWIW, When I purchased the IPE for my deck, I also purchased Messmers UV
protection for hardwoods as recommended by the to "finish" the deck. See
link for more information.
Snip from website:
a.. Penetrating Natural Oil Finish
a.. Specially formulated for hardwoods like Ipe and Mahogany
a.. Exceptional color retention
a.. Protects and conditions valuable wood decks and other wood surfaces
Web Address: http://www.messmers.com/prod_uh.html
I have not put it on as the wood needed to sit for a period of time before
having the finish applied. Due to the winter weather, it's going to be
spring before it gets on. The deck has weathered beautifully for the past
several months. Turns the IPE a deep reddish brown color that makes it so
attractive. My goal is to finish the deck so that I can maintain the rich
deep reddish brown color.
In reading about applying the Messmers finish, what I found was people
stated that if you didn't sand the IPE, the finish would take fine, but if
you sanded the IPE, you would need another coat in about 3-4 months. This
was not from woodworkers so I am not sure what type of sanding was done.
Either way, once the second coat was on, it maintains well.
Might be worth a try given that it is designed for the out doors. I expect
the soaps and other bathroom supplies would clean up fine.
Not sure how much of a rush this needs to be done, but you could take a few
IPE boards and do test finishes and tests of anything you might expect to
ruin the finish.
I've done solid vanity tops out of oak, maple and cherry.
I think you can use whatever wood looks good as long as the finish is
outstanding. We do them in powder rooms more often than in master
baths and of course the finish stands up better with less use.
We have the floor guys finish them on all sides before we install
them. They use the same poly they use on the flooring. It's very
important to seal the end grain in the sink area especially if you
have an under-mount sink.
I think they are a high maintenance top and just about any finish will
require another application in time. We tell our customers that at
some point another coat of finish will likely be required. That
comment will often turn the top into solid surface.
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