We are currently renovating our bathroom for which I have built a
custom vanity complete a concrete counter top and vessel sinks. I've
also built a tile shower and I was thinking of installing some maple
tongue & groove (if it exsits) or maple veneer plywood on the shower
ceiling to match the vanity. What do you guys think about this idea?
Link here is what it looks like:
Thanks for your input,
Nice shower, bad idea. If not available, you could certainly make your own
shiplap or T&G maple. I would, however, be concerned that with all the
moisture/heat of a shower, eventually there would some infiltration of water
through the finish. Streaks of mildew would look partucularly bad on a light
wood like maple.
To be fair, I think that it would look really sharp at first; I'm just not
sure that it would stay that way.
Maple veneer plywood exists in an assortment of thicknesses.
Typically this will not use exterior grade glue and will have
poplar interior veneers. There is maple plywood made for
lutherie that has maple interior veneers.
I doubt that you can get it in tongue and groove but you won't
need more than one sheet to cover the ceiling of the shower
unless it is some sort of gang shower more than four feet wide.
Neither maple, poplar, nor plywood are optimal choices for a
damp location but if you seal it thoroughly on both faces all
the edges and everywhere there is hole (like for a nail, screw,
or fan/light box) it should last.
A friend has a shower with a tiled ceiling that looks to be the
same tile as on the walls, if you want to consider alternatives.
Thanks for the input guys...although everyone seems to agree I should
keep the wood out of the shower all together. I'm just new to carpentry
and woodworking but I would think if they can use wood extensively in
the marine industry their must be a way to make this idea of mine work.
The guys with wood on their boats are forever working on preserving the
finish. I just stumbled across this.
Holly is used on boats and may have the color similar to maple. These guys
could probably supply you with a holly veneer on an exterior ply that you
could cut and trim to fit. Every 6 months apply more oil. I'll bet they
could advise you if you are dead set on wood ceiling.
So why did you ask for advice? If you're going to do it anyway, then just
do it and don't ask.
The wood typically used in marine applications is teak not maple.
Keep in mind, the humid hot air will rise and attack the wood. Eventually
you'll have a problem - but if you must use wood, put spar varnish on it.
For decks, yes. Hulls are usually made of marine plywood which
these days is usually Okoume, or Sapele, African woods that look
a bit like mahogany, but do not have mahogany's rot resistance,
or Doug Fir.
Most boatbuilders these days use epoxy finishes, often with spar
varnish over the top to protect it from UV.
You can check the net or the local yellow pages to find somewhere to
get boatbuilding epoxies used for boatbuilding. The "West System"
epoxies are generally well-liked.
Salt water doesn't rot wood, fresh water does.
More accurately, the fungal spores that *cause* rot thrive in fresh
water wet wood.
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Many, if not the majority of wooden boats, rowboats, canoes,
kayaks etc, are used on freshwater lakes and rivers. There are
plenty of big wooden boats out in the salt water but lots of
the smaller stuff inland.
If it was me, I'd get some of the water-resistant laminate flooring
with a maple reproduction on it. Real wood will be a problem in a
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I'd stay away from wood, it will mildew over time. I'd suggest good paint
(possibly oil based), or what I know as "barkerboard" masonite with a
washable surface, sometimes with a tile pattern on it. Sealed around the
edges of course.
Or light 6x6 wall tiles. With the white tile adhesive they will stick and
It's a dark shower so the lighter the cieling the better.
They use Western Red Cedar for saunas and steam rooms. Just be prepared for
However, I'm also remodeling my master bath and I'm going to tile the shower
ceiling. I plan on raising and venting the shower ceiling to reduce
moisture build up.
Ahh.. bamboo flooring.
The "bamboo" flooring I looked at once appeared to be *mostly* made of
epoxy! It was quite heavy, smooth, expensive, and a little
I imagine though, if you could impregnate maple with enough epoxy,
like the bamboo florring, it would probably hold up fine in the shower.
Some dude in the most recent FWW or Wood magazine thinks he
expoxy-impregnated some outdoor furniture... might want to read up on that.
pretty much decided to give up the idea of wood on the ceiling. I think
I'll just go ahead and tile it with the same 16' X 16' slate I'll be
using for the floor.
I've also had someone else suggested using western cedar but leaving it
unfinished or oiled so that it can breath. Apparently cedar can absorb
and release moisture fast enough to prevent mold....but who knows....
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