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bench for shower11/7
I am in the process of remodeling a house. As a woodworker, my better half has asked me to build a bench for the master shower.
I have built many pieces of furniture over the years, all for inside purposes. I am not concerned how to construct it, rather what wood to use.
It will see water from the shower on a daily basis. What wood should I make this out of? I don't mind having to remake this piece over time, I just want to know what you guys might have had success with. Thanks in advance
Teak, mortise and tenon, epoxy or resorcinol glue, and no finish required. Slatted seat, and rounded or beveled parts where you can to help drain water instead of giving it a ledge to sit. You sit, not water.
I was just at a project that I did a bench, window (to the rest of the bath) and a shower floor, and after 12 years it all looked fine. Better than new, since the Teak had that nice golden brown that time gives it. The floor was darker, and wet (also daily use), but was flat and solid.
I do remember wetting all the surfaces twice and then doing final sanding so any grain raise would not alarm the users.
Teak, of course is good. Cypress is good also: different: much softer, and lighter. Hinoki is a traditional Japanese bath material, so it's not without precedent. I'm in the SE USA, so bald cypress is the regional material. Lots of things will work, but I prefer to use the most local. Where are you?
How about a faux wood material for the bench? A faux wood looks good and is waterproof.
I have teak trim and ladder on a 1987 boat. A little teak oil every year and it looks brand new. A bigger worry for me would be what adhesive to use that will stand up to water and steam more than once daily.
One of the beauties of wood is that there are appropriate woods for almost any use. As professionals, one of our responsibilities is to know when and how to best utilize what species for whatever job is at hand.
Those of us that know wood also know that it is warm to the touch, unlike most all other materials, faux wood included. Especially important with the current subject.....
The sad thing is that modern marketing and a lack of understanding/appreciation of wood and its various properties has led to the place where we now think of wood as somehow inherently inferior. When in fact, it is almost always the superior material when used appropriately.
Consider Purpleheart. It's great with water (they use it for freshwater piers and pilings) and has a lovely purple color. It's between a half and a third the cost of teak, and is plentiful. It's a lot easier to glkue as well.
Teak or Red cedar with SS steel screws. I'v used both with sucess. The plastic stuff gets real hot and slippery in a serious sauna.
Old growth Port Orford Cedar is a good choice as well. It's conditioner a false hinoki by the Japanese and much of the finer material gets exported to there. I've done some shower seats with it but I had hand planed the parts so no raised grain issues like sanding would cause.