Finish for a Teak Shower Floor

Most finishers agree that Teak in a shower floor should be left natural. Here's why. April 15, 2013

Question
I'm looking for specific recommendations for finishing a teak shower floor I am building (approximately 35 square feet of 5" wide planks). In my research Iíve seen many people suggest no finish at all but I think there must be something that can be put on there to maintain the color. I realize there will be some maintenance but I want to provide a simple solution that the clients can perform once a year or so.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
I understand your desire to have a finish on teak. I use a variety of finishes on teak depending on its use. I also dislike "grey" teak, but there is a reason teak decks of boats are left unfinished.



From contributor J:
The reason traditional teak decks are left un-coated is that oil finishes or varnish compromise even modern calking compounds. They also eliminate the "non-skid" qualities of naturally weathered teak while reflecting tropical sunlight back in your face.

Despite these very sound reasons, cockpit grates, bow platforms, and swimsteps are often oiled to perfection by Bristol yachtsmen. You may do the same to your wet closet. Any tung oil based marine teak oil should do. Allow plenty of time and sunlight to apply multiple coats per directions and be prepared to wash and repeat periodically (this will be a re-occurring nasty job).



From contributor I:
Around here the lime and soap scum will build up fast enough to negate the nice teak look in no time. I vote no finish, but would also vote no teak.



From contributor L:
As mentioned above, the reason that many people do not put a finish on teak shower flooring is because it is not necessary. When teak is not exposed to the sunlight it does not grey as it would in the elements of the outdoors. On top of that, oil should never be used because it will make the flooring slippery and unsafe. If you deem it necessary to use a finish, you can consider a water-based finish such as the Teak Protector from Golden Care Products. Again, I would recommend to not finish it at all.

Of course, you still need to clean it periodically from the soap scum. Cleaning is another tip to help it maintain its original color. Using a teak cleaner (again, Golden Care 'Teak Cleaner' is water based) will restore your teak to its original color each and every time. My recommendation is to periodically use Golden Care Teak Cleaner on your teak shower flooring. This will restore the color and clean any soap residue left from use. You will knock out maintenance in one step.



From the original questioner:
Due to some delays from other trades we just completed this floor a few weeks ago. I decided not to finish it, for many of the reasons provided here and in my other research. I will send the clients some of the cleaner LD mentioned in the last post for future use.