8 Best Wood to Use for Bathroom Shelving

Best Wood to Use for Bathroom Shelving

The bathroom shelving is a key decorative storage space use to put hand towels, toilet paper, and hanging items. After a woodworking project on making bookshelving, I wondered what wood should I use to make a bathroom shelving. So, what are the best wood to use for bathroom shelving?

 I did some research and here is what I found out:

Pine, Plywood, Koa, Cherry, Red oak, Padauk, Mahogany, and Teak are the best wood to use for bathroom shelving. Most wood will perfect in the bathroom as long as it is constructed and finished properly.

But there are some important things you need to know before you can select the right type of wood to use. The type of wood that you are going to use for bathroom shelving depends on your purpose. If you wish to display ornaments, you can focus on the color and the design of the wood or if you wish to store heavy things, such as baskets, plants, and lots of bottles, you need to more focus on the strength.

However, there could be few burning questions on your mind, like

  • What is the best wood for me according to my purpose?
  • Does it have waterproofing ability?
  • What are the pros and cons I get by using that?

No worries!

Having worked as a woodworker for more than 10 years, Below I have discussed in-depth the 8 best wood to use for bathroom shelving.

1. Pine

Pine is the most famous and affordable softwood in the market. Pine is easy to paint, stain, and mostly use to do things as easy as possible. Pine is an ideal choice for bathroom shelving only if you wish to display small non-heavy objects, such and ornaments and other decorative items.

If you more focus on the price, design, and color of the shelving, you can probably go for pine without thinking twice.

Never wish to keep heavy items on plywood bathroom shelving, because it will easily bend or dent. You can use plywood shelving up to 9” wide is perfect if you cut it to width.

Waterproofing Ability

The bathroom is mostly getting wet, flooded, and foggy. So, it is important to consider how the effects of water react on wooden bathroom shelving. But as a woodworker, I have learned that no wood has 100% waterproof, because they are porous and can absorb water. Just some are better water resistant than others.

  • Waterproofing Ability of Pine: Waterproofing ability of pine itself is not good enough for bathroom shelving because it is a softwood. But, by applying stain or oil-based primer and water sealant you can make waterproof bathroom shelving using pine wood.

2. Plywood

Plywood is also an affordable softwood and if you’re more focusing on the design and the color rather than its strength plywood is a good option. Like pine wood, never keep heavy items on top of your plywood bathroom shelving. 3/4″ thickness plywood ideal for bathroom shelving surface

Most importantly, there are different grades of plywood in the market and the smoothness and the appearance of knots are varying according to their grades. So, you cannot settle after choosing plywood for bathroom shelving unless selecting what grade is perfect for you. Because there are significant differences between each grade and furniture grade plywood is good for bathroom shelving. The strength of plywood is also relatively higher than Pine. Veneered plywood is a good option dark wood color

  • Waterproofing Ability of Plywood: Plywood can be exposed to moisture. Better to apply waterproof glue because it won’t fail under high humidity, moisture, or boiling temperatures. It will prevent the delamination of plywood.

3. Koa

Koa wood is one of the highest durable and hardest wood. Bathroom shelving that is made out of koa wood lasts long for a long period. It is popular because of its awesome shellac properties and lightweight.

Koa wood has great qualities that can directly transfer to the bathroom shelving. Such as odorless, easy to handle, wear-resistant, pressure-resistant, can withstand damage, and resistant to degradation. They don’t bend, dent, or crack easily. Its beautiful medium gold or reddish color gives unique look to your bathroom.

  • Waterproofing Ability of Koa wood: Unfortunately, Koa wood is not water-resistant. This is the only downside I saw after working with koa wood for a long time, but that highlights when we are making bathroom furniture with koa wood. Koa can be exposed to moisture. Better to apply the right stain or sealant.

4. Cherry

Cherry has become so popular in modern bathroom shelving. Cherry is also lightweight and easy to handle like koa wood. It is a hardwood that gives a great amount of strength to your shelving. If you more focus on the strength like keeping heavy materials on the bathroom shelving, cherry is a great option you can go with. It has a beautiful warm, rich, reddish color that gets darker over time. By using cheery for bathroom shelving, you can get a high amount of strength and a great look at the same time. This is the reason why it has become more popular.

  • Waterproofing ability of Cherry: Even though Cherry wood is not completely waterproof, it has relatively some amount of water resistivity than other wood types because of its high durability. But I recommend you to use a sealer coat for better protection. It can resist shrinking and warping very well.

5. Red Oak

Red oak is hardwood with good durability and it is easy to stain. Wood is inexpensive and easy to handle. In bathroom shelving, the use of red oak help to improve your working efficiency with easy handling, cutting, and finishing abilities. Very user-friendly wood type of shelving but with poor weather resistivity. I highly recommend it. Red Oak is undoubtedly one of the best top-class wood for shelving. The following image shows Red Oak bathroom shelving.

  • Waterproofing ability of Red Oak: The waterproofing/ water-resisting abilities of red oak are so poor. Completely opposite to white oak which has great water resistivity. Applying Topcoat is highly recommended.

6. Padauk

Padauk is a hardwood with a reddish-orange hue that can add a unique look to your bathroom shelving. It has good strength and high abrasion resistance and doesn’t degrade easily. Perfect for bathroom shelving to keep them a long period with a heavy load. Costs the same as black walnut wood.

  • Waterproofing ability of Padauk: Water resistivity is poor and highly recommend to sand and apply a top coat with sealer before the production.

7. Mahogany

Mahogany is an attractive durable hardwood but difficult to handle. Not light in weight. Mahogany bathroom shelving adds a classical look to space with its unique reddish-brown color. Strength and stability are so good. Because of its high-level properties and beauty mahogany is known as an expensive wood type. The bathroom shelving which is made out of mahogany has a rich look than no other wood can replace.

  • Waterproofing ability of Mahogany: Most importantly, Mahogany has a great water-resistant ability. It stands extremely well against water, which directly affects durability. Mahogany is one of the best and strong woods for bathroom shelving. I can highly recommend mahogany for bathroom shelving any day. Its great water resistance is also one reason to become relatively expensive.

8. Teak

Teak is also having the same several properties as mahogany. It is a golden-brown hardwood with great durability.  Teak wood has beautiful Aesthetic appeal, high bending strength, shock resistance, excellent degradation resistance, acid resistance, and also good dimensional stability. Because of these top-class physical properties teak wood also as expensive as mahogany.

When making bathroom shelving using teak wood, you have to be careful about its dust when sanding, which can be irritant. Teak wood has a natural resistance to termites and insects that help bathroom shelving to live long and for less maintenance.

  • Waterproofing ability of Teak: Teak has very good water resistance compared to other woods. It resists warping, decay, cracking, and rot. Perfect choice if you have enough budget to spent.

The strength and stiffness of all the wood types we discussed here. (click to read my article).

Related Question

  • Is wood OK in the bathroom?  Absolutely fine. If you love to feel natural aesthetic appeal with classical unique look wood is the best choice for a bathroom.
  • What is the best wood for floating shelving? The wood types that we discussed above Pine, Plywood, Koa, Cherry, Red oak, Padauk, Mahogany, and Teak are perfect for floating shelving as well.
  • What is the best paint to use on wood shelving in a bathroom? Semi-gloss or High gloss, because gloss repels the moisture well.

So, did I cover everything you wanted to know about – The best wood to use for bathroom shelving?

That’s it, folks.

We have widely discussed the best 8 types of wood to use for bathroom shelving. We have discussed the advantages and disadvantages you’ll get by using each type of wood with their waterproofing abilities as well.

Apart from those types, white oak, walnut is also good for bathroom shelving after applying a suitable topcoat.

About Walter Parker

Walter Parker is a father and woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking!

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