new idea for shower

Old 10-07-04, 06:38 PM
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new idea for shower

I am remodeling my master bath. I have gotten rid of a bath/shower combo, and was preparing to make a no barrier shower in a 6' x 4' space. I am fairly sure about installing the rubber underlay and the hardibackerboard, and then pouring a mortar shower pan for the floor before adding tile. But the more I think about it, I don't want tile. I want wood! Now I know it sound crazy, but I have made a sample piece of wall, and I like it. I screwed 2 x 4 s together flush by width and then stained and double sealed them. I also caulked the back side at the meeting of boards. It seems like it could work and look really nice. I know I have heard about wood getting water damaged when used incorrectly. However, I have seen wooden saunas and hot tubs for years. Will my shower walls work? Do I need to use pressure treated wood, or some other type of treated lumber? Do I need to double or triple seal it? Should I assemble and then seal & stain, or seal and stain, assemble, and seal again? Is the caulk on the back side a good idea? Will this work? I don't want to create something that isn't going to last more than a month or so. I have recently thought of putting a barrier and door on it, and adding a steam unit so it can double as a that possible? I have not been able to find any information on wooden surrounds or anything like this. Would appreciate your knowledge. Thanks. Fallinfred.

Last edited by fallinfred; 10-07-04 at 06:40 PM. Reason: add-on
Old 10-07-04, 07:55 PM
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Your idea is interesting but not realistic in regards to health and safety concerns.

It's one thing to have a sauna with a great looking interior like Cedar, Redwood, Cypress, Poplar or even Basswood. It's function within a sauna is one that can withstand the heat. In reality, humidity level within a sauna is very low. Regardless of the wood used for the floor, it is not meant for direct water contact with the intention of using it along with all the chemicals that would be in contact with it, i.e. shampoo's, conditioners, oils, cleaning chemicals, etc. It's also important to not use wood that has pitch or resin in it so the wood purchased is not cheap for the purpose intended.

The concern that I have using wood within the shower is that this is not an outside shower that could get plenty of airflow to dry without concern of mold and mildew. A traditional sauna is very hot inside and when the door is opened, the room drys out quite rapidly. Again we are talking about more heat than humidity that makes a sauna function. A steam sauna in conjunction with a shower produces more moisture than the traditional sauna. The other is that the wood floor becomes slippery when wet, especially in bare feet.

The issue of staining, sealing, painting the wood can lead to problems on it's own and one is that the vapors of these coatings may be dangerous when heated and cause lung problems including some nasal inflamation with headaches.

I would suggest going with tile but you can be the judge. I would also think about resale value and the concerns a potential buyer would have on such a setup.

Hope this helps!
Old 10-08-04, 09:55 AM
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won't work?

If it will be a health hazard, I don't want to do it. I am not concerned with resale value as I will turn the house over to my son in 5-10 years. I was trying to use the wood so it sould match my decor. I have marble sink with wooden cabinets above and below. I have marble steps with wood between. I built a wall waterfall of marble and wood. I was hoping to use the last of my marble on a bench in the shower, with the wooden walls to accent. Let's say I build the shower out of glass blocks and tile, I have space for a bath just beyond the shower. I want to put a 5 x 7 soaking tub or hot tub there. My first idea was to build one out of wood (they have those don't they?) but then I started leaning towards buying something instead, with a wood bath surround. Will that work? If so, what special considerations are needed in wood selection, treatment, and assembly? What about building a tub out of wood? will that work? Special considerations? Thanks

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