Wood Shower Floor – Pros and Cons, Durability + Cost

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Wooden flooring often has links to the living room, bedroom, corridors, and other surfaces that experience minimal contact with moisture. However, laying it on your shower floor makes your shower more attractive. But, what is the pros and cons of wood shower flooring?

Wood creates an exquisite, natural finish to your bathroom flooring. It’s low-maintenance, lasts longer, and though it demands much attention. Sealers may prevent water from leaking, but you have to limit exposure to humidity, which can be difficult in a bathroom.

Can you install wood floors in a shower?

Some people may not like the idea of wooden shower floors. Installing a wooden floor for your shower may initially seem like an off idea for some people.  It is common to find complaints about leaking floors, damaged wood, etc. But if done right, a wooden shower floor can be an ideal choice for your living space.

Hardwood is one of the best wood types to use as shower flooring. The wood creates an exquisite, natural finish to your bathroom flooring and can last for a considerable time. Besides, wood is a low-maintenance product that does not demand much attention.

You can always hire a professional to handle the technical elements of the job. However, if you are confident in your abilities or prefer a hands-on approach, the following suggestions might help.

What kind of wood do you use for a shower floor?

Wooden shower floors offer a variety of options. You can choose to install a wooden floor from a wide selection of types, including bamboo, teak, composite, and others. Wooden floors are ideal for outdoor use. Some designers design wood-based shower carpets (and mats) primarily for use within your outdoor space, whether it is a garden, public facility, etc.  

Here are some suggestions on the best types of wood to use for your shower floor.

● Bamboo

Bamboo is a quality material ideal for constructing shower floors. The wood is strong, sturdy, and easy to install. Unlike other types of wooden flooring, bamboo is moderately resistant to damage from moisture and can help brighten up a smaller room. Besides, bamboo trees take about three years to mature, which is more eco-friendly than hardwood varieties.

You can purchase the wood as engineered or solid. Solid woods are more susceptible to damage from water and may not be the best choice for your shower floor. Engineered bamboo wood includes natural shoots glued together to form horizontal/vertical boards.

● Teak

Building a shower floor from teak is an excellent choice. The resin-rich lumber is native to tropical South-East Asian regions, the Laos and Myanmar peninsulas, and Indonesia.

There are several varieties of teak where each species has distinct features. Examples include heartwood, sapwood, and other subspecies common in numerous countries like India, Sri Lanka, etc. It is sturdy and commonly used as shower flooring due to its tendency to bend rather than break.

You can easily purchase teak planks on online platforms such as Amazon for a reasonable price, do it yourself, or have someone install them for you. The wood is readily available on plank-sized pieces to aid in the installation process. Besides, teak gives your shower floor a sophisticated look and requires little maintenance.

● Composite

Composite woods make for an ideal shower flooring material. Although not 100% natural, the wood has plenty of benefits thanks to its eco-friendliness, waterproof features, and fire-resistant properties.

Composite wood comprises mainly WPC materials such as wood flour, rice husk, polythene, straw, and bits of waste plant fiber. After the materials are ready, they are placed together by an adhesive, ingestion molding, or plastic processing into the finished products.

Using composite wood gives you a high-quality product without the detrimental effects of environmental degradation.  The use of manufactured wood implies that the product has regular shapes and standardized dimensions and makes it easy to install and maintain.

A composite wood shower floor is aesthetically pleasing, requires low-budget maintenance, and has additional benefits over the traditional natural wood options. The product is applicable for indoor and outdoor use.

● Hardwood

Hardwood is a highly rated product for any construction activity. The product is strong, durable, and contains intricate patterns and designs. You can choose between various hardwood designs such as Acacia, Oak, White Hardwood, dark wood, and light wood flooring.

Installation methods differ depending on the product specifics, use, and intended design. For instance, you can opt between solid hardwood flooring or engineered flooring. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Solid hardwood flooring might be prone to damage by water and is much more complicated to install than its counterpart.

Hardwood flooring is also more sensitive compared to other tree varieties and might require more attention to maintain. You can establish a maintenance routine to observe your flooring and identify potential areas of interest. Its also advisable to regularly clean your floor, prevent scratches and consult with a professional when refinishing your hardwood floor.

Durability (lifespan)

Wood flooring has a long lifespan and is remarkably durable, though it also depends on the effort you take to maintain your flooring. You might also need to consider the type of wood flooring and how it relates to the elements.

Suppose you want to install a bathtub on your hardwood floor. It would be advisable to consider the frequency of use and whether the excess water would negatively affect the wood.

Here are a few ideas on how to extend the durability of your wooden floor:

● Clean Often

Regularly cleaning your wooden floor might help extend durability for a considerable time. Dust and other small objects might cause scratches on your wooden flooring, causing it to lose value over time.

 It’s best to formulate a cleaning schedule that does not always require water (excessive moist is damaging for your wooden flooring). If you dust your floor daily and clean it only once a week, you can keep your floor clean and lessen the risk of bacteria growth. Also, ensure to mop up water spillages as quickly as it happens.

● Avoid high-pressure points

Wood is a strong material that can handle high amounts of pressure for a considerable time. However, if you would like to preserve the quality of your flooring (and keep it durable for long), it’s best to avoid exposing your flooring to high levels of pressure.

You can opt for distribution pads to reduce the amount of pressure per square inch when dealing with heavy items such as bathtubs.

● Refinish

Refinishing your wooden floor helps rejuvenate your flooring by giving it a new look even after the product has been in service for a long time. Experts recommend refinishing your wooden floor at least once every five years.

Pros and Cons of Wood Shower Floors

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of using wood shower floors.


  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Highly durable products
  • Easy to maintain


  • Prone to damage by moisture.

Cost of Installation

The cost of installing a wooden floor depends on several factors, such as the cost of the material, the size of the room, and any additional costs that may remain. The overall cost might be significantly higher if you choose to hire a specialist, even though the overall turnaround time might be shorter than if you were to do the installation yourself.

It’s advisable to opt for a choice within your budget range. Hardwood flooring might be more expensive compared to composite or bamboo woods but might offer more aesthetic benefits. Carefully research all available options before settling down on a choice.

  • Cheap species of solid hardwood (Oak and American cherry, cost between $5 to $10 a square foot). Pricier species (Brazilian walnut and mahogany, cost between $8 to $14 a square foot).
  • Engineered wood cost depends on the thickness of the veneer and no layers of plywood under it. Low-end runs between $3 to $5, midrange costs $5 to $10, and high-end costs $8 to $13 per square foot.
  • Wood floor contractors charge $4 to $8 per square foot for solid hardwood and $3 to $10 per square foot for engineered wood. When calculating for the wood floor needed, the contractor adds 5% to 12% square footage as a “cut allowance or waste factor” to cater for the left over.

How do you build a wooden shower floor?

It is possible to install a wooden shower floor using several different methods. Predominant flooring material is wood, both solid and engineered. If the wood is solid, cut out even sections, and align the contrasting pieces on the floor following a deliberate pattern.

Building from engineered wood is much easier and has additional benefits primarily because the wood is treated and cut to regular pieces (which makes aligning much easier). You can also purchase pre joined planks that are much easier to install and take up little time.

Here are some essential steps when building a wooden shower floor:

  • Measure the inside of your shower floor.
  • Cut one by two-inch pieces (or other sizes according to your intended design).
  • Stack the pieces on the floor surface in a regular pattern. If you are using engineered wood, attach the sections on your floor surface using wood screws, bolts, nails, and sealants.
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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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