How to Use Reclaimed Barn Boards in the Bathroom

Design Indulgence

Design Indulgence

I believe that the modern rustic trend is actually becoming a classic and lasting style. It's simple, natural and environmentally friendly, so it will always have an innate appeal.

Reclaimed barn boards are a popular and beautiful way to achieve this look. They're amazingly textured and inherently interesting, and when used in high traffic rooms in our homes - like a bathroom - add an organic element that makes you feel more connected to the earth. 

Barn boards on a bathroom vanity, as flooring or on a feature wall can warm up a room that can otherwise be typically cold with its hard finishes like marble, ceramic, glass and chrome.

Of course, the sustainability benefits of using reclaimed barn boards are also great - since you won't be consuming new materials.

And many times, barn boards are an inexpensive alternative to other vanity or flooring options. 

My brother - carpenter, furniture maker and builder extraordinaire - suggests that wood is an overlooked and viable option for the bathroom, but should be used with some simple precautions: he says that water and steam in the bathroom can take its toll on wood, so you'll want to protect it.

But that's pretty easy using 2-3 coats of water-based polyurethane. Sealing it will do a good job of protecting it from rot. Swelling and contracting may also be an issue, but if you leave a small gap between boards and use flexible silicone caulking around edges where sinks or tubs may connect you'll be fine.

I've written a full post on how to clean, prep and install reclaimed wood planks and barn boards - go see it here. 

Here are some lovely and simple examples of modern-rustic bathrooms that use reclaimed barn boards.  It's really worth considering this option when trying to design sustainably and naturally, instead of purchasing "new" materials. 

Click on all photos for source.

Know what colour walls go great with wood? White and off-white! Get my free guide to the simple way to choose the right white paint.

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