Shiplap is visually pleasing, durable, and suitable for any interior style. You can install it in a rustic-styled living room, a modern bedroom, or a farmhouse cottage. That’s why it’s many people’s choice when they renovate their houses.
This begs the question, though: can shiplap be used in a bathroom?
You can definitely install shiplap in your bathroom. In fact, it’s one of its most common uses. People love it because it makes tight spaces look spacey. If your bathroom is small, the shiplap will give an illusion that it’s bigger than it is.
Can Shiplap Be Used in a Bathroom?
As long as it’s not inside the shower, where it’ll be frequently exposed to water, you can use shiplap in your bathroom. Remember that the shiplap isn’t waterproof, so no need to push it.
It’ll be perfectly fine on your bathroom walls, though. With some precautions, it’ll stay intact for a lifetime. For instance, some people apply mildew-resistant paint to keep mold from growing on the wood. We all know mold and moisture are best friends, so most bathrooms are prone to that.
Additionally, some people apply a wood sealant on the edges to keep them from coming out. You may also paint the tiles to give them a layer of protection against moisture. If you don’t want to change their colors, you can apply a transparent sealer.
Lastly, the bathroom should be well-ventilated to avoid suffocating the wood and prevent bacteria and mold from growing on its surface.
Can I Install Shiplap in the Shower?
Unfortunately, you can’t. In the end, shiplap is made of wood, and wood isn’t waterproof. It may withstand the occasional spill and some humidity, especially if it has a protective coating. However, putting it in a shower will be like throwing a chicken to a pack of wolves and hoping it comes out safe. Spoiler alert: it won’t.
There are ways around it, though. If you desperately want to give your shower a shiplap look, you can get PVC planks. Thanks to modern technology, these planks are now available in shapes that mimic shiplap. So, you’ll get the look without the disadvantages. They won’t have the same rabbeted edges, but they’ll look just fine on your shower wall.
All in all, it’s better to keep shiplap for the bathroom walls, not the shower.
The Risks of Installing Shiplap in Bathrooms
If you’re installing shiplap in your bathroom, you should know all the associated risks. It looks trendy and aesthetically beautiful, but it comes with its share of downsides. Here’s a roundup of the risks.
When bathing or showering, you’re prone to getting some water splashes on the wall, especially if you’re bathing a kid. Frequently splashing the wall can cause the shiplap wood to wear out. Even if it has a waterproof layer, you’ll have to do some maintenance to prevent that from happening.
All you’ll have to do is dry the walls after you take a shower and make sure your family members do the same. It would help if you also did the same when you splash water on the wall when rinsing your hands or so.
Moisture Getting Into the Boards
If your shiplap planks aren’t interlocked using a tongue and groove mechanism, they’re at great risk of getting moisture inside. In that case, there won’t be a proper barrier for the moisture. If the planks are stuck together using adhesives, it’ll be even worse because most adhesive materials aren’t waterproof.
In both cases, your planks are at risk of getting ruined because of improper installation. The best way to interlock them is with a tongue and groove mechanism. That way, they’re watertight, and moisture can’t get in.
Leakage and Floods
All bathrooms are prone to floods and leakages, and these are major risks for shiplap. The best thing you can do is check regularly under your sinks for any seepage. Additionally, you can watch all your bathroom fixtures and get a plumber whenever necessary; hopefully, maintaining your bathroom will prevent leaks.
If a major leakage does happen, you need to take an instant action to fix the problem and dry your bathroom, especially if it’s coming from wall pipes.
Humidity is an invisible enemy. You can’t see it, but you’ll do when it causes the wood to warp and crack. Humidity seeps through the tiny openings and penetrates the shiplap. Eventually, too much humidity may cause the wood to get ruined. You’ll find its edges coming out or cracking.
What you can do is make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated, so the air keeps getting circulated.
How to Take Care of Shiplap In Bathrooms
There are some simple steps you can do to take care of the shiplap in your bathroom. Here’s a roundup of the necessary precautions to prevent moisture from ruining your wall.
Regular Walls Maintenance
Shiplap in bathrooms comes with responsibilities. If you want your bathroom to look beautiful, you’ll have to maintain the walls regularly to keep them intact. For instance, you should make sure the finish is in good condition. If it starts coming off, you’ll want to apply it again.
On top of that, any cracks that appear on the wall should be fixed instantly before they accumulate.
Decorative Bathroom Tiles
To further protect your shiplap walls, you can install decorative tiles around your bathroom. They’ll keep the water in check and prevent it from reaching your walls. Plus, they’re easy to clean and wipe dry, which is a bonus.
Regular Fixture Maintenance
If you want to protect your walls, you’ll need to regularly check the bathroom fixtures for any problems that need solving. These fixtures include the pipes, the sinks, the taps, the showerhead, and the lavatory valves.
You can use shiplap in your bathroom. However, be prepared to replace it soon if you don’t take good care of it. As long as you keep the planks dry, fix their cracks, and ventilate the bathroom, they’ll stay intact for a long time.