The Advantages and Disadvantages of Teak Shower Floors

Teak is a tropical hardwood resistant to rotting, pests, and water. A teak wood shower floor brings these advantages and many more to your home. Even with that, you need to know how to take care of your precious teak bathroom floor, or it’ll be permanently damaged.

Teak shower floors are beautiful, non-slip, durable, premium value, and resistant to water, pests, mold, and fungi. However, they’re difficult to maintain, not waterproof, create space for bacterial growth underneath, and cost more than the alternatives. 

The best teak wood floor for your bathroom is the Bare Décor Zen Spa Shower or Door Mat. It’s made of solid teak wood with an oiled finish for durability. It doesn’t require assembly and can be used in different places such as the shower, lawn, patio, RV, deck, balcony, sauna, and spa.

Teak Shower Floor Pros and Cons

What is a Teak Shower Floor?

A teak shower floor is a floor insert made of teak wood rather than a whole shower floor made of teak wood. The teak shower floor insert is made into slats that can be rolled out onto the shower floor just like a bamboo mat. 

The wood slat shower floor can either be a series of small slats that can be rolled up or one large slat customized to fit the size of your bathroom. The larger slat is more permanent than the smaller ones, although the smaller ones are easier to maintain in general. 

Teak shower floors are also available as a mat, planks, tiles, or a tray. This way, you can carry them off to the yard or other places to dry.

Teak shower floors pros and cons

ProsNon-slip, warm, and comfortable
Beautiful Difficult to maintain
Highly water-resistantCreates room for bacteria
It has a premium valueNot waterproof
Durable Needs special cleaners
Resistant to pests, mold, and mildewCan damage other materials 
Has a premium valueExpensive

Teak Shower Floor Pros

Teak wood shower floors have the following advantages:

1. Beautiful

Teak wood is quite beautiful, even in nature. If you take good care of it through proper cleaning and polishing, you have one of the most gorgeous wooden bathroom floors. It has a rustic and premium look, which is very attractive. 

2. Highly water-resistant

Compared to other types of wood, teak is highly resistant to water due to its natural oils, which make it last longer too. It won’t swell or bend when exposed to moisture, and that’s why it was used to build ships that lasted for years. Still, you have to protect it for it to last even longer. 

3. Non-slip, warm, and comfortable 

Wood retains heat longer than other types of flooring, such as tiles and pebble shower floors. It’s also not as slippery as tiles when wet. Wooden shower floors like teak are also more comfortable for the feet, especially without footwear. 

4. Durable

Teak is durable and strong as it doesn’t chip or scratch easily. You can use it with the confidence of knowing it won’t break apart at the slightest of pressure. Teak wood also withstands a lot of heat and cold hence it’s suited to bathrooms with hot water. 

5. Resistant to pests, mold, and mildew

Given its tough nature, pests such as termites, fleas, cockroaches, and others rarely tamper with teak wood since they can’t penetrate or chew on it. Even better, it naturally resists fungi and molds in moist conditions like the bathroom. 

6. It has a premium value

Teak wood is native to Asia with a very rich history. As such, having a piece of this history makes it one of the most valuable shower floors you can get. It’s also rare and costly, making it unique in a bathroom.

Teak shower floor cons

The disadvantages of a teak shower floor include the following:

1. Difficult to maintain

To keep teak wood in good shape and for longer, you must clean and polish it regularly. These tasks take quite some time to complete and can be tedious. You can easily maintain other shower floors, such as painting tile floors.

2. Creates room for bacteria

Using a teak shower floor insert leaves space between it and the shower floor. This space will be occupied by water and can be a breeding ground for bacteria. This requires that you frequently take the teak wood floor outdoors to dry as you clean the floor below it. It can be quite tedious. 

3. Not waterproof

Teak wood is highly water-resistant but still allows a small amount of water to pass through. This can damage the wood, especially if it’s not protected and goes on for long. It also means the areas close to the wood can still be damaged by the water seeping through it. 

4. Needs special cleaners

You can’t use normal bathroom cleaners with teak floors, given that they easily damage them. Instead, use special teak wood cleaners. This will also increase the cost of maintaining the teak shower floor. 

Besides that, teak shower floors can be damaged by everyday products such as shampoos and shower gels, especially when the wood is not protected well through polishing and cleaning. 

5. Can damage other materials

Teak wood is hard enough to damage other materials, such as acrylic tiles, which can be costly. 

6. Costly

Given its rarity and the premium value attached to teak wood, it comes at a considerably higher price than other types of wood. It’ll be even costlier if you have a large bathroom whose floor you need to cover. 

How do you clean a teak shower floor?

For light cleaning, apply a mild soap solution to the wood, then use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the teak wood surface and underside lightly. Rinse with clean water, then allow it to air dry.

For deep cleaning, use the Star Brite Premium Teak Care Kit and follow the instructions. Clean the teak shower floor every week. 

How to polish a teak shower floor

Teak shower floors require proper cleaning and polishing to maintain their looks and to last long. Polish teak shower floors with the following steps:

1. Clean the floor

Apply a mild soap solution to the floor, then lightly scrub it using a brush with soft bristles. Rinse with water, then allow it to air dry. 

2. Apply teak oil polish

Rub the oil on the teak wood using a brush, ensuring the whole surface is sufficiently covered. Only use polishing oil meant for teak wood to avoid damaging it. Let the oil set in for 2 hours. 

3. Polish the wood

Use a dry polishing brush to shine the teak wood in small circles until you see it shine. This way, your wooden shower floor will look great for months afterward. 

You should always keep an eye on the look of the wood. When you notice it has lost its shine, clean and polish it again. With proper cleaning and maintenance, teak wood in the shower lasts between 10 and 15 years before it needs a replacement. 

How to install a teak shower floor

Installing a teak shower floor is easy, given the right steps, materials, and tools. You can order the teak wood boards for cutting or buy the ready-made teak wood slats for your bathroom. 

Install teak wood floors with the following steps:

1. Measure the shower floor

Measure the size and shape of your shower floor, then note it down, indicating the respective sides and their lengths. You should do this twice to get the right measurements. In my experience, using a diagram to show the actual shape and dimensions of the bathroom is the best way to avoid errors. 

2. Plan the wooden floor

The teak shower floor should be an inch shorter than the bathroom floor. For this reason, you need to allow a ½ inch on each end when measuring the wood for your floor. 

For a large single slat, simply measure the bathroom size, then subtract an inch to find the size of the wood you need. For a series of slats, you need to measure the floor and then measure the slats to leave ½ inches on each end. The slats need to be ½ inches apart from each other as well. 

3. Cut the wood into size

Cut the wooden slats such that they’re an inch shorter than the length of the bathroom. After that, cut two or three bracing boards about the size of the slats. These bracing boards will be used to hold the slats together. 

4. Screw the slats to the bracing boards

Evenly space out the bracing boards on the bathroom floor, then place the wooden slats on top. Make sure the slats are placed half an inch apart and are half an inch away from the wall of the bathroom on either side. Screw the wooden slats to the bracing boards to finish the installation. 

Each time you want to use the teak floor, simply place it on the floor, then take a shower. Afterward, clean it as detailed in the steps above, then air dry it. Clean and dry it every week for the best results. Each time you notice it has lost its shine, polish it as explained above. 

A teak shower floor isn’t a shower pan, and your shower needs to have a shower pan without leaks to enjoy its benefits. You can easily fix a leaking shower pan without affecting the teak floor.

Teak shower floor alternatives

While teak is the best wooden shower floor, other types of wood share its qualities and can also be used. Some of the best teak shower floor alternatives include:

1. Cedar

Cedar shower floors are water-resistant, durable, and rot-resistant and make one of the best shower floors. Cedar is cheaper than teak, thus an affordable alternative. 

2. Hinoki

Given its great qualities, Hinoki is a water-resistant Japanese wood often used in saunas. Hinoki wood is also believed to have purifying and healing qualities hence its widespread use. 

3. White oak

White oak is a type of hardwood that is highly resistant to water and can thus be used in wet conditions such as bathrooms. 

4. Bamboo

Bamboo also makes a great shower wooden floor and differs from teak in a few ways. The main differences between teak and bamboo shower floors are as follows:

  • Teak is more resistant to water than bamboo. 
  • Teak handles more weight than bamboo. 
  • Teak wood has a darker and more luxurious finish than bamboo. 
  • Teak costs more than bamboo.
  • Teak is less sustainable than bamboo since teak wood trees take longer to grow. 
  • Teak lasts longer than bamboo in similar conditions. 

While teak shower floors are the best wooden floors for wet conditions, these alternatives can be cheaper, although they won’t last as long as teak. When buying a wooden floor for your bathroom, consider its size, shape, colors, versatility, drainage, and ease of maintenance. 

When comparing wood to other materials for your shower floors, porcelain and ceramic are considered the best options mainly based on their durability. However, wood is safer and much more comfortable than other materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is teak good for a shower floor?

Teak wood is good for the shower floor since it boasts a remarkably high silica content, which imparts a natural, waxy, non-slip quality. Incorporating a teak shower floor or bath mat into your bathroom or shower area can effectively eliminate the risk of slippery surfaces when they become wet.

What is the best wood for the shower floor?

Teak is the best wood for a shower floor since it bestows your bathroom with the cozy elegance reminiscent of a classic boat deck when employed as a shower floor material. These teak floors are typically crafted with open slats, making them perfect for bathrooms for an elevated and stylish touch.

Is teak good in the shower?

Teak is a superb selection for shower benches due to its moisture resistance. Additionally, a teak shower mat is a wise alternative, thanks to the wood’s substantial content of slip-resistant rubberlike resins.

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