Can You Put a Wood Ceiling in a Bathroom? (Absolutely!)

The question of increased humidity is a serious concern for homeowners who are exploring the option of wood ceilings in a bathroom. Bathrooms can be as unique as the owners themselves, so it can be a challenge to find the right decorative flair of wood products that are functional as well.

So, can you put a wood ceiling in a bathroom? A wood ceiling for a bathroom is an excellent choice. However, the right type of wood, proper preparation, and adequate ventilation must be taken into account to prevent damp and humidity.

Can You Put a Wood Ceiling in a Bathroom

Considering wood is quite porous, using it as a material in a room that uses water and holds humidity may seem frightening. And there are some factors to look into.

For example, after showers and hot baths, the warmer air will rise, making the humidity stick around if the bathroom is not properly ventilated. Some woods stand up better to damp environments and could be better choices for a bathroom ceiling. 

Why Choose Wood? 

Wood has been a common choice of material for bathrooms around the world for centuries. You can find a lot of information about wood ceilings, countertops, floors, slats, and even entirely wooden bathtubs and showers.

How the wood is prepared and installed will make all the difference in terms of how long it will last.

Wood has a calming effect for many spaces, including the bathroom. If you are searching for the perfect materials to give your bathroom a natural look and a feeling of comfort and warmth, wood could be the answer.

Wood is quite versatile and it fits in any style of bathroom, from traditional to industrial, or from modern to contemporary. You cannot go wrong with choosing wood as the main material in your bathroom.

Many homeowners find tile to be cold and unfriendly, and as a result, wood is a solid alternative. Using wood ceilings in your bathroom is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it can also be less work to complete than installing a traditional ceramic bathroom. 

What Type of Wood is Best Suited in a Bathroom? 

Once you have decided to put a wood ceiling in your bathroom, you should follow recommendations to install a wood that is well suited for bathroom spaces. By choosing the right type of wood, you can ensure that your bathroom will remain functional and beautiful for years to come. 

Not all woods are equal, however, and some will have better resistance to humidity and moisture than other types. It’s important to make the proper decision when choosing a style of wood that way it lasts for years and continues to look beautiful.

See the table below for some of the best woods suited for bathroom ceilings and spaces: 

OakOak tends to be durable, long-lasting, and it’s resistant to shrinking, warping, and decay across many different environments.
TeakTeak rarely shrinks, it’s resistant to rot, mildew, and fungi. It also has a natural anti-slip property, which is a great feature to have for any bathroom.
TimberTimber is a natural insulator, and it’s known for being more environmentally friendly than other wood types.
PinePine is incredibly resistant to rot and decay, and it can durability to your bathroom for years to come.
CedarCedar is a popular choice for many people because it tends to not shrink and it has a nice aroma to it. Other positive features include a resistance to warping and twisting, which makes it perfect for humid environments. It’s one of the reasons why most saunas use cedar.
Douglas FirDouglas fir is a common wood type for construction, not only because of its durability but also because the grain lines look good to the eye.
BambooAlthough not technically a wood product, the material is strong and resembles a softwood grain look. Bamboo is very durable and is known for having less of an impact on the environment. It’s one of the reasons homeowners are drawn to it.

With all that in mind, understand that you don’t have to choose one type of wood for your bathroom. Mixing different styles of woods in a bathroom design can create an entirely unique look all on its own.

You may choose cedar for your bathroom ceiling and teak for the floor. What woods you choose is ultimately up to you.

Prepare the Wood for a Bathroom

It is essential that any wood you use for bathroom ceilings, or other bathroom surfaces, be treated and prepared correctly. Doing this will allow your wood materials to remain beautiful and sustain their finish over many years.

Not only will your bathroom stay beautiful and functional, but correct preparation will help the wood resist damage, including mold or mildew, as well as warping or twisting. 

You can use one of the following, or a combination of methods to waterproof your wood before installing it in your bathroom. 

Common recommendations are that you should explore more than one method to prepare your wood before installing a bathroom ceiling. By using more than just natural oil, your wood has a better chance of resisting damage from continuous use. You want to enjoy your bathroom for years to come, so preparing the materials beforehand is important.

Proper Ventilation is Needed 

Bathrooms require proper ventilation to remove excess humidity. This is even more important when you have wood ceilings.

Although treating the wood will help mitigate potential damage, proper ventilation will extend the lifespan and natural beauty. Improper ventilation can cause mold or mildew to form or create moisture problems in other areas of the house. 

The size of your bathroom is relative when choosing an exhaust fan for your bathroom. It will need to be large enough to look after the airflow in the entire room.

One other consideration for bathroom ventilation is the length of the ductwork that connects to the fan. In cases where ductwork is significantly longer, the fan will need to be powerful enough to successfully remove the air from the bathroom and move it through the vents. 

The position of your vent fan is another important factor to consider. When possible, the vent fan should be located directly above the shower unit or as close as possible. This area is where the majority of the steam will collect, so it should be vented outside before reaching the wood ceiling. 

Is a Wood Ceiling Right for Your Bathroom? 

One of the best features of wood is its versatility. Wood can be installed in a home no matter what the plan is. There is always a way to remodel your bathroom to include a wood ceiling and still mesh with the current style of your home. A wooden bathroom will never look out of place or odd in a home when installed correctly. 

There are many different ways to use wood ceilings in bathrooms, so check with a contractor, interior designer, or even do some of your own research online. You may find that the current structure of your bathroom will support one type of wood ceiling better than another. 

Wood is also a low maintenance material compared to others used in bathroom construction. Utilizing wood can not only give you a warm, earthy ambiance but also save you time on cleaning and maintenance after installation. 


Is a wood ceiling for a bathroom expensive?

With any home renovation, your budget will be an important factor. If you are looking into installing a wood ceiling in your bathroom, it does not have to drain your bank account in the process. There are many affordable options to choose from, depending on the type of wood, bathroom size, and if you are hiring a contractor or completing the work yourself. 

Can you use plank wood for a bathroom ceiling?

Yes, of course! Some individuals may not want the natural look of wood grain but wish to install plank wood instead. Plank wood can be a fantastic way to update your bathroom ceiling to match your current décor. 

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.