During a recent visit to check on the progress of my friends' house remodel, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into their master bathroom. To the otherwise monochromatic bathroom space, they had added a warm hint of ipe wood surrounding the lower level of their shower. To learn more about this exotic hardwood, read on.
Lately we've come across appealing bathroom spaces with floors and walls covered in wood slats (teak probably is the most common, although other water-resistant woods are gaining market share). One hardwood that has reached our borders, by way of Central and South America, is ipe wood, also known as Brazilian walnut. It is considered one of the densest hardwoods available, so dense it sinks to the bottom when submerged in water. The wood is mold-, slip-, and fire-resistant, extremely durable, and makes for a perfect bathroom material. Keep in mind, if used indoors, the wood has to be kiln-dried to keep from warping. So does Ipe wood have any drawback? At a price of $4 per linear foot, it's definitely one of the most expensive hardwoods available, but when you factor in the durability and resilience, it's worth it over the long term.
Above: An indoor/outdoor bathroom with ipe wood flooring designed by MW/Works Architect and Design. See the entire post on this eye-catching Coastal Retreat.
Above: A shower area with ipe flooring designed by Betty Wasserman. Ipe wood can be sources online or via your local hardwood store.
Above: A shower in a house designed by Portugal-based FV Arquitectos.
Above: A bath in Silverlake by LA-based Commune Design.
Above: A perfectly proportioned bath by Cary Bernstein.
Above: A bathing space with wood shower tray and wood shower head; via Rare in Italy.
Above: A shower in Australia that opens to the outdoors, via The Selby.
Above: A corner shower with wood tray via Agape.
Above: A minimalist shower by Vancouver-based Place Architects.
Above: Ipe wood shower flooring. Photograph by Chicago-based Cynthia Lynn.
Are you looking for more shower inspiration? See images from our Bathroom Gallery.