Solid oak furniture can be a great addition to any bathroom. Not only is it stylish and traditional, it can also prove incredibly durable and resistant when looked after properly. That being said, the natural wood has earned itself a reputation for being difficult to maintain – particularly in damp environments.
This concern over its upkeep is unfortunately causing many people to opt for melamine alternatives, which is considered a great shame by those who manufacture natural wood furniture.
Whilst oak admittedly requires more care and attention than other materials, it is far superior in appearance and quality. Plus, it is manufactured in a far more environmentally conscious way, reducing the amount of carbon emissions sent into the atmosphere.
So if you’re thinking of bringing wood into your bathroom – or you’re looking for ways to prolong the life of your existing cabinets – don’t be disheartened by the idea that you’ll have to spend hours treating and caring for it. Looking after natural wood is surprisingly simple.
When you know the right way to care for your oak furniture, you will no doubt reap the benefits of its beautiful structure and shine. All you need to get the best out of your bathroom cabinets are a few tips and tricks to ensure the wood remains in good condition, year after year.
First off, you need to make sure you’re looking after your new cabinet from the moment it arrives. You’ll want to make sure you don’t cut through the box’s packaging when you’re unpacking it, as this could inadvertently damage the wood.
The best way to unpack your cabinet is to remove all the surrounding protection whilst making sure it stays standing on its legs. Make sure you remove all the appropriate handles and shelf supports and put them to one side, so as not to lose them in the packaging.
You will need to clean the wood in order to remove any residue from transport or storage. It’s best to use a damp cloth, avoiding the use of any chemical cleaning products.
Some furniture items will be delivered with a light oil application applied in order to protect it. This also gives it a tough, waterproof finish that will protect it during installation.
Most manufacturers will recommend using an oil treatment every three to six months. This is normally Danish oil or something similar to bring out the grain. Bathroom cabinets are particularly prone to damp, so a water resistant oil is required to prolong the life of the cabinet and keep the natural grains visible.
Danish oil generally dries in 4-6 hours and gives a natural, low sheen finish. It also doesn’t give off much of an odor, which it why it is the most preferable wood treatment for many. Additionally, it does not flake, crack or peel. It is also resistant to even the toughest stains.
Another benefit of using Danish oil on your oak furniture is that, although it is water resistant, it is also microporus to water vapor, allowing the wood to breathe. This will help prevent build up of mold or mildew on the wood, as well as protecting it from damages.
In terms of cleaning your cabinet, it’s best to avoid chemical sprays and polishes altogether. Instead, simply wipe the surface with a damp cloth. It is also advisable to keep the furniture away from direct sunlight or sources of heat, such as radiators or vents.
All of these measures will prevent the finish of the wood from fading, as well as help keep it resistant to stains, chips and other damages – making oak a durable and attractive option for your bathroom.