If you've purchased a teak shower bench, you're probably wondering how best to maintain its finish so it can last for many showers to come. You want to protect your purchase to get the most out of your money. With that said, should you oil or stain a teak shower bench? We've searched for the best answer and have some fantastic information for you.
To let the beautiful finish of the teak really shine, it is best to apply teak oil as opposed to a stain. Although you can stain a teak shower bench, teak oil is the best way to leave the bench with a natural look. Additionally, oiling the bench can be done in addition to staining, such as in a maintenance application.
Now that you know oiling and staining are both viable options for your teak shower bench, let's discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both. We'll go over all the details as well as answer some additional questions you might have. Keep reading!
Why Does Teak Wood Make A Good Shower Bench?
Teak wood is excellent in a moist environment. In fact, it grows and thrives in warm, moist environments primarily in Southeast Asia. Teak wood is derived from the heartwood of Tectona trees and is naturally water-resistant. Many boats and docks are made of teak wood because of this natural property. Not only is it water-resistant, but it is also resistant to rot. Overall, it is one of the most durable hardwoods available!
Because of its growing demand, natural beauty, and durability, teak wood is in high demand so it can be much pricier than other types of wood. However, the long life of furniture made of this wood helps offset the initial cost.
Oiling A Teak Shower Bench
By choosing to oil a teak shower bench as opposed to staining, you aid in allowing the natural color and finish of the teak wood to shine through. Teak wood has a lot of natural oils that protect its surface, so by adding additional oil as maintenance and/or protection, it works with the existing oils to add an extra layer of armor.
The only downside to applying oil as opposed to staining is that you cannot choose the color of the finish. Teak wood has a natural color anywhere from reddish-brown to a yellowish-brown. The grains are close together, which is part of what makes them so water-resistant. If you don't like the natural look, then oiling won't help you change that.
Staining A Teak Shower Bench
By using stain on your teak shower bench, you add an extra layer of protection and get to choose how you want your teak shower bench to look. Additionally, untreated teak wood can develop stains on the surface over time. If you use stain, this can, at times, repair the uneven finish.
Teak is a very valuable wood, and not all furniture stains are going to look great on it. Be very careful when applying stain, and always spot test a small area before covering the surface. When you do, ensure that the stain is even. Also remember that staining is going to alter the wood from its natural, beautiful look.
The Best Of Both Worlds
When debating whether to use teak oil or stain to treat your teak shower bench, keep in mind you can do both. Once the bench has been stained, you can apply teak oil when the stain is dry and for maintenance whenever the bench needs it. You might still have to re-stain after some time, but the teak oil will assist in keeping the color vibrant.
How Do You Maintain A Teak Shower Bench?
Teak does lose color over time, lightening and changing to a silver-gray color. Many are surprised by this color change, but it is the natural process of the wood. This can be avoided with routine maintenance and touch-ups! Let's discuss some steps you can take to keep that bench looking as fabulous as the day you got it.
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1. Rinse after each use
When you're finished with your bench for the day, a good rinse with a removable shower head to wash away any soap residue will do a world of good. When completing your rinse, be sure to get underneath the bench and in all the unseen nooks and crannies. These are the spots in which soap scum loves to build.
2. Routinely wipe it down with mild soap and water
A few drops of dish soap and warm water make the perfect solution for cleaning the surface of your teak shower bench. As when rinsing, be sure to pay close attention to the areas underneath the bench. A toothbrush comes in handy to scrub between any grooves or other small spaces. This type of cleaning should be done whenever you are scouring the shower. Make it part of the routine.
3. Apply teak oil quarterly
To maintain or restore the beautiful color of your teak wood, apply teak oil to the surface about four times a year. If this will be your first application and your bench has already become stained and discolored, you might consider sanding the surface before applying the oil.
Apply the teak oil all over the surface using a buffing motion. A little oil goes a long way. Allow the surface to fully dry/absorb before using your bench again. Give it at least a few hours, if not a full day, before using again. Wipe away any excess oil after absorption.
What Can You Use Instead Of Teak Oil?
Although teak oil is the best oil to use on teak wood, some other naturally derived oils make a suitable alternative. Tung oil is a viable alternative and is also derived from trees. Linseed oil is plant-based and helps maintain the integrity of the teak wood.
Use these alternatives in a pinch, but avoid applying something shiny, like lacquer, in an attempt to protect it as this can wind up damaging the surface of your bench.
Do Teak Shower Benches Get Moldy?
Teak is mold-resistant, but if ignored long enough, a teak shower bench can get moldy as it attaches to a buildup of dirt. If you follow the maintenance tips above, you can circumvent any major issues with mold.
If you already have mold present, remember to never use bleach, as this could cause dry spots and cracks over time. A simple mix of one part vinegar to three parts warm water will kill the mold and help the area resist any regrowth.
Check out this post for more guidance on how to rid your shower bench of mold: How To Clean Mold Off A Shower Bench
How Long Do Teak Shower Benches Last?
Even with a day to day deluge in your shower, a teak shower bench can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, perhaps even longer with maintenance. Teak is an excellent, durable, beautiful wood with a lot of life to give. It's definitely worth the price tag for the use you can get out of it.
For more information on this topic, check out this post: How Long Does Teak Wood Last In Shower?
You can viably stain or oil the surface of your teak shower bench, though using oil is the preferred method to enhance the natural beauty of the wood. Choose whichever method works best for your personal taste, but remember to do regular maintenance to extend the life of your shower bench. Happy showering!