Wood Countertops in Bathrooms

By Kate Riley May 14, 2015

When we were looking for a countertop for our hall bathroom makeover, I knew I’d be painting the cabinets white so I wanted something economical that would provide warmth and contrast, so wood went straight to the top of the list. We chose a butcher block countertop, routed the edge, stained it dark, then used Waterlox to protect it. Two and a half years later, I’m happy to report our wood bathroom countertops have held up extremely well, there is no water damage and they still clean up very easily.

We also have a wood countertop in our kitchen and while it’s a higher maintenance surface (you can’t place anything hot on it or leave puddles of water for long periods of time) it also still looks beautiful 8 years after installation. A wood countertop in a bathroom has to be watched for signs of damage or rot because of its frequent exposure to moisture, but a product like polyurethane or Waterlox that renders it waterproof is the key to long term functionality and beauty.

wood countertop white bathroom vanity

elle decor espagna

floating wood vanity wood look tile

capital building

wood and white bathroom

a parallel architecture

ikea cabinet vanity wood bathroom countertop

apartment therapy

wood bathroom countertop vessel sink

hooked on houses

gray vanity wood bathroom countertop

design milk

gray stained wood bathroom countertop

better homes and gardens

The live edge or wood slab raw edge against contrasting surfaces like porcelain or painted wood is a showstopper.

black and white bathroom wood floating vanity

jodie rosen design

navy vanity wood bathroom countertop


One of the reasons people turn to wood as a countertop in kitchens or bathrooms is the desire for more organic materials, a trend that has been growing in the past decade, one of several trends I’m highlighting over at the Interior Collective blog. Stop by and weigh in with your thoughts on the topic of trends in bathroom tile.

Have you thought about or installed a wood countertop in your bathroom? What did you treat it with and how has it held up?


  1. This is sooo beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing. I can’t imagine not using this for our bathroom. ^_^ Completely redefines floor plans for bedroom bathrooms.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Wow! These are all absolutely gorgeous. I would have never thought of having a wood counter-top in the bathroom, but I love the contrast, warmth and organic materials. Love all of those glass terrariums in the last pic. You can get the hanging ones (as well as many glass bubble terrariums) here: http://store.heavensgatehomeandgarden.com/collections/glass-terrariums/products/roost-recycled-glass-bubble-hanging-terrariums.

    Great article! Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. I love the look and after seeing the Ikea countertops you did in the past, I’ve been thinking about it for our upstairs bathroom update. So happy to hear they’ve held up well…as I started to read this post I thought “uh oh something must have happened to them” but sounds like treating them is the way to go. I love the dark stain – so pretty!

  4. Kate, you always seem to post something just when I am needing it. We are in the midst of the year of the bedroom at my house, decorating all of the bedrooms in our brand new house in 2015. Our fourth bedroom is going to be a media room/office space. I’m in the planning stage of building an office into the closet and I have really been contemplating using stained butcher block for the desk surface. I love all of the inspiration in these photos. Thanks for posting this today!

  5. I have wood counters in my kitchen and about 5 years ago we refinished them with with Waterlox. I had Watco Danish oil on before that. ( Maple butcher block installed in 1977) One big warning– do not ever get bleach or even the Oxiclean type bleach on the counters because the finish will be marred. They cannot be lightly sanded and touched up. They must be sanded down and refinished with the Waterlox if you want them to look perfect. The finish looks nice and is very durable The Watco Danish Oil is easier to lightly sand and oil again. Watco finish is a deeper color and a shinier finish than the Watco Danish Oil.

  6. I actually really love the look of wooden countertops. I usually lean towards marble countertops, but in this case, I’m all for wood! These bathrooms look gorgeous.

    The Office Stylist

  7. Thanks for the report, Kate. We are considering IKEA butcher block counters for our garage apartment remodel. I’m glad to see you are happy with how they have held up. One thing I’m struggling with is flooring. Any tips on how to make the butcher block complement flooring so that’s it’s not wood overload– especially in a smaller space? Thanks!!!

  8. I really like that look of wood countertops n bathrooms. Especially the wood that is more rustic and not perfectly even.

    This is a great curation of awesome images for this look!!


  9. Marble is the absolute favorite countertop material, but not only does it cost way more than people want to spend on their hallway bathroom, but even if it was in the budget I think I would have a heck of a time finding a marble that would look good with the marble-ish floor tile I chose.

  10. Thank you for the inspiration, Kate! I also love wood countertops and we happen to currently be in the process of installing a large wood countertop on our kitchen island. I also have a concern about “wood overload” as well as choosing a stain color for the countertop. I love the darker brown stains, but wonder if they will complement our weathered wood floor, which has gray tones, and our painted light grayish blue cabinets. Any advice on what color stain to go with?

  11. I love the look of wood. We are currently planning our kitchen. I would love wooden counter tops but have been worried that they won’t hold up. Good to hear 8 years and you are still going strong. The bathroom is gorgeous too.

  12. I have had a heart pine countertop in my upstairs hall bath for 16 years. It has four coats of polyurethane on it. There is one bad spot near the sink that I repair with an almond stick when it needs it. It has held up beautifully. It is much more traditional than those pictured here, but very beautiful. The bottom of the vanity is painted blue. I have two kohler sinks and behind the wooden backsplash, I put in painted tongue and groove. Then I found two heavy pine mirrors to hang on the painted wooden wall.

  13. This is such a lovely look! I definitely dig the rustic but classy feel they give off – and when combined with the white? GORGEOUS! I’ll have to keep this in mind when our bathroom needs a pick-me-up.

  14. The wood countertop in the bathroom that you redid in November 2012 was fabulous. It stuck in my mind. Last year I decided to upgrade my 25-year-old bathroom. The white custom-made cabinets were still in very good shape. So I removed the countertop and boring sinks and faucets. I bought a butcherblock top from Sears that is typically used for a workbench. It is a gorgeous piece of wood and it’s unbelievable that it only cost $100! I followed your steps for sanding, staining, and sealing with waterlox. It turned out beautiful! I paired that with a large rectangular porcelain sink with elliptical sides and a brushed chrome stem faucet. They were sold together on Amazon for around $120. I am thrilled with the results! It is my very first DIY project and I owe it all to you! Thank you Kate!

  15. Another gorgeous option for a wet space like a bathroom would be teak–it’s typically used on boats, so it holds up to water. It’s a bit of a pain to maintain on a boat, but it cleans up beautifully and naturally with some simple teak oil!

  16. I’ve seen many kitchen and bathroom countertops, and wood is quite unusual where I live. But I have to say some of the countertops here presented are really wonderful. With good maintenance is a nice option. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Oh man, we just re-did our wooden kitchen sink surround, which died a horrible, grisly, rotten death after only 7 years (the previous owner had installed it and if they treated it at all, I don’t know what with). We treated the new countertop with teak oil, but it is already showing signs of water damage (around the faucet base) after only a month. I wish we could have afforded marble, granite or even stainless, but basic butcher block was the only thing in our budget. These examples are very beautiful, but have probably benefited from professional attention. If you are considering wood in the kitchen or bath, proceed with EXTREME caution.

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)