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floating shelf guest bathroom countertop

A recurring inquiry:

Message:     we are interested in 2 shelves for a bathroom vanity.  what kind of shelving would you recommend?  It will be the base for a guest bathroom sink, so am wondering if we need to consider teak or a waterproof paint finish? or do you think that any of your wood would warp under this kind of location?  (the sink will be an above counter style sink.  we are considering a size of 16″ x 36″ (maybe 48″) x 2″

we look forward to hearing from you.

lisa & stephen

Hi Lisa and Stephen,

Any of the wood in the regular offering should work for your application. The finish is catalyzed lacquer, also referred to as conversion varnish. It is the same finish used by quality furniture manufacturers and cabinet makers worldwide, It has good scratch resistance and resists household chemicals. It is frequently used on all types of woodwork: kitchen cabinets, bedroom dressers, dining room tables..

Most of the shelves are wood veneer on plywood core, except the ReharvestedWood™, bamboo, tiger woven strand bamboo, and coconut palm, which are all solid wood.

While the veneer is very good quality, it is also pretty thin, so if it’s on a countertop and it gets damaged there isn’t much you can do to fix it. Depending on how much use the bathroom will get, and by what sort of guests are using it, that should help you decide which direction to go.

Any of the woods we offer that are veneers, we can also make a shelf out of all solid lumber if called for.

The finish you use is the other decision. The two simplest choices are conversion varnish(what we use), or spar varnish.  Besides the names, the two have almost nothing in common. Spar varnish is typically used on outdoor woodwork and on boats. Spar varnish has built in UV protection and is highly water-resistant. Spar varnish takes hours to dry, and 30 days to reach full-cure strength. It can be recoated many times, and with a fresh coat, the wood looks brand new again.  Should you decide to go with spar varnish or something else, we will gladly ship the shelves unfinished so you can apply the finish of your choice on your end.

Unless you expect the wood is going to get soaked and left wet I don’t think you need to worry about warping.

If you are installing a vessel sink however, you do need to look carefully at the drain connector on the sink bowl. Unless you specify the correct type, all standard drains have holes to allow water from the overflow tube to enter the drain system from underneath. Those are fine for impermeable countertop materials, but not for wood. The wood will get soaked from the inside and total destruction is guaranteed. I have seen this blunder several times and you don’t want it to happen to you.


Billy D

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