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How to Install Ipe Planking Around a Tub

If you love hardwood but think it's off-limits in the bathroom, check out ipe. This water-resistant wood is the decking of choice on ships.

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Cut Planks to Size

Cut ipe with a table saw to desired length, forming the planks that will surround the tub. (Use safety goggles when cutting the ipe to protect your eyes.)

Step 2: Install Planks

Lay a bead of construction adhesive onto the floor where you will be putting the first ipe plank (Image 1). Set the plank onto the adhesive and push down firmly to make sure it is secure to the floor (Image 2). With a finishing nailer, secure the plank to the floor (Image 3). Install the planks one at a time. To start the next row, apply a bead of adhesive again and lay an ipe plank over it (Image 4).

Step 3: Insert Spacers

Place a 1/16" spacer in between each board so they are evenly spaced along the floor. Continue to nail down as you go.

Step 4: Attach Wood to Wall

If desired, continue your ipe wood up the wall next to the tub (Image 1). Attach to the wall the same way you did to the floor. Once secured to the wall, nail a thin piece of ipe trim to both sides of the ipe planks to finish the look (Image 2).

Step 5: Apply Wood Oil

Spray the wood with natural wood oil and rub it in with a fabric cloth. Oil will enhance ipe’s natural look.

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