DIY Removable Cedar Shower Floor Mat

Happy Monday, all!  Remember last week when I said I had a project in mind for the shower in my tiny little bathroom?  Well, it’s (almost) finished!  I made a removable cedar shower floor mat.

DIY Removable Cedar Shower Floor Mat

I was inspired by some of these (obviously much higher end and super expensive) wood shower floors.

 

 

If you’ve been around here long at all, you know I love the warmth that wood adds to a room.  All of the countertops in the condo (kitchen, living room bookcase wall, bathrooms) are wood.

But also, this project was kind of a test run for the house.  You see, I’m trying to come up with a solution for a shower that is easy to use for Matt when we get around to remodeling the master bathroom in the house.

For those of you who don’t know, Matt (my husband) has M.S. and is in a wheelchair.  So when we get around to remodeling the bathroom at the house, I’d like to make the shower one where he can wheel himself in and transfer to a shower bench.  Obviously, that means that there can’t be any kind of step, or lip, or curb.  It all has to be one smooth floor.  I know it’s possible just to have it all be tile, but I thought it might also be nice to have the shower pan sunken in a few inches (just so that it catches the water better), and then have a wood floor on top of that to make it level.

So this was a practice run to see if I could build one of these wood shower floors.  And I did.  And it was fairly easy!

I love the way it looks.  Here’s the plain shower with just the tile…

Plain tile shower from 1980s in white tile

And here it is with the cedar shower mat…

DIY Removable Cedar Shower Mat

It’s built like a little deck on four support slats, so the part that you stand on is actually raised above the tile about 2 inches.  And because the tile floor isn’t flat (it slopes towards the drain), the cedar support beams are actually only resting on the floor around the edges, so water won’t get trapped in the middle.

And of course, it can be easily removed for cleaning.

If I do ever do this project for the house, I’ll probably use a wood like teak or IPE, but since cedar is also known for it’s resistance to weather, rot, mold, etc., and it’s considerably cheaper, it seemed like the perfect material for my practice run.  Plus, if it’s good enough for decks, fences, outdoor showers, patio furniture, saunas, raised and elevated gardens, etc., then certainly it’s good enough for my little shower mat.  :)

Here’s how I made it:

The whole thing is made out of cedar 1″ x 2″ lumber.  And just a warning, it took me forever to find enough boards that were straight enough for this project, but finding really straight boards is pretty important.

I used my miter saw to cut 20 pieces of wood the length of my shower (34 inches), and four pieces the width of my shower (35.25 inches).

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

Next I took one of the four support pieces (the 35.25-inch pieces) and marked the spacing for the slats.  This was a bit challenging since the spaces needed to be something like .27 inch.  It took me a couple of tries to get them right.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

Once I got the spacing right, I marked the edge also.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

Next I drilled pilot holes for the screws.  I wanted to use the support boards standing up on the edge like this to give them more strength.  I also wanted the screws to go up through the bottom and into the bottom of the slats.  (If that doesn’t make sense yet, hopefully it will in just a bit.)

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

I followed with a much larger drill bit that was the size of the head on the screws I would be using, and drilled about 1/4-inch into the wood.  This would allow the screws to be countersunk.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

You can see here the difference between the original pilot holes and the holes for countersinking the screws.  Again, the larger portion is only about 1/4-inch deep.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

After all of the holes were drilled, I sanded, and sanded, and sanded, and sanded some more.

I started off sanding each board with my rotary sander just to get all of the flat sides really smooth.  Then I followed up by sanding all of the edges and ends by hand.  So none of the boards were left with a sharp corners on the edges, but instead they were slightly rounded.

Then I gave all of the boards (support boards included) a coat of pre-stain conditioner…

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

Followed by a coat of Minwax stain in Dark Walnut…

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

Throughout the sanding, conditioning, and staining process, I always made sure that my spacing guidelines were visible on at least one of the support boards.  This required that I transfer the marks from one board to another throughout the process (i.e., before sanding the board with the marks, I transferred the marks to a board that had already been sanded).

With all of the boards stained and dry, it was time for assembly.  Because the screws were going up through the bottom and into the slats, the mat had to be assembled upside down.

I started at one end, using my guidelines to determine the spacing of the boards.  I assembled the mat with 1 5/8-inch deck screws.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

I continued on until all of the boards were attached to the first support board.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

Then I used my framing square to be sure that the two outside boards were square, and I attached the support board to the other side, starting with the two outside boards and working in toward the middle.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

I forgot to take a picture of the final two support boards in place, but simply spaced them evenly as demonstrated by the white lines here…

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

During the assembly, I tried to keep everything as square as possible.

So that’s where I left the project last night.  The stain still wasn’t 100% dry, so I’m going to give a day or so more, and then I have a few finishing steps that I’m going to do.

First, I’m going to use clear silicone caulk (the kind meant for showers and wet areas), and I’m going to caulk all of the screw holes from the bottom.  Even though I know cedar is weather resistant, and I used deck screws, I still would like to take that extra step to protect those screw holes from having water get caught in them.

I’m also going to give the mat extra protection with a coat or two (or three) of teak oil.  I considered polyurethane, but I think I’d like to try an oiled finish first and see how that will hold up.  If it doesn’t give quite the protection I’m after, then teak oil can be polyurethaned after 72 hours.  Also, I read that something like Thompson’s Water Seal (the one that’s made for decks) can be used as well.  One woman said that she gives hers a coat of that about once a year, and it’s holding up great.

And last, I bought some little rubber slip-resistant feet that I want to put on the support boards.  This will lift it up a bit more, provide extra room for drainage, and keep the support boards from sitting in water.

How to make a removable cedar shower floor mat

So the shower is pretty much finished.  Tomorrow I’ll show you the mirror (or rather, the frame for the mirror) that I made for this bathroom.  It’s actually finished, and I really wanted to show you today, but I couldn’t find anyone to cut my mirror over the holiday weekend.  So hopefully I can take it in today and get it cut, and get my mirror hung on the wall so I can show you tomorrow.

This room is just about finished!!

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Comments

  1. Sue says

    Totally didn’t expect the shower mat but I LOVE it! It’s perfect with the sink countertop. You are so creative with an endless amount of ideas and I feel lucky that you share them with all of us. Thanks.

  2. says

    Really like the look of your latest project! It gives that bathroom a little extra oomph (and it’s already nice). Very cool idea to use this to give a step-less transition to a future bath as well. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but it makes perfect sense. Look forward to seeing 2.0 of this idea in your next house!

  3. Tani says

    Hi!!!
    I am excited to read your post today. I also have a husband with MS. Greg is not in a wheelchair but has balance problems and fatigue. We need to redo our bathrooms so badly and I want to make them better for him.
    I work full time out of the home (and going to school) and this means I have little time or energy to add another item unto me. But we really need to do something. I am closely following you on your projects. I know I can do a lot of things myself but will have to higher someone to move the pipes. I have a list of wants and needs and I know what feeling I want for the bathrooms. Basically like a spa retreat at home.
    Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to me.

  4. Lisa E says

    This looks really nice! I am amazed and how much you do in general, let alone for a house you will be selling. Not many people would put in all of these extras just for resale. Impressive!

  5. says

    I used Thompson’s water seal on my cedar fence picket adirondack chairs, and they held up to extreme elements for over a year still looking fabulous. You know Texas, we’re talking 100+ temps with direct sun, and when I lived by the ocean there was also a lot of salt water humidity. So, that’s still a great option! This is a really cool mat, you did a fantastic job

  6. Joanne says

    Super cool project! It looks amazing, very high end. With all these wonderful additions to your condo, you’re going to have buyers lined up around the block!

  7. Dee says

    Once again, you did a fantastic job, Kristi! Whomever purchase your condo will be very happy, indeed!

  8. Sue says

    I love your projects and this one is a gem. Inspired by you and the Young House Love team, I tackled installing engineered flooring in our guest room (we ran out of funds when we had the main area of the house done and it would save me about $800 to do it myself. Well, four days of work and I’m only 1/4 done, so I totally appreciate your past honest posts about starting and underestimating how long it takes to finish :> And I’m so sore from getting up and down on the floor it’ll take me a couple days before I’m up to starting on the last 8-12 hours of work. But reading your post tonight reminds me to soldier on. Thanks for taking the time to write up your progress and projects!

    • says

      Sue, bravo for tackling that project yourself!!! Sometimes the process becomes tedious and tiresome, but I’m always so glad when it’s finished, and I can look at it and say, “I did that with my own two hands!!” There’s such a feeling of satisfaction that comes with DIY that I never get when I pay someone to do something for me.

      And flooring…WOW…flooring is such a big job!!

  9. Geneva says

    this really really makes your shower look exotic! Something as simple as a cedar mat really makes it pop! You did a fantastic job. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Gilmer Gal says

    I am definitely going to make one of these. My master bath is in for a new look now that the master bedroom is finished. A wooden mat will just make it so much better. Glad you did this before I get going on my bath! It looks awesome and puts an even higher-end look to that small space. Bravo!

  11. julie says

    As usual, total inspiration, Kristi!! I am right now in the middle of packing up my kitchen, getting ready to tackle a DIY IKEA remodel. (I’m a middle-aged woman who lives by myself, and this will be my biggest project ever!!) **deep breath** Just wish I could bottle me up some of your energy. ;)

      • julie says

        Your vote of confidence is much appreciated!! And I will most certainly send you some pics! (Have been toying with the idea of starting a blog and was hoping to get it up and running so I could record/share the whole shebang while it was happening, but I’m not sure I can handle a total gut kitchen remodel AND a new blog!) Maybe I’ll just have to take lots of pics along the way, and then if I DO get my blog going I can post about it after the fact. But either way — my “after” pics will find their way to you!!

  12. says

    I cant believe how amazing that gorgeous bathmat looks! And you made it yourself?! You, my dear, are one incredibly talented designer. In fact, I love the whole bathroom, especially the shower flooring and wall cabinets in some of your pins! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity!

  13. says

    Where/How do you come up with this stuff? Fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love the cedar floor mat and the countertop, and the new tile … I’m drooling. I want to take a hammer to my small main bathroom, but I gotta wait. Lots of ideas.

    Thanks for the inspiration

  14. says

    I really LOVE this idea! I may have to cajole the husband into helping me make this. Your pictures and instructions make me think I could do it too!

  15. says

    Love your website, I’m here everyday this past week, it seems! Sending warm thoughts and healing wishes to your husband. I have MS too, RRMS, and on the Tysabri therapy. Thanks for all you do! :)

  16. Bonnie says

    I really love what you have done in your shower. I would like to do the same thing in my house but I’m having a hard time finding cedar boards that are pre-cut to 1×2. Did you buy them that size and if so where, or did you ripe a larger board yourself?

  17. Bonnie says

    Wow! That is so cool that you wrote back to me so fast. I wasn’t sure if I would even hear anything. Thanks! Our Home Depot doesn’t sell them but Lowes does. Yeah! Can I ask you two more quick questions.
    1. How did you decide how far apart to space the boards. 0.27 seems good, I just want to make sure its hard to see the white floor underneath the boards.
    2. Is it more comfortable to have the boards running perpendicular or parallel to the shower head?

    Thanks again for inspiring me. I just discovered your site and I love it!

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