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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

Upcycled bath board from wood floor boards or laminate plank

Updated: Apr 13

Bath board from laminate flooring with flowers arranged over the side of the bath

Repurposed laminate bath board hack

I thought I’d let you into a little secret about the bath board that I use in my flower bath & bath styling pics… it’s not a bath board at all, but rather a leftover piece of laminate flooring! I love upcycling and this upcycled bath board was such a simple project, yet so useful and best of all super stylish too.  

What is a bath board?

Bath boards have been around for a long time.

Not to be confused with a bath seat or shower board which are bathing additions for those with limited mobility, they are a practical storage caddy, often made from plastic that rests across the width of the bath. However, thanks to Pinterest and Instagram, the bathboards of late have become a whole lot more aesthetically pleasing! For a while, you couldn't scroll through insta without coming across a beautifully styled bath board complete with a steaming mug of tea or chilled glass of bubbles, usually a book or iPad and a caption about 'self-care'. Don't get me wrong, I'm here for self-care, but I couldn't help but wonder if that set-up was the usual bathing routine of the poster or purely 'for the 'gram'?!

Is your bath board real wood? 

floral bath with wood bath board

How does the saying go? If you can't beat them, join them?! Before long, I'd thrown my foraged floral bath board into the mix - although mine wasn't for a relaxing bath, but rather styling practice for my recent career change. To cut a long story short, I styled some pictures and they were well received with lots of people wanting to know where I'd bought the wooden bath board from. So, I had to reveal the less glamourous truth - that rather than an expensive shop-bought bath board, this rustic-looking model was actually an upcycle job using a piece of leftover laminate flooring! 

How to make a custom bath board from flooring

The simple method below, details how I created my bath board but also includes more general info in case you want to use real wood or have another similar item to upcycle into a beautiful bath board. 

You will need

  • Piece of Flooring - Choose a sturdy piece of wooden flooring that is wide enough to span the width of your bathtub.

  • Sandpaper - For smoothing rough edges and surfaces.

  • Saw - To cut the flooring to the desired length, if needed.

  • Wood Stain - Optional for adding colour to the wood (don't forget to seal after use)

  • Sealant - Optional for adding protection to the wood to prevent water damage / mould

  • Handles or Grips - Optional for easy lifting and handling of the bath board.


1. Measure and cut

a hand saw lying on a piece of wood on a deck

Begin by measuring the width of your bathtub to determine the perfect fit for your bath board.  Use a saw to cut the piece of flooring to your desired dimensions. 

2. Sand and Smooth

sanding wood for bath board

Make sure to sand any rough edges for a smooth finish & I recommend sanding the underside of the bathboard if it's rough so as not to scratch the bath. If you're using laminate flooring like I did then you really only need to sand the edge where you cut along as the underside should be smooth already and the top surface will be very smooth and flat.  

3. Stain

staining rustic wood

You can apply a stain to the wood (not laminate) to change the hue of the colour to better suit your bathroom interior. If you do use a stain, be sure to seal properly afterwards so it repels water rather than leaving wet patches of stain all over your bathroom.

4. Seal

If you are using laminate then it's advisable to seal any gaps, cracks or edges where water could penetrate and cause the fibres to swell. If you have stained the wood then you'll need to seal it to ensure it's suitable for use around water.

5. Attach Handles or Grips

If desired, attach handles or grips to the sides of the bath board for easy lifting and handling. I didn't add these to mine as preferred the simpler look, but you can easily pick up handles on Amazon or eBay which can be screwed in. - Take care not to let the screws penetrate the base of the board as they could scratch the bath, so if your bath board doesn't have the depth for screws, simply glue the handles on. 

5. Test and Enjoy

Once the stain or sealant has dried, place your newly crafted bath board across the width of your bathtub. Test its stability and adjust as needed. Now, you're ready to enjoy a relaxing bath with your personalized wood or wood-effect bath board!

How to customise a bathboard

As the purpose of a bath board is to provide somewhere to hold and store the items you need in the bath, the exact customisations will depend on how you spend your bath time. Consider these additions...

- Wine glass holder

If you enjoy a glass of wine in the bath, be sure to add a wine glass holder. This can be done by cutting out a notch in the side to rest the glass onto or you could add a glass holder to the board. 

- Cup holder

If herbal tea or even coffee is your drink of choice, then add a cup holder. 

- Candle holder

Candles are always a good idea (for adult baths only!) so consider adding a candle holder to house your favourite and more relaxing scented candle. I'm currently obsessed with the Aery candles and diffusers the Parisian Rose scent is sooo good!

- Edge stops

These can be added to build up the edge of the bathboard and prevent your bathroom necessities (& luxuries) from falling over the edge into the bath.

- Handles for secure grip

As mentioned in the method, an optional handle or two can help make the bath board easier to manoeuvre. 

- Phone holder

I'm a bit loathed to suggest this one, as it seems a risky business to take your phone in the bath, but I know many people do. If you are a bathtime scroller than perhaps adding a phone holder is a good idea.

- Tablet holder ​

To me, this is as risky as the phone! But i know lots of people enjoy watching movies and binging box sets while in the bath, so if this is you. then a table holder might be good news too. 

- Drainage holes

​I had no intention of getting my bath board than wet as to need any form of drainage, but if you are a splasher in the bath then you might choose to drill some holes to help excess water drain back into the bath. 

So there you have it, a bath board is a kind of bathtub tray that provides easy access to all the items you might need in your bath routine. From toiletries to electronic devices and even wine, these helpful items can elevate your bathtime enjoyment with a bit of thoughtful design and some excellent upcycling. 

Does a bath board have to be made from wood?

Wooden plank bath board

Wood or wood effect is always going to look nicer than a plastic bath board, in my opinion, as it adds texture and character. There are so many wood options available that you could match to suit your particular interior style, whether you opt for an oak, solid walnut, pine, or live edge bath board you know the final look will be a winner. Handmade pieces are always nicer than shop bought as they are an opportunity to inject some of your personality and taste into the space - guaranteed to help you form a stronger connection with your home. There are also the money-saving benefits of upcycling and the sustainability angle too - you really can't go wrong! 

Where next?

I hope this has been useful - below are some other bath-related posts you might like...

Bathroom design


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