There are several kinds of building materials that are not generally advised for use in bathrooms. The great risk in any bathroom is growth of mold or mildew. Perhaps the most important consideration for the do-it-yourselfer is to buy the correct types of drywall.

You will certainly need “green board” around showers and tubs. In a small bathroom, some contractors prefer using green board throughout the bathroom. Second, you need to think carefully about floor covering materials. Wood can be easily damaged without the correct sealants and coatings. Excessive moisture can cause the wood to warp, especially in a small bathroom.

Any kind of building material that is porous can absorb and hold moisture. Cork and bamboo flooring, although green materials, are probably not the best choice in a bathroom because they are very porous and could warp. Even stone should be chosen carefully because it must be re-sealed periodically and because even marble, granite and limestone scratch easily and can be stained by chemicals. Concrete is becoming very popular in bathrooms. While it can be very attractive, you will need to watch for cracks and, like most stone, it will need to be sealed and re-sealed periodically. Synthetic stone can be a much safer choice.

Although the rule of thumb is that wood surfaces can be danagerous in a bathroom, it is possible to use wood counter tops and surrounds IF the wood is properly sealed and coated or painted. Finally, choose lighting fixtures carefully, particularly those placed in or near the shower or tub.