Lance Blanchard

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  1. Hi, new member here and fairly new woodworker with question that I hope someone here will have some experience with. I am converting a walk-in shower to a steam shower and am replacing home builder's doors with doors that I am building myself. The doors are teak, and the door jams are Ipe. All the hardware will be stainless steel. They will be exposed to water/soap splash daily and occasionally to steam (maybe once or twice a month. The steam system will limit the max temperature of the room to 120F. One of the doors has an exterior face, but it is under a balcony and will not be exposed to direct sunlight. The local climate is long hot summers and short mild winters (Dallas, TX). My primary questions are: what finish will 1) best protect the wood from water that will cause it to warp/swell or otherwise change shape 2) be transparent enough to show some grain 3) not require frequent maintenance. I have been recommended Waterlox, but spoke to their tech support dept and was told 120F was too hot for that product. I considered epoxy, but label on the one brand I researched states 120F is max temp. I've tried to do some research online, but have gotten lost in a sea of terms like poly, epoxy, polish, oil, shellac, wax, varnish, urethane etc etc etc. I haven't been able to find anything specific to steam shower doors, or 120F ratings, and every page I've found seems to just be a pitch for whatever is being sold on that page. I don't really aspire to become a chemistry expert. I'm just hoping to find whatever best prevents these doors from warping and swelling. Any insights are greatly appreciated.