Bead Board Wainscoting
I’m remodeling a small bathroom. The plans are to tear out the sheetrock walls down to the studs as some of it has been damaged. I am thinking about installing wainscoting using painted bead board on the lower part of the walls. I’m confused about how to proceed. Should I put up the drywall and then install the bead board over it on the bottom? What thickness boards are typically used? How do I deal with the combined thickness of the bead board and baseboard at the door casing (i.e. the baseboard will be well beyond the door casing)? Should I omit the sheetrock in the area behind the bead board? The house is a single story ranch on a slab and is about 20 years old.
I'm sure someone besides me will respond but you might be better off taking this type of question to "Break Time".
"WISH IN ONE HAND, #### IN THE OTHER AND SEE WHICH FILLS UP FIRST"
Mack - Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try over there!
Nikkiwood - I have seen the beaded plywood at HD and Lowe's. I even bought one piece yesterday to see how it might look. We put on a coat of white primer and plan to set it up against the wall for a look. They also have T&G wood strips (4" wide x 5/16" thick) that I liked but they are all made from knotty pine. We wanted a less "rustic" look and don't want to have to deal with spackling the visible knots. Thanks for the information - Regards - Jerry
You have two basic choices:
1) "real" beadboard, which consists of 3 1/2" wide tongue and groove boards (3/4' thick) which you cut to your desired length. Generally you must fabricate your own cap rail.
2) "fake" beadboard which usually comes either 36" or 48" high which you simply nail to the wall. It is 1/4" thick and comes in sheets like plywood. Cap rails are available with the sheet stock. Smear on a little construction adhesive and nail it to the wall studs (over the sheetrock).
Which way you go is a matter of personal aesthetics. Either way, I would install the sheetrock over the entire wall. If you decide on #1, your life will be easier if you first install (before sheetrocking) a series of horizontal nailers between the studs at the top and middle of the beadboard run (the sole plate on the wall will be provide a nailing surface for the bottom of the beadboard).
Normally, base boards are not used with wainscoting; instead a simple shoe molding is employed to cover the gap between floor and wall.
RE: the casings. These are always flush with the sheetrock, (which is another reason you should sheetrock beneath the wainscoting. If you plan on a casing that is 3/4" thick, the "real" beadboard will blend in nicely with the casings. If you use the "fake" beadboard, it will be set back slightly from the casings, which also has a pleasing look.
I 've done several bathrooms (including my own) using douglas fir beadboard. As Nikkiwood said, you should put in some blocking before you drywall. As an alternative, you can use plywood in lieu of drywall on the portion to be wainscoted. The plywood acts as a backer to receive your fasteners.
The beadboard that I get around here (Rochester, NY) is 5/8" thick, which is slightly thinner than the casing so there is a slight reveal (approximately 1/16".)
If, for whatever reason, you decided not to tear the drywall off, you can offset the lack of blocking by using construction adhesive.
For whatever its worth, I think that the genuine beadboard looks significantly better that its plywood substitute. You should be able to get it at any real lumberyard, (i.e. not Homer, Lowes, etc.)
The cap that you will need to make will be proud of the casing. I normally end it by cutting/sanding a pleasing radius so that it isn't just sticking out at the casing. Depending on the profile that you cut on the cap/apron, you may be able to end it by returning it to itself. You will figure it out when you get there.
There is an mdf bead board that looks real. ie not a couple of saw kerfs in 1/4 plywood, but a real round profile in the groove. Again, need to go to a real lumberyard...
I agree with the advice for the real wood over sheet rock but would add the following:
Use WR (water resistant or green board) drywall on the bottom 4'
Paint the drywall with a good quality primer sealer
Back prime the beadboard.
The use of reveals (5/8" bead board, 3/4" casing) will make it a professional job, there's nothing worse than trying for flush and not making it!
Post some pics when you're done!
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