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Old 08-01-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


Hello,

I am renovating my bathroom in an old century home and am using 4' x 8' sheets of beadboard panelling for the wainscotting. The walls of the bathroom have been gyprocked and primed. I am ready to install the beadboard. It is my intention to cut the panelling into 4' x 4' sheets ~ as the wainscotting will run 48 inches up from the floor (give or take for levelling). It is my intention to install the panelling with the factory edge at the top; the top will be covered with chair rail, the bottom will be covered with baseboard. It is my thought that the best way to install the panelling is to apply PLP Premium adhesive to the back of the beadboard and then afix with a nail gun or finish nails.

The design of the panelling is a series of vertical strips ~ 2" wide followed by 3/8 wide, 2", 3/8", 2", 3/8", etc, etc, etc. You get the idea......

My question is two-fold: a) Where do I put the first sheet of beadboard and b) what do I do at the seams and corners? The walls of my bathroom are approximately 6 feet long (not exact). I want the width of the corner "strip" to be exactly 2". That is, if one board ends, say, 1.5" into a 2" strip, I want to cut the adjacent board so there is 0.5" of a strip butting up against it so that, to the eye, the pattern of 2, 3/8, 2, 3/8, 2, 3/8, etc, etc. is not interrupted. [Of course, if you see 1.5" of a strip at the end of one wall, that strip of beadboard is ACTUALLY wider than that (for example, it would be 1.75" if the beadboard butting up against it is 1/4" thick).

So..... to make the cleanest cuts (I'm really, really novice at renovating), should I use a table saw or a skil saw with a guide? Should I pick one corner to start at a factory edge ~ thereby making all other corners at variable positions of the vertical strips OR should I find the middle of each wall and centre a full sheet on each, thereby making all corner the same appearance? (The second choice would seem like a far more professional, consistent approach ~ just more work, more seams, more waste.) Maybe there is another way I haven't thought of?

I hope I have asked my question well; I think it seems kind of confusing but I'm thinking if anyone out there actually knows what I'm talking about then you know what you are doing (if you know what I mean).

Thank you very kindly for any input you have to offer!
Karen

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Old 08-02-2013, 07:20 AM   #2
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


I would not use the PL glue. I just bought a house and I am redoing a bedroom. I went to remove the molding so I could spackle, paint and then add nicer molding. As I tried to remove the molding I realized the previous owner did not nail it. He just put a generous heaping of glue on it. As I removed it I also removed half the sheetrock. Fortunately it was a 3 inch molding. I will now cover this ugliness with 6 inch base molding. Imagine if you ever decide to remove the wainscoting

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Old 08-02-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


I use Loc Tite Power Grab not PL. Some reasons being is it's water clean up, and does no need to be off gassed.
If to cut the pieces 32" instead of 48 you can get three pieces out of one sheet.
Before cutting I look around the room and check for the heights of the back side of the sink, any window apron's I have to work around ECT. Then decide how to cut it.
Floors are never perfectly flat or level so lift the panels about 1/2" up off the floors.
Start the first panel in the middle of the wall and work your way out so the cuts on the ends are close to even.
All seams must fall in the middle of a stud.
By using an adhesive the only nails you need will be just a few in the middle of the seam/ The top and bottom will be held in place with the trim.
The first piece must be perfectly plumb, or all the other pieces will be off.
The two end pieces will need to be scribed in, done right there's no need for inside corner trim which is a sure way to know a first timer did it.
I put the glue about 2" in from the outside edges so none squirts out and in a big S pattern in the middle. Once the piece has been stuck to the wall tack one seam and use a hand floor roller (a rolling pin will work) to spread out the glue.
A table saw with a plywood blade would be the best way to cut it, good side up.
I like to sand prime and paint the panels before installing. I never use MDF panels, the prefinished ones are trash and will fail. I use the real wood Burch panels.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:59 AM   #4
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


Thanks for your great input! I'm especially glad to read your comment about the corner trim.... everyone's been telling me to use corner trim but my instincts were that the trim (like the over use of caulking) is used to cover-up something that should have been done differently (properly) in the first place.

It has occured to me since posting my question though, that since none of the walls will be plumb, I still won't end up with my perfect 2", 3/8", 2" etc. pattern because the corner might be 1.9" at the top of the wainscotting and 2.3" at the bottom. But I'll get it as close as I can.

Much appreciation!
Karen
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:03 AM   #5
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


No one will notice but you.
There's nothing wrong with your idea of having it 48" if that's what you want but often times it makes it harder around the windows.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


I've learned (from selling my previous house) that little details I find horrific are often not even noticed by others; so I smiled when I read "no one will notice but you". Too true. But it would still drive me nuts.

The window is very long and narrow ~ begins about 17" up from the floor. But the receptacles and light switches are all above 48" so I'm avoiding a lot of hassle with that. The only thing I don't like is that the window casing butts right into the corner and therefore I'll have to either cope the adjacent chair rail up against it (difficult) or have it butt up against the casing square..... Either way it will look weird. But I guess that's why these old houses have "character".

Cheers everyone, and happy renos to you all!
Karen
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #7
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


The problem with setting and working from a plumb bob in an antique home is that odds of it looking well when you hit the wall corners are slim to not possible. On top of all else, I can guarantee you the house has settled over the course of its lifetime. Level, plumb and even square may no longer mean anything.

You have to measure and decide where you are going to adjust. Then measure again and remember the sick joke. If you cut it too short, you can always cut it again. Measure all walls and top to bottom, side to side. Then string your measuring tape diagonally. You will, I promise, end up with a trapezoid, not a nice rectangle.

Good tilers and even decent wood flooring people find this almost second nature. They know where to add or substract over the course of the flooring so it matches the wall edges. You will never notice there adjustments.

If you plumb bob and place vertical panels like what you have in mind, and build off it, you will not like the corners or the chair moulding you finish it with.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #8
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


Once I worked with this hippy dude I hired. This is a before and interim picture of a Victorian bath restoration. He got this bright idea in his head that maybe hanging bead board vertically was not the way to do it. So, without my permission, he nailed it up horizontally. Clients loved it. It solved our plumb and antique wall corner situation and I thought it looked really nice when finished.

I sent the antique tub out for refinishing. New owners of the renovated Victorian suggested I come over for a bath some day. I never bath or shower.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #9
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


I'm not sure I follow what you've said.

I need to ensure the top of the wainscotting is level, yes?

So then, do I put one "full" sheet in the middle of the wall but ~ depending on how far out of plumb the wall are ~ maybe angle the virtical edges instead of keeping them factory straight. Thus, little adjustment by little adjustment, by the time I get to the corners, it won't be such a stark contrast between the width at the top and the width at the bottom.

Is that what you mean? I think that's what you mean.

I helped someone build a (virtical) plank fence once and we had to "fan" out the boards at the bottom from the middle of the fence outward so that there wouldn't be a huge gap at the bottom of the last board.

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Old 08-02-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KarenSB View Post
I'm not sure I follow what you've said.

I need to ensure the top of the wainscotting is level, yes?

So then, do I put one "full" sheet in the middle of the wall but ~ depending on how far out of plumb the wall are ~ maybe angle the virtical edges instead of keeping them factory straight. Thus, little adjustment by little adjustment, by the time I get to the corners, it won't be such a stark contrast between the width at the top and the width at the bottom.

Is that what you mean? I think that's what you mean.

I helped someone build a (virtical) plank fence once and we had to "fan" out the boards at the bottom from the middle of the fence outward so that there wouldn't be a huge gap at the bottom of the last board.

Karen
I think you have it. You do not want your beadboard or whatever looking goofy where it meets the corners. You have to measure, and then measure again and not rely on a plumb bob as reference in an old home. A plumb bob, if you have a nice one, will only drop straight down. If you were to measure from its string to your walls you would see how much your are off.

Fanning out the difference you you need is not bad way of thinking about this. And why not fencing as an analogy. Nothing looks worse to me but fencing that ends with a board near the house end, 1" at the top and 6" at the bottom.

What you don't want is beadbord with a strip 1/2" the top and 2" at the bottom at corners.

Again, good flooring guys spot and instinctively know where they are going to trim tiles or wood so it looks like they laid it square to the walls of a room.

And Karen, is your house still level? Then know you do not want to trust a level much. If your house is leaning, the best of levels, and a plumb bob, will anchor you to gravity and the Earth. But if your house is leaning 30 degrees off to one corner your level will only strike a straight line irrelevant to your house. It has to be 30 degrees off?

Measure Karen, up, down, sideways and diagonally. Fan out the difference and your beadboard project will look great. If you have 4 inches of problems overall, you rent or buy a table saw and and buy trim 1/8" or even 1/32" as my cabinet making father taught me over the course of our live together. You corners will be perfect and nobody but us on this site will ever see or recognize your fanning technique. I promise.

Trim it all out with chair type moulding that matches your floor to ceiling dimensions, and not your level.

Last edited by user1007; 08-02-2013 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:47 PM   #11
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


Got it! Thanks very much!

And to everyone for their input, I appreciate your wisdom AND your generosity with sharing it!

Karen
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #12
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


If that chair rail is not set level and the beads in the panels are not plumb, it's going to stick out like a sore thumb.
Far more then an inside corner cut at a slight taper.
I can just walk into a room where the DIY measured from the floor up or from the ceiling down and see that's it's off.
Do not expect you to, but I often use my self leveling lazar level when setting chair rail and wainscot.
Installing it horizontal makes it look like the old Car siding.
Nothing wrong with it as long as the rooms shorter then 8' or you use 2-1/4 X 3/8 T & G strips not panels that are only 8' long.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #13
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Joe how does a level help setting chair rail if the house has leaned 30 degrees over its lifetime. Plumb bobs and levels, even laser ones are gravity based I hope.

If you draw a level line in a tilted antique home, it has to be off. The chair rail may end up level but to Earth gravity. The the darn house has not been level in over a hundred years.

The angle of just the house settling will make chair rail and beanboard look nothing short of stupid unless you "fan" (new word I like for it) out. Joe, you have to adjust for the difference as you go. Nobody will notice fudging chair rail to adjust for the 30 degree difference between your level and reality. Nobody will notice beanboard trimmed along the entire course of the run. Unless you leave it to the end.

Leave it to work out at the floor or wall edges? Heaven help you. Make believe nobody will notice a perfect run of level chair rail in a house that has tipped?

They will notice in a heartbeat if you did not correct what your level says to what you have. Perfectly level chair rail and plumb bob proven beanboard. Crammed into a home that is no longer level or plumb, and has not been in a century, looks blazingly stupid.

You have to measure. And then even things out.

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Old 08-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #14
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


Karen, I have bead board paneling in my hallway very similar to your description.
The groove design on mine is beveled at an angle. If you attempt to taper the sheet vertically on the factory edge- you will loose the bead width and detail or will need to add the bevel back into the pattern.
I don't recommend this but instead hang the sheet plumb and work to the corners- make the adjustment, if any at the corner.
Again, once you rip the vertical edge- you will have a hard time replicating it with only limited tools.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:09 PM   #15
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Installing beadboard panelling as wainscotting


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Joe how does a level help setting chair rail if the house has leaned 30 degrees over its lifetime. Plumb bobs and levels, even laser ones are gravity based I hope.

If you draw a level line in a tilted antique home, it has to be off. The chair rail may end up level but to Earth gravity. The the darn house has not been level in over a hundred years.

The angle of just the house settling will make chair rail and beanboard look nothing short of stupid unless you "fan" (new word I like for it) out. Joe, you have to adjust for the difference as you go. Nobody will notice fudging chair rail to adjust for the 30 degree difference between your level and reality. Nobody will notice beanboard trimmed along the entire course of the run. Unless you leave it to the end.

Leave it to work out at the floor or wall edges? Heaven help you. Make believe nobody will notice a perfect run of level chair rail in a house that has tipped?

They will notice in a heartbeat if you did not correct what your level says to what you have. Perfectly level chair rail and plumb bob proven beanboard. Crammed into a home that is no longer level or plumb, and has not been in a century, looks blazingly stupid.

You have to measure. And then even things out.
I agree.....The level is should be left in the truck when it comes to trim details in a crooked house.

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