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Old 06-08-2018, 07:03 AM   #1
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Bathroom Paneling/wood trim - Novice


Completely new to home remodeling, but both my husband and I work in factory facilities maintenance so we are pretty comfortable with tackling this project.

We are trying to cheaply and easily update our mobile home bathroom. I recently had major spine surgery so I can't help with the remodeling at all (which is driving me BATTY). It was a spur-of-the-moment decision while we were walking around Lowe's, and knowing the walls were already in terrible shape so wallpaper or painting was out of the question, we picked out some cheap MDF paneling. I mean cheap...
like stiff cardboard with wallpaper on it for $17 a sheet. Now that I have been researching, and checked the manufacturer website that states paneling is for dry areas only, I'm wondering if we made a major mistake with this paneling. We have the walls down to the original mobile home paneling, after removing some cheap vinyl floor tile that someone had stuck up there with glue, and will be installing it directly over the original.

We are installing a vent with 110 cfm, (6x8 bathroom) and since it's just he and I the door is almost never closed so at this point we are just hoping that there will be enough ventilation the moisture is not going to destroy this paneling. Is there anything we can do to help ensure the paneling will not warp or just disintegrate? A coating perhaps?

Also we are planning to use solid wood stained trim with a matte polyurethane. Some of this will be finished pine 1x3 directly trimming out the tub/shower insert. Will that be sufficient to keep the wood trim from being damaged?

Any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:49 AM   #2
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Re: Bathroom Paneling/wood trim - Novice


I'd return the paneling or plan to use it elsewhere.
How tall is the surround? would the poly coated pine be expected to get wet with every shower or just now and again. The poly does offer good protection against water drops but the more often it gets wet the sooner it will need to be sanded and recoated.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:05 AM   #3
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What do you suggest to cover the walls that would be an expensive?

My guess would be the trim would only get a drop or two now and then. However my husband plans to install a curved shower rod, so now that I think about it.... It make it wet a lot. I should probably get that shower rod out and figure out at the box and figure out if any of the trim will be exposed.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:10 AM   #4
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I should really proofread posts when I use talk to text...

Do you have any suggestions for an inexpensive wall covering? Would using the matte polyurethane on the paneling extend its life?

Is there something better than the polyurethane to coat the trim with to give it better protection against moisture?
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:21 AM   #5
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Re: Bathroom Paneling/wood trim - Novice


The real deal is called "FRP" board, which stands for fiberglass reinforced plastic. They sell it at the box stores, and you've probably seen it around in places like gas station bathrooms. It's made specifically for wet locations.



If you feel stuck with the masonite, you could maybe try priming it with an exterior oil based primer. Wouldn't be a cure but it might extend the life of the stuff. And be very careful with moisture. I guess it isn't a huge investment, so you can always change it again.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:24 AM   #6
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Re: Bathroom Paneling/wood trim - Novice


The worst part of that type of paneling is the backside. It's so prone to moisture they don't recommend nailing it directly to the studs but have a backer [plywood or drywall] to help keep it from warping during humidity changes.
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