Beadboard has been a mainstay of kitchens, particularly in the English and American country-cottage styles, for over a century. Consisting of vertical installations of narrow tongue-and-groove boards, beadboard imparts a simple, homey yet classic quality, and adds a rich, handcrafted look. Here’s what you need to know about beadboard installation.
If you’re willing the tackle the project yourself, your beadboard backsplash could cost as little as $100, depending on the materials used and size of the job. But if you don’t have the time to devote to the project, then it’s best to hire a professional.
Certainly less durable than other backsplash materials, beadboard should first be coated with clear polyurethane to prevent damage and then routinely checked for moisture buildup. For a longer-lasting backsplash, you might consider newer materials. There are beadboard-finished panels of wood, plywood or fiberboard to mimic the look of hand-set boards and reduce installation costs as well.
Exacerbating this moisture problem is the tendency, in some climates, for the wooden tongue-and-groove boards to swell and shrink as the humidity changes. Over time this can cause warping. This is one area where panels have a distinct advantage, but if you decide you prefer the look of the real thing, consult your contractor about possible ways, such as pre-seasoning the boards before installing them, to minimize swelling and shrinkage. Caulking the seams also helps protect the underlying surface.
One issue that beadboard shares with tile, mosaic and other crevice-rich surfaces, is a tendency for dirt, grime, grease and airborne food particles to stick in the grooves and become hard to clean. To counteract this, coat your beadboard with top-quality polyurethane. From there, cleaning shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Yes, although it’s a prime spot for grease buildup. Make sure it’s properly sealed and coated to make cleaning easier.
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