If you’re looking for a special way to add some style and definition to your walls, wainscoting is a beautiful option. Wainscoting is the technique of covering the lower portion of a wall with a form of wood paneling. Wood paneling comes in various designs, one of which is the very distinct beadboard. Here’s what you need to know.
The cost of beadboard paneling varies greatly depending on the quality of the materials used. Imitation beadboard, for instance, can cost as little as $.50-$.75 per square foot, while real beadboard will cost considerably more. Get a couple price quotes from local contractors to learn more.
Beadboard is a relatively durable paneling option if cared for properly. To ensure that yours looks great for years to come, make sure to leave extra room in between the boards. This allows for expansion of the wood over time.
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.
Follow these steps:
Beadboard is a panel that is a combination of vertical strips, normally about 2.5” wide. It can be made from wood, wood veneers, MDF (medium density fiberboard), or HDF (high density fiberboard). Typically, beadboard comes in 38” or 44” heights.
Before installing the beadboard, snap a chalk line on the wall at your desired height. This will ensure that your wainscoting is level and even. Using a finish nailer, attach the paneling to the wall. It helps to nail in an "X" pattern to ensure the paneling is secure, even without necessarily hitting the studs on every try. After all of the panels are installed, create a finished look by adding a chair-rail molding on the top and decorative baseboard at the bottom. Caulk or wood-fill the nail holes, and paint or stain the desired color.
Beadboard originated during the 19th-century Victorian age as very thin wood sheathing made from mill scraps. It was seen as an inexpensive way to dress up a kitchen, hallway, or utility room.
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