what material to use for bathroom interior.


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Old 08-05-15, 11:34 AM
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what material to use for bathroom interior.

Hi guys, we are redoing our bathroom, and really like the look of beadboard wainscoting. When I went to HD, Lowes, and our local lumber store, I was disapointed in what they had. Most places carry 4x8 sheets of MDF with the bead parallel to the 8' side. 32" tall panels also seem to be a standard. Other than that, there were packages of smaller tongue in groove sections about 5 1/2" wide or so (so a few beaded slats worth of width) in 32" or 8' lengths.

Before going any further, is it even a good idea to use MDF paneling in a bathroom? The face comes primed, and we would be painting it, is that good enough? Assuming it is...

I'm not sure what to do here... 32" is too short (we would like the height of the chair rail on top of the bead board to be about 40" tall), so it seems like those options are out the window. That leaves me with 8 foot segments. I could have them cut the 4x8 sheets down into two 48"x40" sheets, but that would leave a 16"x48" section of waste. I'm also concerned about how it would look to have a seam between panels every 48". I've never worked with MDF paneling, but it's not tongue and groove, so it seems like the seam would be really noticeable. Am I wrong? Would caulking cover it up pretty well?

Finally, I decided to go with pine baseboard rather than MDF (same fear of water). I'm reading that, when using wood materials, it's important to let the material sit where it will be installed for a few days so it can adapt to the humidity etc. At this point, however, our bathroom has no sink, toilet, or shower hooked up. This doesn't seem to be a fair representation of what conditions will eventually be like, so does this acclimation period even make sense? Am I missing something?

Thanks again for all your help, folks! These boards are a lifesaver!
 
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Old 08-05-15, 11:55 AM
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I'm in the process of doing the same thing to my half bath. I'm using 3/8" beadboard siding. To get the added height I'll be using 1x4 for baseboard and rabbit out the top so the panels will fit in the groove. The joints where 2 panels meet shouldn't be noticeable because the plywood has a lap joint that disappears once it's put together.

Generally there is no need to acclimate most wood trim as it's been kiln dried and doesn't need to fit as tight as flooring does.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 12:13 PM
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So it sounds like you're using real wood for your wainscoting rather than MDF? I had thought about grooving the top of the baseboard so the panel could fit in there, but it made the top of the base look too narrow for its profile and kind of funny looking. Maybe I just need to go for a base with a wider top.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 12:17 PM
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I can't afford real wood so I'm using beaded plywood. Lowes calls it siding but I've never seen anyone use it on the side of a house although I do have a porch ceiling that has it.

Despite them calling it rough sawn it is smooth. This is what I'm using - http://www.lowes.com/pd_289-44903-NA...=siding+panels I'll be priming/painting it.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 12:27 PM
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You can purchase building materials somewhere else. Big box home centers can be limited in what they offer. Check around at lumber yards or suppliers that cater to contractors or other building professionals. But, 8' or longer is a standard length for material and yes waste is always a concern. Some people bead board ceilings or go floor to ceiling on walls so longer lengths are common. Then when you talk partial height like you're doing... everyone always wants a different height.

The 32" height for bead board can be made to work out as you want. 3-4" for the base board then 3-4" for a chair rail and your up to the height you want. You can glue your panels to the wall but other than that I don't like that you can't nail masonite without it showing unlike real bead board where nails are hidden in the tongue.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 10:17 AM
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i like that plywood board, mark sr. We have it our lowes for less than 20 a sheet, which is pretty much the same price as the big sheets of mdf. I would use it in a hearbeat, but it's too thick, and would stick out from the wall too much (fittings on the faucet/toilet infeed plumbing would be obscured). Speaking of those fittings, what's the best way to hide the holes I make in the panels to go over the plumbing?
 
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Old 08-06-15, 10:27 AM
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Use escutcheon plates, they're kind of a like a big chrome washer that dresses up and hides the hole. They come in a couple of different sizes to accommodate the different size pipes.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 11:03 AM
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Boom! thanks, Mark--that solves that!
 
 

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