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Need Wainscoting/Beadboard installation advice

Need Wainscoting/Beadboard installation advice


Old 08-25-06, 02:53 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Post Need Wainscoting/Beadboard installation advice

I would like to add beadboard to my dining room. I prefer the look of the pine, tongue & groove planks. My dining room has an existing 5.5" baseboard that I'd like to keep. Every article that I've read recommends removing the existing baseboard. Question #1 - Is this necessary? The depth of the top of the baseboard is just deep enough for the beadboard to rest on - I wouldn't be able to add a .25" round cap moulding for example to make it look neat. So, I think my only option is set the beadboard on top of the baseboard and caulk the gaps. Will this look shoddy or would this be ok quality-wise? Are there other options?

Question #2 - Most everything I've read says the install height of the beadboard should be 32-36". I have 9' ceilings and 5.5" baseboards, is there any rule of thumb that I should follow?

Question #3 - Lastly, I have an entryway into the dining room - no door or moulding around the entryway (the wall edges are rounded). I'm trying to figure out how I would terminate the beadboard at the entryway. Do I just cut and sand the edge of the beadboard where it will meet the rounded wall edge, or is there some cap moulding that I should add here?

Your help is very much appreciated.
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Old 08-25-06, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 202
I'm not sure of the finish you want. Are you going to paint it all or stain and clear coat?

Ordinarily it's easier if you remove the base boards. It's unlikely that the base boards are level since the floor's most likely not level. Usually you strike a level line at the top of your beadboard and set the board to the line. You use a level as you go to keep the boards plumb and then replace the base boards. If you try and install from a line that's not level you'll have miter every board to make it plumb.

As to height the only rule that I've heard is cover the bottom third of the wall. In your case that's 36". But, there's all kinds of exceptions. Reducing the height slightly will make it a little less formal. Increasing all the way to 60" and adding a plate rail and painting it white will produce a very Colonial look. The list of variations can go on but, I think 36" is a good number for a dining room.

I think you're saying that you have an uncased entry way with bull nose corners and you need a clean way to terminate your wainscot. One way that I've seen in new homes is to use a top rail with a rabbet and wrap the top rail down to the floor. That is, you stop the wainscot short of the opening and miter the end of the top rail so that you can use another piece of mitered rail to cover the exposed edge of the beadboard.

Get back with your questions and we'll figure out something nice.
Old 08-25-06, 04:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Thanks for your reply.

I would paint the beadboard the same color as the existing moulding in the house. In this case it is a shade of white.

You're right, the baseboard is mostly level, but not perfect. Are you saying to reuse the baseboard and just install it on top of the beadboard? I'm real hesitant to pull the baseboard off. However, it sounds like it's my best option if I want to do the job right.

Yes, thank you for translating. I wasn't sure of the terminology. Wraping the top rail down to the floor will be the way to go for me.
Old 08-26-06, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 202
Of course you can reuse the base board. And yes you can just nail it right over the bead board. That's the way it's usually handled.

You will want to remove the base carefully. Begin by running a utility knife along the seams to cut any paint or caulk. Don't use a lot of presssure rather do several light passes. That's done do avoid tearing the paint anymore than necessary. Next slip a wide putty knife between the wall and the baseboard. Use the putty knife to pry the base away a little bit and then use your pry bar. Leave the putty knife between the wall and the pry bar so you don't punch holes in the wall board. By a wide putty knife I mean 4" wide and I like the pry bar called a wonder bar. You can get both at most hardware stores. After you get an end a little loose move on a foot or so and loosen the base a bit more. Continue down the wall until you've loosened the whole thing and then go back and loosen it a bit more. Working this way two or three passes will have the base loose enough to pull off with your hands. If you feel any stiff resistance stop and use your pry bar where the nails still set.

It sounds a little tedious but you can get the base off undamaged this way. Don't hurry and you'll have the base off in one piece. I use channel lock pliers to pull the nails through the back of the base to avoid damage to the front.

If you've more questions feel free to post them.

Old 11-16-06, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1
Unhappy beadboard bubble!

Help. I installed beadboard paneling with liquid adhesive and a portion of it in the middle where the two sections meet isn't adhering to the wall! Unfortunately it isn't where a stud is so I can't drive a nail in the wall (it just pops out). any ideas?

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