Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bathroom Beadboard

Beadboard and bathrooms go hand in hand. They just look so natural together. I am happy to announce my bathroom is now sporting some beadboard and it is really making me want to invite people over and force them to use the bathroom so they can admire it! I am smitten.

This was quite a DIY adventure. Every once in awhile when I am out of my wheelhouse DIYing is overwhelming and not fun. It is always rewarding, and especially in this case I am thrilled with the outcome, but during the beadboarding process I probably would have told you otherwise. That being said, this was a pretty simple project and definitely cheap. If only I had known what I know now at the start of the project - such is life I guess.

To start I purchased some pre-cut sheets of beadboard from Menards (already white) for less than $10 a sheet. I only needed two for this small bathroom, and we had a little left over. Before installing the beadboard though I had to get cracking on painting the trim in the bathroom. My plan is to eventually paint all the trim in the house, but since it is so labor intensive (read about the process and check out a tutorial here) I have been doing one room and a time, when I can. I like to use no-sand primer and kitchen and bath white paint.

You can read more about the tools I use for this process here. After a couple coats of paint the bathroom was looking like this:

(notice the terrible drip marks from the towel/wet hands on the wall in the picture below - 
one of the big reasons I wanted the beadboard in the first place!)

Because the beadboard was going to fit snug against the existing trim I did not have to worry about getting white paint on the wall - bonus!

Getting behind the toilet was a challenge. We did a really crappy job painting back there when we moved in though, so the bead-board was a must have. The metal part where the toilet connects to the wall stumped me for awhile, but TJ came up with a creative way to work around it. Just cut out a rectangle from the baseboard to the top of metal piece from the beadboard - then glue it back on after it is installed. Speaking of cutting the beadboard - while my trim was drying, I measured out the cuts that needed to be made on the beadboard and had T.J. cut them out with his jigsaw. We did not shorten the beadboard at all, just cut it skinnier to fit our space.

My master map of the "behind the toilet" beadboard.

We also had this dilemma to deal with (below). Apparently the edge of the tub/shower is not straight. Luckily the shower curtain is full enough to completely cover this when it is closed, but I wanted to try and fix this issue the best I could. We decided just to fill it with caulk and hope for the best.

So now it is finally time to glue the beadboard to the wall. I bought construction adhesive and used the caulk gun to apply it to the back of the board. The adhesive packaging is inexplicably unhelpful, so I just sort of winged it in terms of how much glue to apply, how long to hold the board in place after it was applied, and how much pressure to put on the board against the wall. The places where the board seemed to be gaping a little after putting it on the wall, I just put a nail in at the top since it would be covered by trim anyway.

One snafu here - I was ignoring my wise parents' advice when I measured only once and cut once - Oops! T.J. cut this board perfectly - I just measured it extremely wrong! It all worked out in the end - scroll down for the "finished" pictures where this issue is barely noticeable. T.J. ended up cutting me a small piece to fit and the mistake was mostly covered with trim anyway.

After the boards were put up I had to deal with the edges (against the walls and tub) and the seams were I had to butt up two pieces of board to cover the length of the wall. Check out the seam situation below.

To fix the factory edge brown-in-the-middle-of-all-this-white issue, we used the caulk sealant we purchased for the edges of the beadboard. I bought white for this reason (and to fill the hole by the tub) exactly. Sealing the edges was by far the hardest part. I inadvertently cut the tip of the caulk (also applied using our caulk gun) too large. I had no idea what I was doing! And again the directions were not very helpful on the back of the package. Turns out, T.J. has caulked things before and had the know-how. Unfortunately he was not paying close enough attention at the time I cut the tip. He did try to help me through the giant mess that ensued (way too much caulk coming out - all over my hands, the floor, the walls, the beadboard, etc.) but jumped ship when I started being snarky about sealer on the floor. They say DIY causes couple conflict and I think that is true - but goodness do we feel good about ourselves and our relationship when we finish a project. The heat of the moment arguments are definitely worth it in the end.

Tub gap filled with caulk
T.J. did help me finish up by the way - he didn't jump ship on the project for good. Actually, the next step was his part - cutting and installing the trim.

The trim was really when the tide turned on the day. After the trim was added the whole thing looked 100% better. Totally professional instead of the amateur hour it felt like during the caulk/sealant incident.
T.J. countersunk nails in the trim and used leftover caulk to fill them.

The way the trim lines up perfectly with the top of the counter was completely by accident. Happy coincidences! It looks like it was done on purpose and carefully planned out. :-)

Filled tub-gap with trim.

How the tub-gap really looks day to day - covered with the shower curtain!

You can see in the picture below (or can you...) what became of my DIY fail - hardly noticeable! (look to the right of the candle, next to the counter)

This bathroom is nearly done to my liking - definitely the room in the house closest to complete. More details on the shower curtain to come - I added some color to it while working on the beadboard project - you might be able to catch a sneak peak in the picture above.

This project might be my favorite one we have done in the house thus far (although it is hard to beat my many chandelier makeovers and the bar I could not live without). It was cheap and easy (in retrospect) - only $15 on beadboard, $5 on trim, approximately $4 on adhesive and $4 on caulk (already owned the paint and painting supplies) = less than $30 total! I may beadboard my whole house for the price! Just kidding -- but I am planning to add beadboard under the bar very very soon.

Before and After Shots:


Jenny said...

I am about to embark on the same adventure in our bathroom of a similar size. This is very helpful! I was intimidated by the toilet area, but your trick seems like a good one! Thanks for posting! :)


September said...

It would probably have been easier to put up some beadboard wallpaper! I think I am going to do that! Need to show my husband pics of bathrooms with trim up the wall before he agrees. He doesn't think anyone does that!

Matthew said...

Use beadboard planking to quickly renew and transform the interior walls and ceiling of your your bathroom, laundry room, basement, shower surround or boat headliner at a moderate cost with easy-to-install PVC beadboard planks.

Benjamin said...

Thank you for sharing! Inspiring to hear about the triumph of inevitable DIY trials & tribulations!

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