Hi Everyone, I'm a Do-It-Yourself type guy who is fixing his house little by little in my free time and on the weekends. I've done all sorts of work already, and have gotten pretty good at wood working, but I can use some help deciding my latest project. This time is is my 1/2 Bathroom and wainscoting.
Another baby is almost here, so that means I need to get another project done beforehand and I need to kick it into high gear. Plaster and Lathe is all gut down to the studs just waiting to be made pretty once more. Tons of prep work beforehand (Electrical, Plumbing, Insulating, Etc), so I have some time but want to get my plan down.
I am planning to do a Board and Batten style wainscoting and can use some help deciding on materials, dimensions, spacing, and some technique. This project will also incorporate window trim, door trim, a vanity mirror, and possibly a custom vanity if I can't find something to drop right in. I'm a planner and like to think things out, so I'll overload you all with details, feel free to comment on just one part, all of it, or just read along.
To give you some idea of what I'm going for, here are some pictures I found on Houzz:
Click any link for a larger sized image and a more detailed view
Roughly 57" X 57" So it is on the smaller side
Height is only about 86"
Thickness of Rails and Battens (Front to Back Thickness)
I'm guessing the examples above are mostly using 1"X wood, would you agree? I don't want it to stick off the wall too thick since the room is small, but I also don't want it to be skimpy and I want to get that impressive shadow box feel. Someone recommended 1/4" or 1/2" MDF, others recommended 1"X pine. What is a standard thickness?
Batten Vertical Thickness (Left to Right)
I was considering using a 1"X3" or 1"X2". From the pictures I shared it looks like some are using about those sizes but i'm unsure. Anyone have a recommendation from experience in a small bathroom which size might be most ideal and similar to the pictures?
Spacing of Battens
In a room that is roughly 4-1/2' square, I was thinking of trying to get at least 3 to 4 battens plus the corners. That would give me a very rough a 13"-16" space. Rough math of 3" wide batten X 5 including corner=15"-57" width of the wall= roughly 14" but I could be off since that is rough math. Any tips on possible spacing, or what the picture spacing looks like appreciated.
Backing (Plywood or Sheetrock)
I see that some mount the Rails and Battens directly to sheetrock, others put a piece of nicer plywood behind to give it a smoother feel. If cost isn't a major factor, should I use plywood? Also, would 1/2" be appropriate to match the sheetrock?
Top Rail Ledge Thickness
What's common, about a 3" ledge?
Rails and Battens (Pine or Primed MDF)
Seems like a lot of people use both. One friend said he uses MDF exclusively since it doesn't expand/contract later and require more caulking, and is super smooth. Any recommendations on which is better? I took a look at the 1"X pine at Home Depot and would definitely need to spend extra and get the clear/select since the regular stuff had lots of knots and I want to avoid those. I've never worked with MDF before in finished trim so any recommendations appreciated on materials.
Building and Assembly
Naturally I want to build it right on the wall with a nail gun. I've seen on the web some build the frames first and use a pocket jig and screws, or a biscut joiner, and then glue it to the wall. Others go at it and start with the rails, and then install the battens right to the wall with a nail gun. What do you guys do/recommend? I'm a master caulker after all the caulking i've done in the past so I'm no stranger to putty/sand/caulking.
Height of top rail (In combination with a window
This room has ceilings that are slightly lower as it was a solo addition and the way the roof slopes they were limited. The height is about 86". The window sits centered on the back wall and the sill is at 49-1/2", and about 54" to the handle on the bottom pane of the window. I was considering running it to match that 54" height. Keep in mind the ceiling is 86", and I like the look of a higher wainscoting. Sound cool?
Any tips on building a vanity frame similar to the ones in the picture that are built in? I was planning to use the flat stock with the end cap to match the door and window trim, and the rest of the house I've redone. Would it make sense to route a small area on the backside of the trim so the trim can lay flush over the mirror by about 1/2"? I've never routed anything like that but it seems like that would be ideal so you don't have the mirror's edge butt up to the trim, and will give it a more finished look. A way to explain it is a dado cut but right to the end and the mirror edge would be covered by the trim and be in this dado cut area? Sorry I don't know the right terminology but that's the best way to explain it. Any tips appreciated.
Window/Door Trim, and Mirror (Building myself)
My window/door trim is a flat wide stock with an end cap similar to the image with the red paint. Not fancy, but it was the original style to this old house and I want to keep it as original as possible so I've continued this style. For the window trim in the red paint picture, it looks like the top rail merges into the window trim, and as if the end cap finishes at the top of the rail, and bottom to allow the intersecting. Pretty simple to just notch the rail a bit I assume to account for the thickness of the flat window trim stock. Is this a common way to do that? Or is it more common to just butt the rail up to the outside edge of the end cap without cuts? I want to add that extra level of character and that seems to look really cool, and if I do it on the window and door trim, i'll probably want to do it on the vanity frame also. Guess this might just be a personal preference thing.
I see a lot of times people make the baseboard stick out just slightly further than the rails and battens. Is this done by shimming the same thickness baseboard stock as the rails and battens, or is the baseboard one thickness larger typically? I'm thinking of just shimming it out to get a slight reveal, but not have it way out.