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Old 08-06-2009, 05:24 PM  
BantyMom
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Default Wanting Wainscoting in the Bathroom

This is a BIG project. We tore out the Master Bath and added on 3-4' to the length of the room. We've just finished having the shower and floor tiled and it's time for the next step.

As the title says, I'm looking to instal wainscoting in the bathroom. This has brought up more questions than I thought were even possible.

MDF or hardwood? ("No! no MDF in the bathroom!" and "Be sure to seal/prime the MDF in the back and on the ends and it will be fine.") (hardwood planks and panels are very expensive because I can't seem to find them in other than the skinny design (semi-custom) unless I want to get a special knife cut and have them done by a woodworker. I looked at pre-made planks of pine, but as I understand it, the grain and the knots will show through.

skinny or wider? I think I like the wider (2.5" between the beads or 3" on center), but it seems to only be available in MDF.

planks or panel? I can find nice MDF panels with nice deep cuts for the bead, but not in hardwood. Any leads (manufacturer or link on internet)?

paint or stain? Original plan was to do something of dark wood, but a friend said it made the vanity disappear. Then, since the door, casings, and crown-molding would be a pale cream (ok, white), I switched to the idea of painting it white. Then, after making a mockup last night, the white wasn't grabbing me, and I thought about using a medium wood, but I don't want to put wood molding in the shower and the door and casings are still white. Now, the usual answer to this is to so what I like, but, see, I have pretty bad taste when it comes to colors and how they go together, so I really need some true opinions here.

Here are pictures of the mockups (white then wood): I've tried to put in the rest of the colors of the room as pest as I can, with the actual tile and marble on the floor and a true photo of the front of the tub. Fixtures are brushed nickel. Desired effect is something bordering on eclectic Victorian.

The vanity, lights, and mirror are only placeholders; I haven't found them yet, so I found models that were about the same size and style. Yes, the walls are painted with a light stripe.

I suppose I could paint the door, casings, and crown-molding a brown color, but I can't stain them... Suggestions?

But first is a picture of it as it is now (not yet grouted) and details of the plan for building the wainscoting (this represents 3"-wide spaces between the beads).

My thoughts/worries are that it looks unfinished in white, but weird in wood when the rest of the trim is white. If anyone can post pics of white/light-colored bathrooms with dark furniture or point me in the direction of pictures on the internet, that would also be appreciated.



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_Master-Bath-Wainscoting-Wh.jpg   _Master-Bath-Wainscoting-Wo.jpg  
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:04 AM  
inspectorD
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Default My 2 cents

I like the light colors for the wainscote. It helps to make the vanity look larger by poping out of the wall. The darker colors make it sink back.
I always like contrast, however you need to do what you like, you live with it.
As for the mdf, use it. It is much more stable, cheaper to install, and you get the same effect as if you use clear wood. We would use poplar and have it made at the shop, however it always moved and shrank and showed cracks in the paint at the seams. The stuff you find today is thin and cheap. Unless you use a regular lumber yard and order material, you may not find it.
Looks nice, good luck.



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Old 08-19-2009, 02:14 AM  
BantyMom
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Default

Thanks for the input. I'm still working on this decision.

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:31 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorD View Post
As for the mdf, use it. It is much more stable, cheaper to install, and you get the same effect as if you use clear wood. We would use poplar and have it made at the shop, however it always moved and shrank and showed cracks in the paint at the seams. The stuff you find today is thin and cheap. Unless you use a regular lumber yard and order material, you may not find it.
I like the light color too... but then I'm a colonial.

There's a local millwork place near me that has mouldings and such. They have real wood wainscoting. I had been thinking about using oak (to match the 70 year old, honest-to-goodness real oak hardwood floor in our 2nd story.) Decided not to simply because of cost issues. I can install it later, after I win the Lotto.....

There may be a local mill work or an architectural salvage yard type place near to you... .???
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