Installing maple planks on living room wall (accent wall)

Help Support House Repair Talk:

condoowner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
143
Reaction score
6
Hey there,

Here's some questions about installing some maple planks to make an accent wall in my living room.

This is the look I'm after: https://secondstreetfloors.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Shiplap-Wall-Room-Section.jpg

I bought some 180 sq. ft. of real maple planks (not laminate or anything engineered) from a local guy. The planks are 5 1/4" wide, 6ft long, and 1/2" thick.

Some questions:
  1. My living room wall is not perfectly flat. Putting a 4ft level against it and inspecting flatness, I observe small gaps between the wall & the level. You can't tell by eye but its not flat. Some high spots are over 1/16" higher than the surroundings. To me it looks like the high spots are mostly where the wall studs are. Looks like the framer or the drywaller did a crap job when they built the place. Is this going to be a problem?
  2. Most of the planks are reasonably flat, but a lot of them are bowed to a certain extent with some bowed by 1/2" over 6ft span. Should I straighten them before installing, and if so, how? I cannot imagine having a good time with this...
  3. What's the best way to install those? Do I need to get a nail gun and nail in the wall studs, or simply using construction glue (like PL) would do? If using a nail gun, how do people make the nails not visible?
  4. The planks are NOT sealed. They are tinted but not sealed. Someone told me to seal them to make them easier to clean should something land on them. Do I seal and if so, before of after installation? After I would use a roller and a pan, and just roll across the wall like I was painting it.
  5. Final question is regarding leveling. I have a fireplace on that wall (see sketch), one side is perfectly vertical, the other side is somewhat slanted (perhaps 1/4" over 5ft). The issue is having the wall planks perfectly horizontal and butting against the slanted side of the fireplace. I drew some level lines on the wall with a sharpie, and you can tell something's off. It looks like the lines are not level but in reality, its the vertical side of the fireplace that's not. This is a concrete fireplace, correcting the bad side would be the best solution but would require removing the cement and pour new cement, sand & level up, then seal... Lots of work. Maybe its the only solution? I thought about cheating the planks on that side to make them very lightly tapered which would "blend" and create the illusion of everything being OK...
Looking forward to see what you guys have to say about this!

Thanks!

EDIT: Just remembered I had posted a thread here about the fireplace: Suggestions for fireplace box!
 

Attachments

Bob Reynolds

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
127
Reaction score
72
Flooring is installed with a flooring nail gun. It shoots a nail at a 45 degree angle through the tongue of the wood. Then the groove just slips over the tongue with some encouragement from a piece of scrap wood against the new piece's tongue and a hammer. You never hit the tongue directly. Always use a scrap piece of wood and hit that wood with a hammer.

You can rent a flooring nail gun at a local rental center. They also should be able to advise you how to use it to put the planks up on the wall.

The slight bow in the wall should not be a problem. However if the flooring material is warped then you might have some difficulty getting it the groove into the tongue. You may need to insert a spacer (pry bar, screwdriver, etc) behind the tongue of the wood before you nail it in order to have a little space between the "flooring" and the wall. Then remove the spacer after you shoot the nail. That might make it easier to get the next piece on. You'll just have to play with it and see what works best.
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
6,079
Reaction score
2,211
Location
Erie, PA
My worry is that the wood has not been kiln dried. Lots of local guys around here have little home mills now and they are slicing up wood and drying it for a year or two in a garage on sticks. It looks stable until you have it all nailed down. T&G you are nailing one side and the other can float a smidgen. Most of the time I see this being done it is face finish nailed and the heads filled.
 

condoowner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
143
Reaction score
6
These planks do NOT have tongue & groove arrangement. They're real rectangular planks.
 
Top