How To Installing Bathroom Wall Paneling: Tips And Advice

Although bathrooms can be a little difficult when it comes to installing paneling, it's easier once you know a few tricks.

Wall paneling can be easily installed anywhere in the home, but the bathroom is the most difficult place to hang paneling. Because it is usually a small room and because there are many fixtures to cut around, paneling is not that easy, but not impossible, either. There are a few things you can do to make this job go much smoother. First of all, set up your horses and other equipment in a larger room, or outside, if possible. Prepare the walls by removing any towel racks, soap or toothbrush holders, and all protrusions like nails or screws. Remove the cover plate for any outlets. Clear the walls of any clutter, like plants which set on a shelf, but stand up in front of a wall or corner. Also remove any curtains or blinds. If the commode has enough room to slide the paneling behind, this will work fine, but if the toilet is flush against the wall, it might have to be removed temporarily until after the paneling is installed. Another option is to install the paneling just to the top of the commode, then place another piece under the tank.

It's a good idea to mark on the right side of the paneling any places where you'll need to re-affix towel racks and other hanging objects. Measure their place on the wall, then draw a dot or other indicator on the right side of the wood. To start the paneling job, begin in a corner and cut your first piece by marking any additional cuts on the paneling. For example, if your first piece will require you to go around a sink, measure the wall from the ceiling to the sink, then cut your piece to fit right above the sink. Attach the paneling by using paneling nails which match the color of the paneling. If your paneling choice has grooves in it, like most paneling does, insert the nail in one of these lines for less visibility of the nail. If the paneling doesn't have these grooves, place the nail in an inconspicuous location, close to the edge.

Paneling around light switches and built-in soap dishes can be very challenging. The easiest way to accomplish this is to mark these areas on your paneling piece. Measure in four directions on the wall: 1) from the left side of the paneling to the edge of the light switch, 2) from the top of the light switch to the ceiling, 3) from the right side of the light switch to the right edge of the paneling, and 4) from the bottom of the light switch to the floor or cabinet. Then, draw these measurements on the back of your piece of paneling. Use a jigsaw to cut out the square for the light switch. An even bigger challenge when installing paneling is cutting around water pipes. It's helpful if you have a keyhole blade, normally used for making holes for doorknobs. Mark the various holes on the paneling, then use the keyhole blade for cutting the holes. When installing the paneling, shut off water and loosen pipes from the walls. Install paneling and feed the pipes or fittings back into the wall, through the hole you've cut in the paneling.

If you have a hard surface for nailing, like cement, check into some "liquid nail" products at a home improvements store in your area. This product dispenses like caulking, and adheres the paneling to the surface. After measuring and cutting the next piece, apply the adhesive on the wrong side of the paneling, to all edges. Apply more at various places on the backside of the piece. Be generous with the adhesive, but there's no need to completely cover the back of the paneling. After installing all of the paneling, you'll need to use molding to conceal the edges of the paneling. Cut molding to fit corners, using a miter saw or a sharp knife. Use the liquid adhesive, if necessary, to attach the molding. You'll probably need to tape the molding after placing it on the wall, until it is dry, or hold it for several minutes until it can grab. Also use the molding around the bottom and in all corners.

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