It only took the entire month of January and part of February, but we now have a completely different bathroom than what we started with. Take a look!
Like it? No? Perhaps you need to see what we started with.
Changed much? Oh yeah!
What was once drab and dragon green, as I call it, is now a pale gray with a touch of cottage charm. Or what we hope is cottage charm. If it’s not, just play along for our sake.
(Doesn’t it look like the wall on the right is purple? It’s not. It’s just our crappy light…or my crappy camera skills.)
It took forever and then a day, but we’re done with the main bathroom. What? you say. We still have to paint the water closet. Ack! I know. We’re slow. But that’s because we have other things going on that take us away from the bathroom. Like work. And a dog and a cat. And freelance projects and a thesis. But we’re getting there guys. And to be even this far feel SO good right now.
Beadboard application turned out to be way more time consuming and a touch more complicated than any of our research showed. The time consuming aspect can be attributed to the fact that we had to:
a) Run downstairs to make all our cuts, then haul everything back upstairs to install it.
b) We work full time during the week, so mainly this work was all done on the weekends.
c) We’ve never done this before.
d) We weren’t installing it in a simple dining room or something similar. We had to make complicated cuts around our bathtub and vanity, piping (again, it’s a bathroom), and outlets.
Our outlet situation was a beast. First off, we measured a height that we liked. Since we were using 8-foot-tall boards, we figured we’d cut everything to be 4 feet tall and thus get two sheets from each board. Trouble is, when we did that and then added in the extra height from the baseboard, the top of the board came up to within 1/8 of an inch of the top of the outlet cover. Not all the way up and over, as we’d hoped. This meant that our chair rail, which must sit on top of the beadboard, wouldn’t sit flush. Ugh. All because of 1/8 of an inch.
The boards weren't really that crooked at the top. The one on the left wasn't installed fully when I took this shot.
So we measured so that the board, including the chair rail, would hit below the outlet, this fixing that wall.
Then the problem was the outlet across the bathroom next to the vanity. If we did this, then that outlet would sit unevenly. Could you hear us screaming? There was some definite thought to work through this conundrum, and some more research. The overwhelming verdict was, Move your outlet. But that was a step we weren’t willing to take. We’re not electricians, we don’t want to pay for one, and we don’t want to open up our walls to move an outlet 1/8 of an inch.
Cue more screaming.
So eventually we decided we’d cut a small, 1/8 of an inch, notch out of the bottom of our chair rail so that the top of the outlet cover would fit like a perfect puzzle piece. We were really nervous about doing this (messing up the piece of chair rail would mean possibly buying more), but B did a beautiful job. Throw in some brand-new outlets and light switches (cheap to buy and majorly better than the cream we had before) and you get this:
Still needed to paint the tiny seam at the bottom of the wood when this was shot.
Now that we’re 90% done, we couldn’t be more happy with the results. And thanks to our families’ kind gift card giving during the holidays, we spent exactly half what we would have otherwise spent on the project.
In the future, we plan to rip up the ugly (yellowed) linoleum flooring and replace it with slate gray porcelain tiles, as well as look into getting our shower redone. We’re contemplating the ReBath route for the shower. They’ve got some nice-looking systems (one is white with a faux subway tile look to it, which I think would look nice), but that will depend on price. If it’s too expensive we may tile it along with the floor. We’ll see when we get there. Which will not be soon. Our wallets and bodies need a break, and I’d like a bathroom that doesn’t contain power tools and paint buckets for a while.
Overall Rundown of What We Did and How We Did It:
1. We followed the Lowes’ instructional video step-by-step for installing the beadboard. It was not as fast for us as they lead you to believe. This involved removing the baseboards…
…and installing new ones that are notched at the top specifically for beadboard.
These boards are glued on the backs with Liquid Nails For Panels, and nailed at every stud. We had to nail a lot more than just at the studs because some of our boards were bowed (thanks, Lowes). Avoid this if you can. Hiding all the nail holes has been a beast and a half.
2. We moved around the bathroom just like this, cutting, gluing, and nailing…for a long time.
3. When you’re done installing all the panels, you install the chair rail (again, we did it just like the video says to).
4. Lowes’ video says to prime and paint before you install everything, and this is great for hard-to-reach places such as behind the toilet. But our boards needed two more coats of paint once installed for me to be happy with them. Maybe I was just picky, but that’s been our experience.
Once you get the chair rail up, it really starts to look complete!