Installing Vertical Planks: ONE Important Thing I Learned

I had already installed horizontal planks in other parts of my beach home.

So I thought the vertical plank project would be something a novice carpenter like me would find pretty managable.

But if you're thinking of installing vertical planks you might want to hear about the one thing I wish I knew before I started.

The Room: this is the real estate photo of the bedroom that I'm talking about. It started out as a bedroom and we transformed into a casual living space. As you can see, it was dark with one small window, and low ceilings that the previous owners had lowered below 8 feet to accommodate can lighting.

I know, yikes.

This is the reason I chose to go with vertical planks rather than the horizontal ones that I had already added to my home, to add the illusion of height to this cave-like room.

In the months before I added the vertical planks we made a few basic changes to this room that really helped it feel lighter and more like our style.

Choosing the vertical plank look: 
  • beadboard sheets or individual planks? 
For me the answer was easy. Because I was working alone I ruled out sheets of beadboard because of the sheer hassle of lifting and moving them myself, and no I didn't want to wait for weekends when the hubby could help me. I know that might seem like a weak reason to rule out beadboard but that's how I roll. 

Also there were two other factors on why I went with faux planks: first I prefer a wider plank beadboard which our lumber yard didn't carry and second, I didn't want to pay for the pricier tongue and groove planks.

When using the 'faux' planks ripped from plywood sheets most of us choose to have our local Home Depot or Lowe's do it. Even though I've got a table saw, the thought of ripping all my own wood felt too time consuming. Although in hindsight, the time I saved cutting my planks, I probably wasted in added installation work.

After measuring the room I collected my planks over a week, by dropping into two different Home Depot stores and asking whoever happened to be at their saw. One of my helpers was the manager who was absolutely fastidious about his cuts. Those were the straight ones. The rest of the cuts were pretty irregular which wouldn't have been that noticable if I were laying them horizontally. But once I got started it was obvious that I would have to make a choice.

Either I had to keep my vertical lines straight and give up the equal distance between each plank,
or I could use the spacers to guarantee uniform space between the planks, however the vertical lines would not be straight. 

I chose to keep the vertical lines all straight.

To further add to my novice carpenter woes, one of the Home Depot guys had pulled out a plywood sheet that was thicker than my others and I didn't catch it. And yep, it got mixed in with the planks on the wall. 

OK. So this is how I know I'm not truly a perfectionist....

...if you'd like to  know what happened next please stop by blog.

Oh and here's an AFTER shot to let you know that I finally finished this darn room, ...hooray! If you'd like to see more photos or if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

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Leslie H

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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