Asked on Sep 11, 2013

Wainscoting (aka beadboard) in bathroom - installation questions pleas

by KrysFL
I want to add wainscoting to my bathroom (aka beadboard). Since the shower and toilet on are on the same wall, how can I butt the wainscoting up to the tile without it looking bad / sticking out further than the tile surround? Is there like a trim piece or something I should use? Also, how do I make this waterproof, etc.?
If I cant do this without it looking too DIY or cheap, the alternative is the wainscoting like paintable wallpaper. My only concern is that I have knock-down texture on my walls and I don't really want to "fill" them in in order to get a completely smooth surface (well given we recently paid to have them textured, the truth is my hubby would kill me if I did that lol). Anyone ever apply thick paintable wallpaper over texture? What were the results? Anyone have any other thoughts/suggestions for me?
  14 answers
  • There are so many trim pieces that there should be something to help you make that transition from tile to beadboard. I have even adapted a couple pieces in a bathroom I tiled where the corner was so out of square I used 2 different trim pieces to hide it. I would take a trip down trim aisle and pick out a couple that you think can work (return if you do not use). Wallpaper in a bathroom is not advisable and a lot more work and if the walls are rough you will not get a good bond between wall and paper. You will need to caulk any gaps that will happen from the rough walls. Use semi gloss paint and there are paints now for bathroom and high moisture areas. Good luck!
    • @The Garden Frog with C Renee Let me add that there are plastic trim pieces at Lowes too that are quite easy to work with. But as Susan and Helen have stated ~do not scrimp on a good paint in the bathroom. Having textured walls and adding wainscoting will be tricky.
  • Handy Helen Handy Helen on Sep 11, 2013
    Ok. I'm in the exact same boat right now. I am gonna give u my opinion and that's all ... U can tell me to fly a kite!! I would not not not use the wallpaper in the bathroom. It's not forgiving if I needs cleaned, hairspray and air fresheners will splatter it very quickly and u can't wipe much without damage!! Also the humidity is tough on it. If it were me I would get the kind of wainscot that is wood. The real deal. Prime it 2 coats with the one and only Bullseye 123 Primer. Then you want to spend some $ and get a great paint with a tough finish, like enamel. I would even be inclined to use a semi gloss finish because it will deal w water and wiping up well. Then for the shower meeting the wainscot I would put wainscot up first and then get the tile "trim" pieces, they are rectangular in shape and provide a finished edge to your tile work. I wouldn't use wood trim piece that close to the shower ... It will never lay perfectly flat and it's going to get mildewy and warp like crazy. I'm a DIY gal and have to do things on the cheap but long lasting all the time. Good luck. Post pics!!
  • KrysFL KrysFL on Sep 12, 2013
    Thanks so much for the replies... after reading them I am thinking I am not going to do it. 1) If its not exactly square and I have to tweak the trim piece, I am probably going to mess it up anyway. 2) "wipe after shower" - too much work for me. 3) Hard to clean - ugh I hate cleaning the bathroom. 4) Humidity + wood - never a good idea IMO. Think I am just going to repaint in a satin bathroom paint. Thanks again for opening my eyes about it. :) I didn't think about the clean factor, etc.
  • Handy Helen Handy Helen on Sep 12, 2013
    Hey chick! Don't be down! You can do nearly anything w good paint and primer. I have used a paint by Grahm called "Aqua Borne Ceramic" you cannot go wrong. Excellent for wet or damp bathroom areas. You can choose your finish, I used a Satin Enamel and it is tough as nails. Good luck!
  • Phil Miller Phil Miller on Sep 13, 2013
    We used wall paper in our bath rooms and it looks great. Our bath tub and toilet are in an adjoining room. That room is tiled. Our half bath has wall paper on one wall. The other walls are painted white. The only problem we have had is above the shower. Wall paper will not stick on the wall above the shower. Steam loosens it.
  • Linda Linda on Sep 14, 2013
    @Handy Helen mentioned warping in her post...just wanted to say that my brother did wainscoting in 2 bathrooms. First bathroom was a lesson learned as he bought the wainscoting, came home and put it right up. Even after painting it warped and shrunk to show the seams. Second bathroom, he bought the wainscoting and let it rest up against the wall for about a week to adjust to the humidity, etc. and has had no problems with warping or shrinking. Looks beautiful!
  • Dee Dee on Sep 14, 2013
    Both Lowes and HD have wainscoting kits. They even come in vinyl which I have used, it is cleanable and does NOT shrink. Make sure you use a good paint in the bathroom, because of the moisture. I learned a trick from the Decor Chick regarding trim. If it is a corner piece just purchase a dowel and insert and paint. The dowel is virtually hidden and looks great. I have since put porcelain tile on the floor and our bathroom looks finished. Oh if the trim space is too large, you can buy plain bull nose tiles to trim it out.
    comment photo
  • Cynthia Cynthia on Sep 16, 2013
    I absolutely love beadboard and put it in my bathroom, but I doubt I'll ever use it again. Where the beadboard meetings the baseboard, it is always a battle to keep dust out of the grooves.
    • Allan Edmonds Allan Edmonds on Jan 22, 2016
      @Cynthia have you tried using clear silicone caulk where bead board meets the baseboard? might make it easier for clean-up
  • Dee Dee on Sep 17, 2013
    Caulk the baseboard close so it does not show.
  • Roberta Iloff Roberta Iloff on Mar 08, 2015
    Happily I've had wood paneling as well as the beadboard wainscoting I currently have in my bathroom with no special painting other than latex for many years, no problems due to moisture. Enjoy the look :)
  • KatAych KatAych on Feb 04, 2016
    I'm using waterproof vinyl, paintable beadboard wallpaper in my kitchen - it's thick and made to cover paneling, which unfortunately is all over my house!
  • Allinthefamilysingers Allinthefamilysingers on Mar 03, 2016
    we just put bead board half way up on our bath room wall We used a small strip of wood Can be bought at lowes a whole pack for around 7. at lowes stain or paint them they r 8 ft long really cheap and u can paint em a differetn color or white to match the beadboard we painted our an sea green looks so fresh.
  • Mary Cornelius Mary Cornelius on Feb 19, 2017

    want to put vinyl wainscoting on wall behind claw foot tub & caulk edge of tub. will it be ok to use the wall as the "splash" wall for shower?

  • There's a great example of creating a beadboard effect with wallpaper here: