Installing Bayside Beadboard

Installing BeadBoard PDF            Custom Beadboard Heights

Beadboard will give a room a warm and comfortable feeling. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. It is one of the easiest to install out of all wainscoting, regardless of your skill level. Although beadboard is fairly self-explanatory, it still requires some instructions. This guide will give you some helpful hints as well it will explain some frequently asked questions. The advantage of this guide is that it will give your installation a professional look, and the better part is that you do not have to pay for those professional prices!

Required Tools

  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Nail gun with compressor
  • Spirit Level
  • Carpenter's Glue
  • Latex caulking
  • Spackling compound (plaster filler)

 Determine the finished height   

First, determine the height of your desired finished installation, our beadboard kits come either 40”, 55”, 96” and up to 9’ high. For a 40” high application, cut the eight-foot planks into 3 equal sections.  For a 55” application you will cut the planks in half. All our planks are shipped in 8’ lengths, but they can easily be cut down on-site to the desired length. Be sure to consider the heights of the base rail and cap before you start cutting.  

Prep work

In order to install the beadboard, start by removing the existing baseboard. The baseboard in newer homes will likely only be nailed; older homes may have a very hard adhesive behind both the baseboards and casings around the doors. This adhesive can be removed using a sander or by hand using a medium grit sandpaper. Do not concern yourself with the finish of the sanding as it will be covered entirely with the beadboard.

You should always start on an inside corner. Measure the length of the wall and calculate where you will start so that the final strip at the end of the wall will not be too narrow to nail up. Before cutting or ripping down any of the lengths, check the wall to see how straight the wall actually is; never assume the wall is a perfect 90 degrees. To check this, take your spirit level and place it on the wall you will be starting from. If the wall is slightly off, draw a straight line down the wall on which the beadboard will be placed using your level; this will become your new starting point. You will later cut an angled piece to fill in the gap left over.

Installing the Baseboard and Shoe Moulding

The baseboard provided should be installed first, and be installed flush with the floor or carpet always making sure that it is straight and level. The baseboard should be cut using a miter saw. Due to the design of these particular baseboards, the Butt joint method should not be used, and they should always be mitered. Note that the top of the baseboard is notched out in order to accept the beadboard strips later on in the installation. 

When a wall is longer than the strip of baseboard or chair rail provided, you should make a 30-degree cut into the end of the one-piece and a 150 degree cut to the end of the adjoining piece. Use Carpenters glue and nails on this joint so as to fasten it tightly. This will give you a seamless joint that can easily be finished later.

The shoe mold will be applied to the bottom of the baseboard to give it more width at the bottom. Normally when a hardwood or ceramic tile floor is applied, there are some gaps left for expansion and contraction, the shoe mould will help cover that gap. If you are applying beadboard around windows, order some more lengths so that you can finish around the window casing. The shoe mould will be cut and nailed the same way as the baseboard.

Cutting and Pinning/Nailing Beadboard

Please note that there is a face and a back to each strip of beadboard. Always make sure you are cutting the beadboard the right way. The reason for this is simple, each strip will have a lip on both the right and left sides, one is on the face and the other lip is set further back. These lips are not interchangeable and will be used to nail one piece of board to the next.

After having determined the final height and cutting a few pieces down to size, your first strip can either be ripped on the corner side on a 45-degree angle (or the necessary angle required to create the corner) using the table saw or you can use a butt joint (no cutting, just put one edge of a strip against the face of another). The 45-degree table saw method will give you a better finish. Note: A Butt joint can only be used when the angle is 90 degrees and only on the Beadboard strips. 

Remember to set the pressure on the compressor between 90 – 110 PSI, this will countersink the nail deep enough to become invisible and easy to cover later. We recommend using a 2” 18 gauge finishing nail. Always nail at an angle of approximately 45 degrees both towards the top and the bottom, creating an “x”, this will fasten the board to the wall whether you hit a stud or not. Try to nail into the crease, in order to hide the nail head better. At this point, you can use a construction adhesive, nails or just nails to hold up the boards. Using your compressed nail gun, nail up your first strip.

After nailing your first piece, use your level to check the top and the side for trueness. Continue repeating the steps described in the above paragraph until you reach the end of the wall. Follow these steps for the entire room using the table saw to rip the side of the boards to 45 degrees when you hit a corner.

The Chair / Cap Rail 

The Chair Rail is to be installed on top of the upper rail. It to should be cut with a miter saw in order to create corners and checked with a level before being fastened to the wall and beadboard. Carpenters glue must be applied to all chair rail corners along with nails.

Sanding and Finishing

Although everything fits flush, there will be small gaps left everywhere (top of baseboard, top, and bottom of chair rail, and the top of the shoe mold). These gaps should be filled in using a paint-able latex caulking (DAP is the industry name for this). Lay down a bead and clean the excess with a wet rag or your finger.

All corners and seams will be covered with Spackling Compound (plaster filler). Apply a reasonable amount and allow it to dry for an hour. After it dries, go back and sand it down using fine-grit sandpaper. The sanding should be done lightly.  At this point, you can re-prime this area. The nail heads will have been countersunk and easily visible to the naked eye. Using the spackling go over each nail head and fill the remaining space left by the head. The nail heads do not need to be sanded, just finish them with your finger as you go along.

Your beadboard is now ready to be painted. Elite Trimworks Bayside Beadboard is primed white and ready to accept any type of paint!