installing wainscoting

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I come again to this group for some advice. I have a 50's ranch that's my wife and I have been slowly modernizing room by room. Now all we have left is the biggie the kitchen. So far we've painted the awful orange-y wooden cabs white and replaced the hardware to polished nickel. Now for the walls..... All around the kitchen at around 1/3 height is a yellow ceramic tile with green accents. What I'd like to do is replace/cover this up with white wainscoting and a chair rail. So...
1.) The easiest would be if I can simply leave the tile up and simply cover it (guess I'd have to use and adhesive?). All the tile is in excellent shape (no cracks or lose tiles). Is this possible? Or would doing it this way be a big hack?
2.) If removing the tile is the only way to go how big a job is this? This tile has likely been up since the 50's. Could we pull it all without having to redo all the wall board behind it (remembering it will simply be covered with wainscoting).
3.) For behind the stove and refrigerator there's floor to ceiling tile, do they make wainscoting in say a 6 foot height?
Thank for any advice/suggestions!!!
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote: ...

Yes. and Yes.

It's just demolition. What shape the wall is in when you're done will be dependent on how you attack it and how well the tile is attached. Me, I'd probably just take the whole section of wall board down, tile and all and replace the wallboard if the tile doesn't come easily. It wouldn't even need to be taped, it's only there for the thickness and is relatively inexpensive.

Depends on what you're using, but most is simply a moulding available in length which is cut onsite to fit. There are some kits or other prepackaged thingies I've seen in the box stores, but that's only a pittance of what would be available to choose from...
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Thats a fun one.
The problem wth wainscotting (I presume you mean solid panels here, not the ersatz moilding applied to the wall then painted) is it's heavy. That means while you can do what you want, it may be so heavy it separates on you later. You may be able to use special nails though that can go through tile to secure it? Since you do not care if the tile cracks, this seems like a possible option. I'd have to ask at a home store just what tye would be right.

Theres a possible hidden 'trap' here. The house is 50's. You may not have a 'regular wall' behind that tile. If it was an even earlier house, you might find removal of the tile would require removal of the wall too. A much larger job than you wan obviously and you cant really till until you start destruction.
I'd go this route: Lose about an inch maybe a little more wall, by building a thin frame of wood slat material, anchored at bottom to the floor and going just above the tile then anchoring there as well as some through the tile with those special 'screws' above. Since you dont want to loose too much of your space, but need it strong enough to hold the weight long term of the wainscotting, have the slats no more than 12 inches apart. Achor this heavily to the wall and floor, and use treated lumber. The lumber is sold in that type for exterior gardening uses. This will be very solid and you will be able to hadle it if some of the tiles losen later and you've pretty much added a very stable structure to it. Simpler than possibly replacing the wall.

Not that I know of, but then, I only actually 'do' the simple type. I take a pretty door molding or 'ceiling rail' and make a char rail nailed right the the drywall then using a lighter weight molding, make 'boxes' which are nailed below it. Wood putty for the corners when the cuts arent quite meeting (hard to get them exact). Paint below in a darker color than the paint above. I often wallaper inside the boxes.
Carol
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Polyurethane construction adhesive will hold it in place so yes, it can be done.
The second part of your question is more difficult to answer. Do you really like the tile? Will the tile still look good after you change other parts of the kitchen? I'd buy a section of the wainscoting and tape it in place to see how it looks. Done right, it may look very nice, but done wrong or the wrong combination, it can look like a hack job.

Back then, most tile jobs were what they call "mud jobs" and no, it will not come off cleanly. Figure on taking it all out and putting up new wallboard.
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It sounds as if you want to use T&G wainscotting, rather than panels.
T&G wainscotting comes in a variety of forms. Some precut to "standard" lengths (which I think is 34" and 40"), others as long pieces you cut to length. The stuff I've installed came in bundles (from HD) as 8' pieces. I prepainted, then cut to the desired length (32" in my case, so I could get three pieces per 8' length - had 6" of room due to the baseboard - the wainscotting is actually closer to 35" high installed).
I'd not install over the ceramic.
Some craftsmen prefer to install wainscotting (not just panel type) over plywood - there are FHB articles on this.
How wavy the wall is a consideration in whether you use plywood.
Once you rip off the drywall, installing 1/2" plywood is easy.
In the installation I've done from scratch, I installed over drywall. I ran a PL200 bead on the back of the T&G then airnailed top and bottom (where it'd be hidden by trim). It ain't going anywhere.
Presuming the backing is drywall - to remove it, cut a horizontal line where you wish to preserve the upper section, smash holes, and rip the drywall off with a prybar. It's messy, but not difficult. Watch Holmes on Homes for a demonstration ;-)
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Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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On Oct 16, 9:01 am, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

The wainscoting I was planning on installing is the bead board type (at Lowes they sell 3/16" white beadboard). So it looks like my best bet is to remove the tiles and either replace the drywall (if damaged) or nail this over where tile used to be. I really hope to not have to replace the wall board as the walls I want to do have baseboard heating and I don't want to have to remove that to. I was really hoping for something along the lines of a weekend project.
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

Could be. A baseboard heater ain't that much -- turn off power, disconnect a couple of connections, remove the few screws holding it in place and set it aside. Remove wallboard/tile and cleanup should be a pretty easy first day, likely being able to hang new wallboard as well I'd think unless it's a much larger area than I'm envisioning.
Next day fairly leisurely installation of the wainscot, put back the heaters and done...
--


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Should have commented on that. When renovating a room, I take the time to repaint the baseboard heaters - especially if they're splattered with paint, as many of them are.
I completely disassemble ours, wipe clean, spray with high-temp metal paint, and reassemble. Good as new. About 15 minutes of work per unit, plus let it sit somewhere warm for half a day to dry before reassembly.
Most baseboard heaters are quite easy to disassemble. You want to get the heater core and thermostat unit out. Stuff a plastic shopping bag in the "electrical boxes" to shield the inside (wire ends, screw holes, box clamps), and spray.
[The stuff we use is dry to the touch in < 10 minutes.]
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Chris Lewis,

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But with some baseboard heaters, water leaks out when you remove the core.
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Oh, yup. I forgot about _those_ ;-) But it sounded as if the OP was refering to electrical baseboards. If your electrical ones leak water, you have a _serious_ problem ;-)
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You can install beadboard over tile. If you're looking for down and dirty, big bang for your time buck and the like, then just glue it up and trim out the edges. Purists (including me) usually will tell you to remove the old material, but if it's just a cosmetic thing, just cover it. My first choice in adhesive would be a one-part polyurethane or construction adhesive. The tile should be cleaned and degreased before you do any gluing. Lay the glue beads down on the grout lines as it will stick better to the grout than to the tile. Have all of your pieces lined up and rig up something to apply pressure to the beadboard strips while the glue sets up. You could drill and nail through the grout lines, but that's more trouble than it's worth. You could also use a contact cement on the tile and beadboard along with the polyurethane. The contact cement might be enough for itself, but never having contact cemented anything to tile, I can't vouch for it. The contact cement would hold the beadboard in place while the polyurethane set up - you wouldn't need to nail or brace it. The contact cement would require you to install each piece, except the first, with a rolling motion as you engage the T&G. The contact cement won't let the board slide so it's first shot right or you're pulling the piece off and possibly damaging it.
The baseboard also does not have to come out. You can loosen it and slide the boards down behind it - there should be enough slack in the wiring. Even downer and dirtier would be to have the beadboard sit on top of the radiator convector and either do a good job of lining up the ends and leaving it alone, caulking the gap, or using a piece of molding to cover the gap. Be aware than the heat from the convector will do interesting things to the beadboard. The heat and dryness will create a large amount of seasonal change in dimensions. The T&G joints will open up more than usual.
R
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Is this tongue-and-groove (often around 3 1/4" wide) or sheet material (often pressboard of some sort)?
My stuff was 3 1/4" x 3/16 x 8'.

You're exceedingly unlikely to get the tile off the drywall without considerable damage. It'll take vastly longer if you try to save the drywall. You can probably rip the drywall/tile off in less than an hour, and it won't take much longer than that to put up new drywall, because behind the wainscotting you don't have to "finish mud" it. (you still should tape and first pass the joints).
With a circular saw, plywood would take only a bit longer to install, and you don't have to wait for the mud to dry.
--
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Chris Lewis wrote:

I really don't see any need for even the first tape job, meself... I'd probably do it if it were mine, but I really don't see a problem without.
What I would note that I forgot to mention is that the other reason to take the sheetrock down is that unless you use the plywood (or Rico's imo hack), you need a nailer between the joists. Top and bottom is adequate, but I prefer a mid-height one as well...can be 1x or 2x, your choice.
--
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I'm thinking air infiltration - depending on what's behind it.

That's what the PL200 is for. What I've also done is shoot two brads at an opposing angle if I think it might move before the PL200 sets. So, it becomes: quick zig-zag of PL200, put plank in place, shoot brad thru the floor plate, and shoot nail (occasionally two criss-cross brads) at the top where the cap molding will cover it.
Even more rarely, I'll shoot two criss-cross brads mid-height.
It helps to have straight walls of course. If there's significant bowing, then it becomes rather more important to have solid backing.
A guy who works here, and previously spent a few years installing this stuff professionally, swore by using a 1/4" crown stapler shooting 1" staples. The legs spread enough to hold things in place.
--
Chris Lewis,

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Chris Lewis wrote:

Maybe until he leaves... :)
I wouldn't trust it myself and the staples are an abomination in themselves imo. If I were making my living that way, however, I'm sure my choice of techniques would change to accommodate... :)
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I think I'll explain a little better (I should have explained better from the get go). The walls are two 8 foot lengths of interior walls. Both walls have baseboard forced hot water baseboards. These baseboard appear to be originals (ie old). I'm hoping to replace/ cover yellow and green ceramic tile 1/3 up the wall with sheets of beadboard topped with a chair rail. I'm willing to put a few hundred dollars into this project (either doing it myself and only buying materials) or paying a hanyman if less than say 3 or 4 hundred bucks (which I doubt). Removing the wall board (down to studs) would probably require removing the baseboards, that may start getting above my head. We're only going to be in the house another year or two (starter home) and with the real estate market how it is we don't want to put major money into it, just freshen up the look.
To add another question to this thread, this same tile is used as a backsplash. We'd like to keep tile as a backsplash now. Thought on repainting the pale yellow/green tile (backsplash) a white color? I've Google'd and gotten lots of mixed results. Some claim is works great and looks good, others warn against it. Appears that primer is key. Any experiences. I really appreciate all the help/suggestions I've gotten, wish I could recontribute knowledge here, but my expertise is computers.
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Frankly, even if you don't pull the drywall, pulling off the baseboard heaters and repainting them (if they look old) is going to have a pretty high return, given how low the "investment" on doing that is. For less than $10 and an hour of your time each, they'll look new. Baseboards are easy to dis/remount. If you can use a screwdriver, can use a pencil and paper to record the wiring diagram (if necessary), and can twist a wirenut, that's all you need.
Once you've decided to take off the tile, tearing off the drywall (including removing/reinstalling the baseboards) will speed the job up, not slow it down. Especially if you skip all the taping steps, or use plywood.
On a similar vein, I've spent approximately 3 weeks over the past year at my sister-in-law's (8 hours drive from here) _redoing_ the hack job the previous "home handyman" did - his standard of workmanship was appalling[+]. It probably cost him at least $10K in potential return. _Not_ including the additional thousands in escrow to pay for repairs. He probably put in about $5K of materials, and the end result is that he _decreased_ the selling price of the home over what it would have been without the "improvements".
It pays to pay attention to the little stuff. Many home owners are quite good at recognizing hack jobs.
[+] Eg: thinking that siliconing a drop-in fiberglass tub to the wall will take the place of having the rim on real framing supports - the only support it had was two 1"x1" strips in one corner. Eg: thinking that an 8' piece of baseboard trim on a 10' long wall constitutes "finished". Eg: not realizing that the two inch gap in the wainscotting at corners and window trim doesn't look very good. Eg: deliberately butchering _original_ Victorian corner blocks with what looks like a dull splitting axe. Or, maybe he put them half-way into a vice and split it by whacking with a hammer.
Eg: thinking that a building inspector will pass a code-required structural support which consisted of a hunk of 6x6 sitting on a thoroughly rotten piece of firewood embedded in the dirt, meanwhile managing to completely ignore the existing perfectly convenient masonry pillar less than 6" away. And wasting a perfectly good 10' 2x12, where 10' of 2x6 would have done. [The building inspector didn't pass it until I redid it.]
Not to mention the leaky plumbing jobs, shutoff valves sealed behind walls, miswired (and actively arcing) electrical work etc. Hell, the guy didn't even know how to use lag anchors properly - the lag screw is supposed to go _into_ the anchor, not just push it farther into the ridiculously overlong hole in the foundation. That took skill - my estimate is that it would have taken him an extra hour to drill the hole that much further in the stone foundation featuring granite and quartzite boulders.
Virtually all noted by the home inspector - tho, I'm sure he didn't realize how really stupid the problems turned out to be.
Needless to say, this "handyman" was actually a pro - tried to make a living doing it. It is thought that the reason why he left town so fast is because the townees found out through bitter experience how "handy" he really was.
--
Chris Lewis,

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Oops, never mind that part. Didn't notice until now they were hot water baseboards.
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He was the one who suggested construction adhesive - the staples are only to keep the stuff in position for a few hours.

Probably, I know mine would ;-)
I'm not fond of staples either - I can't _stand_ furniture made with them - they always fall apart if they're the only fastening system used. But there are applications where they're probably the best option. This (wainscotting over drywall with glue) is one of them. I didn't use staples myself, because I didn't want to bother with two tools at the time, and staples are the wrong thing to use for fastening trim (too short, too much hole to hide).
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On Oct 17, 9:46 am, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

I'm curious. What exactly is the benefit of pulling the existing tile and drywall? The new beadboard is 3/16" of an inch thick, so adding the thickness is a non-issue. We've agreed that construction adhesive would adhere the stuff to the tile/grout. Pulling the tile and drywall and replacing it with drywall or plywood costs money, entails dump fees of a _very_ accommodating garbage man, takes time, creates a boat load of dust, will shut down the area for at least a day or two, etc. Gluing the stuff up takes probably less than a quarter of the time, doesn't create appreciable dust if the guy cuts the beadboard and trim outside, and would cost the price of the glue (beadboard and trim being a given). So why not glue it up?
R
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