Putting up cherry wainscoting

I have some 1/2" thick cherry tongue and groove planks that are all cut to 36" length and various widths. I want to install them in the kitchen nook area of my home as wainscoting (floor up to 36" high). I currently have drywall (floor to ceiling) with cherry baseboard and chair rail.
My plan is to cut out 36" high of drywall, install 2x4 runners horizontally between the existing studs near 6" and 30" height to give me something to nail the T&G cherry to. Then reinstall the chair rail and baseboard.
How would you install the 2x4 runners? I was thinking flat faced outward, toe nailed. Or I could stagger them a bit and come in with a nail straight through the stud and into the end.
I also planned to seal the area by shoving foam or insulation up between the drywall to prevent air leakage since the T&G won't be air tight and we run the A/C quite a bit being in Florida. There is a fire break (2x4) running horizontally about 48" high. Do I even need a seal with the firebreak there?
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On Sep 5, 12:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gate.net wrote:

If your aim is to have the T&G come flush with the drywall and have the chairrail and baseboard capping the seems, this sounds right. With the staggared center approach you will onle be able to get the nails on one side of each board so you will have to toe nail other side at least once anyway to prevent the board from rotating on the nail axis. Flat would give you a wider nailer for the T&G in case you encounter a knot you can move the nail. Insulation is already in the exterior wall, but add more if you want to, cant hurt.
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To clarify, this is an interior wall with no insulation.
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snipped-for-privacy@gate.net wrote:

Mostly what Rick H said w/ a few modifications...
Face out for the nailers is fine but I'd suggest three instead of just two. Your idea of staggering to nail through the studs is fine -- 16d will work well for that. I don't see Rick's problem of why would need to toenail one end except for the ends/corners that you don't have access to both sides of the stud from--simply offset them enough to have enough to nail into -- even the full width won't hurt anything.
It sounds like you're talking about putting up square-edged boards for the wainscot -- I would recommend against that and recommend you buy a tongue and groove router set and make a T&G on them. You could add the v-bevel for a classier look if you liked. If not T&G, at least use a shiplap joint, again w/ the 45-deg v-edge will look much cleaner.
That will also solve you concern about air infiltration almost completely on it's own by eliminating the gap into the wall cavity. If, as it sounds, this is an interior wall, the insulation won't make any difference and fiberglass insulation is essentially worthless against air movement, anyway. If you do want to ensure no air loss into the wall, put a sheet of plastic up before hanging the wainscot (although if you use the joint instead of just butting them, there won't be a significant leak path, anyway).
--


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dpb wrote:

OK, I don't know how I managed to miss the T&G in the original post -- sorry... :(
You won't have any significant air movement and ignore the rest of my blathering on about it... :)
If it doesn't already have the 45-deg chamfer, though, I'd surely suggest considering it strongly--really dresses up and makes any gap that otherwise might show disappear.
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dpb wrote: ...

...
Actually, there's a simple trick to doing this without the stagger/offset-- you can leave them inline and still nail through the stud into the end--just angle the nail from the top and bottom of the one and you'll still catch the other with plenty of bite w/ a 16...
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Is this wood or MDF? Take a look at this 'wainscoting' (http://www.wainscotinglongisland.com ) site for ideas.
--
Hans G.

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snipped-for-privacy@gate.net wrote:

Don't worry about a seal. And before you go wild with nails, consider using a construction adhesive. You'll be amazed at how much neater and faster the job goes. Put your 'runners' flat and half under the bottom edge of the cut out drywall and at the bottom of the opening to permit installing baseboard and chair rail. Use adhesive and nails as appropriate to anchor the runners. Using an air powered finish nailer on the trim is definitely the best option. The tiny hole left by the head of the nail is near invisible and easily filled . HTH
Joe
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