Pine wainscotting too soft for vanity?


Dear Woodworkers,
I'm re-doing a bathroom. I plan to wainscot the walls of the bathroom, using 5/8 wainscotting (made of pine or some such wood, I believe), which I will paint. Now here's my idea: I was thinking of making the sink vanity a "built in." That is, I would like to, essentially, continue the wainscotting around the vanity carcasse, so that the vanity ends up being basically continuous with the wall. (Obviously, being a vanity, it will jut out from the wall.) The doors of the vanity would be made of wainscotting too (backed by 1x2 members, or some such, to keep the door together).
Anyhow, my concern with this idea is that the pine wainscotting will be too soft and will dent too easily. This is our main bathroom, so it gets a fair amount of traffic. But I like my built-in idea. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance.
Tim F Minneapolis, MN
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Many doors, cabinets, bookcases, chairs, tables, boxes, are built with pine and they hold up for many years. If that is your wood of choice, why not? If it is in an abusive location, re-think the whole idea.
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I wonder if that would be too much wainscot? You may want to make your vanity out of 3/4" plywood for the support as it will see a lot of traffic and then dress it up with wainscot.
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It depends on the species of pine, too. White pine is very soft, while southern yellow pine was used for flooring and woodwork in homes. If you're going to paint it, consider poplar. It works easily and is harder than pine, but not as hard as most of the species we call hardwood. Hope this is of some help.
--Jim

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5/8 panels backed with a lumber or plywood frame should be plenty solid. Dings and scratches rather than dents or cracks would be your most likely cosmetic issue, and on pine they might add "character". Just make sure to use a good varnish/topcoat since moisture and caustic chemicals may stain the wood easily.
J.
Tim F wrote:

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If you will paint the wainscoating, I would just use MDF wainscoating. It is about the same price as pine wainscoating.
Brian Elfert
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