I'm going to be installing some 6" wide t&g plank (5/8" thick) wainscot
in a new addition on our home (no drywall yet, studs are exposed). I
read that the "right" way to do this is to notch out my studs and
install something like 1x4 nailing strips horizontally - one near the
top and one near the bottom of the wainscot so that I have something to
nail into behind the drywall.
I understand the concept, but some of the walls that are getting the
wainscot are 2x6 exterior structural walls. Am I significantly
weakening the studs by notching them out to accomodate the 1x4 nailing
Notching the studs is a pain in the ass and doesn't really get you much
for the effort.
Nail up some 3/4" ply directly onto the studs. That way you'll be able
to nail the wainscotting anywhere you want. 5/8" plywood would also
work. The drywall will above will sit on the plywood, and the chair
rail will cover the seam.
If space is at a huge premium, and you absolutely can't give up that
little bit of room width, nail blocking between the studs. You'll need
to do that at the top rail height, and depending on the height of the
wainscotting probably another horizontal band of blocking or two.
Plywood's way faster.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on your point of view), there
will be code inspections and I think the code requires drywall beneath
the wainscoting. If I understand you right, the first four feet of the
wall would be plywood instead of drywall. I think it would work great,
until the inspector comes knockin.
Sounds like the blocking is going to have to do. I'll check out the
book in the reply below, too.
Since you didn't state where you are and I therefore don't know your
code specifics I certainly should have mentioned to check with your
inspector for verification. Just went back and read my reply and see I
omitted that. Sorry.
Drywall is everywhere because it's the easiest and cheapest wall
covering to put up. Not every wall needs to have a drywall covering.
There are two areas in residential construction where one-hour fire
resistive construction is required. One area is the wall separating an
attached garage from the living area, and the other is enclosed usable
space (walls and ceilings) under a stairway. That's pretty standard.
The detail I mentioned has passed inspections before, even if the
drywall omission question comes up. The reasoning is as such:
Code requires wainscotting thinner than either 1/4" or 3/8" (don't
recall which it is off the top of my head) to be on top of
fire-resistive construction (ie. drywall or plaster). Since you're
going with 5/8" thick stuff, You're covered on that one.
3/4" plywood is acceptable as fireblocking, so you're essentially
fireblocking the entire wall. That is not the same as fire-resistive,
but it gets the idea across.
Anyway, ask your building inspector. Even if you're 100% right but he
gets a burr under his saddle, you're going to lose the battle.
Interesting thread. On my 1960's home, I have wood panelling on 1" furring
strips over cinder blocks in my basement. No insulation. Does this mean
that if I pull it off and put up newer, lighter panelling, I'll need drywall
underneath to meet current code?
Not knowing "code", I was under the impression that drywall is
universally used as an inexpensive material to fit the requirement for a
fire inhibitor for the wall insulation. Not that other materials won't
work too, just that drywall is more cost effective than other materials.
BTW, I recommend going with 1/4 or 3/8" plywood under the wainscoted
area - then drywall above. The cap moulding would transition the
difference in material thicknesses. Notching each stud at multiple
heights would be a PIA.
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