This morning I woke to find my legs in really sore shape. I felt like I had just ran a marathon. Over the weekend, I paneled the walls in the bathroom. For every piece that i put up, i made about 2 or 3 trips, up and down the stairs from the bathroom to the garage, to test-fit and re-cut, before finally attaching. OK, well there may have been an occasional stop at the fridge for a beer in between.
Once I got all the lines laid out, it went pretty smoothly over all. The recessed panels themselves are made of ½” mdf sheets, which I pre-primed and screwed to the studs. It goes on kind of like installing sheets of drywall, except you have to be a bit strategic about where you put your screws, since you’ll want to eventually hide all the screwheads with the stiles and rails.
Next, I finally put the table saw that I bought 3 years ago to some use. I ripped a ½” sheet of mdf into 4” strips to use as my stiles (vertical bars). Again, some forethought needs to be put into the design. For inside corners, one stile will need to be 4.5” wide as it will be overlapped by the opposing stile. On the outside corner, I mitered the stiles at a 45º angle so that I wouldn’t have any exposed mdf edges. The stiles were attached with some wood glue and a pin nailer.
With all my stiles installed, I measured and cut out all the rails (horizontal bars), and put them into place, again using glue and a pin nailer.
At this stage your wall will look like a tic tac toe board of mdf. I found it much easier to prime and paint while the surfaces were still flat (i.e. before putting on any decorative mouldings). Depending on the layout you’ve planned and the look you’re going for, you can dress it up with mouldings, or you can even leave it at just the stiles and rails for a shaker-style paneled look. In my case I wanted to add some extra depth and architectural interest, so I’m using a raised bolection moulding around all the panels, and a chair rail that goes around the room. To finish off where the paneling meets the floors and ceilings, I’ll also use baseboard and crown moulding.
Here it is painted and with the bolection moulding around all of the panels:
In the above shot i hadn't installed the chair rail, but here's a look at the opposite wall with some of the chair rail and some of the baseboard in place (this little alcove is where the new toilet is going to live):
My overall cost to do floor-to-ceiling paneling was about $600 or about $28/linear feet. My mouldings and ½” mdf sheets were all purchased from Central Fairbank Lumber.