While writing the staining post I began to link to how to install the planks and could not find good enough information to share with you. I started asking my hubby questions about installing them and he offered to write a post for me (yay!). Also, since I wasn’t planning on writing an installation post, all of these pics are from my phone and were taken just for us, so they are not fantastic, but hopefully somewhat helpful in illustrating what was done.
Hi, My name is Jason. I am the “hubby” or “hubster” that you read about quite often. There are different types of planks, but we used planking that may be more commonly referred to as “wainscoting”. I come from a family of carpenters so a lot of this was second nature to me. This may be reflected in my writing, so I apologize ahead of time.
- Pneumatic finish nailer and compressor, or electric nailer
- 2″ finish nails
- Laser level
- Circular or table saw
- Tape measure
Since the area we did was an entire wall (13′ x 8′), it was quite important that all of the planks be level. If I started putting planks up and were to be off by a little bit at the bottom, you would likely be off by quite a bit at the top when you were finished. In order to keep myself on track, level lines were needed on the wall. I used a laser level to mark the wall horizontally at three different heights. I used these lines to keep myself on track as I moved up the wall with the planks. It also helps to mark out the studs in the walls. I marked each stud from ceiling to floor. When I was done, I had a grid over the entire wall.
Additionally, I removed all fixtures from the wall, including the baseboard. In this particular project, I installed light fixtures on the walls, so I was sure to run the wiring beforehand as I had to cut holes quite larger than electrical boxes in order to mount them. These cut out segments of Sheetrock are hidden behind the planking.
One thing I failed to do was check the height of the wall. You may want to do a little math and calculate where the last row will start so that you are not left with a 1/4 row at the top. To do this, you basically divide the height of the wall by the height of the plank (minus the tongue).
After the wall was prepped and ready, I spent an inordinate amount of time starting the first row. I took the first plank and placed it on the wall. I measured more than once the distance from my lowest line to the top of the first plank to be sure the piece was level with the line. I used a finish nailer and put two nails in the plank along the stud line I mentioned making. I did it this way because the planks we used were very thin and putting a nail into the tongue (as is sometimes recommended) would likely have damaged the plank. In the corner of the wall, I also put three nails on a slight angle. If the wall was built properly, a stud will be in the corner.
I repeated this process from left to right. It doesn’t really matter which direction you go. When I reached the end of the first row, I measured back from the wall to the right edge of my last piece. That measurement is what I cut off of the next plank and used the leftover piece to start the next row. This will allow your cuts to get a staggered look (it will repeat eventually). This is the least amount of waste. Always remember to keep your cut edge at the corner of the wall. You do not want to butt a saw cut edge against a factory cut edge. I cut each piece on a table saw to make sure I had a straight cut.
The butt ends of the planks (where the two planks meet) may not get any nails. Unless you are in a very humid environment, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you fear the ends may curl, you will need to glue behind them.
- As you move through each row, measure along the way to make sure that you are staying on track with your level lines.
- Be sure to check that your nails are holding. There are times that you will keep nailing only to discover that you ran out of nails 5 hits ago (it sounds the same).
- Pay attention to your tongue and grooves. As you slide or place each piece in, double check that the pieces are actually together before you nail them in.
As you enter the last row, you may need to cut each plank on a table saw length-wise to the appropriate height. This is where you may learn that your ceiling is not as straight as you thought it was was! You will most likely find yourself cutting each plank at a different height and that’s okay. If your last row is narrow, you may be able to nail to the top plate stud along the full length of the ceiling like you did in the corners of the wall. If you are planning to, you can replace the baseboard at this point.
That should be it… until the next honey-do list item! If you have any questions for me, leave a comment and I’d be happy to answer.
*If you are wondering how we stained our plank paneling, go here.*