How To Put Wainscoting Over Tile – A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you tired of the outdated tile in your bathroom or kitchen? Wainscoting is a great way to update the look of your space without having to remove the existing tile.

But how do you install wainscoting over tile? It may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done easily and affordably.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to put wainscoting over tile, including tips on materials, adhesives, and trim.

Say goodbye to that old tile and hello to a fresh new look!

How To Put Wainscoting Over Tile

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Before you begin, disconnect the water supply to the sink and carefully remove it. Also, remove any towel bars or other accessories from the area that will be covered by wainscoting.

Step 2: Cut and Apply Plywood Strips

Cut 1/2-inch plywood into 2-inch strips and apply them over the tile. Drill through the grout lines and attach the strips to the studs in the wall using screws. These strips will be used to attach the beadboard.

Step 3: Attach Beadboard Pieces

Attach the beadboard pieces using a nail gun. Cut them to fit using a miter saw.

Step 4: Install Baseboard and Top Molding

Install the baseboard and top molding using a nail gun.

Step 5: Caulk Seams and Touch Up Paint

Caulk all the seams and touch up the paint.

Step 6: Paint the Room

With the new wainscoting installed, you can now paint the room. Tip: You might prefer to paint the bathroom walls, above the beadboard, before you start the installation in order to save having to trim paint the new wainscoting.

Step 7: Reinstall Sink

Reinstall the sink.

Materials Needed

To put wainscoting over tile, you will need the following materials:

– 1/2-inch plywood

– 2-inch strips of plywood

– Screws

– Beadboard pieces

– Nail gun

– Miter saw

– Baseboard and top molding

– Caulk

– Paint

– Sink (for reinstallation)

Additionally, if you choose to use Liquid Nails adhesive instead of screws to attach the beadboard, you will need a caulking gun. For uneven walls or to install wainscoting over drywall, Loctite PL 505 Paneling and Trim Adhesive can be used instead of screws or Liquid Nails.

Preparing The Tile Surface

To ensure a successful outcome when installing wainscoting over tile, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly. Here are some tips to help you prepare the tile surface:

1. Clean the Surface: The first step is to thoroughly clean the existing tile surface. Use a degreaser and scrub brush to remove any dirt, grime, or adhesive residue. Once the surface is clean, rinse it thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely.

2. Inspect the Surface: Check for any signs of damage, such as cracks or chips. If there are any damaged or loose tiles, replace them before laying new tile. Also, check the levelness. If it’s uneven, you may need to use a self-leveling compound to create a smooth and even surface.

3. Sand the Surface: Sanding the surface can help create a rough surface for the new adhesive to bond to. Use a medium-grit sandpaper and sand the surface in a circular motion. Be sure to wear a mask and eye protection when sanding to avoid inhaling dust.

4. Use a Primer: Applying a bonding primer can help create a stronger bond between the old and new adhesive. Use a high-quality primer and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Choose the Right Adhesive: Look for an adhesive that’s specifically designed for tiling over tile, like thin-set mortar mix, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

6. Consider Tile Size: If you’re using large tiles, you may need to remove some of the old ones to create a smooth and even surface for the new.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your tile surface is properly prepared for installing wainscoting over it. This will help create a smooth and even surface for your wainscoting installation and ensure that it adheres properly for a beautiful finished look.

Choosing The Right Adhesive

Choosing the right adhesive is crucial to ensure a successful installation when putting wainscoting over tile. There are several types of adhesives available, but not all are suitable for this type of project.

Firstly, it’s important to note that construction adhesive should be used to attach the plywood strips to the tile. This will provide a strong and secure base for the wainscoting to be attached to.

When it comes to attaching the wainscoting itself, wood glue is recommended for bonding the notches of the pieces together. This will help to create a seamless and cohesive look.

If you’re working with plastic paneling instead of wood, you’ll need to use an adhesive specifically designed for plastic.

It’s also important to consider the texture and finish of the tile when choosing an adhesive. If the tile is very shiny or has a smooth surface, an adhesive specifically designed for tile or backer board may be necessary. On the other hand, if the tile has a texture or unevenness, a regular construction adhesive may work fine.

In any case, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and allow sufficient drying time before continuing with the installation process. With the right adhesive and proper preparation, you can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting result when putting wainscoting over tile.

Installing The Wainscoting Panels

When it comes to installing the wainscoting panels, there are a few important steps to follow. First, it’s important to prepare the area by disconnecting the water supply to the sink and removing any accessories that will be covered by the wainscoting.

Next, cut the 1/2-inch plywood into 2-inch strips and apply them over the tile. This will provide a secure base for the beadboard. Drill through the grout lines and attach the strips to the studs in the wall using screws.

Once the plywood strips are in place, it’s time to attach the beadboard pieces using a nail gun. Cut them to fit using a miter saw. It’s important to ensure that each piece is securely attached to the plywood strips and that there are no gaps between each piece.

After the beadboard is installed, it’s time to install the baseboard and top molding using a nail gun. This will help give the wainscoting a finished look.

Once all of the panels are installed, caulk all of the seams and touch up any paint. This will help create a seamless appearance and ensure that everything looks neat and tidy.

Finally, with the new wainscoting installed, you can now paint the room. It’s best to paint above the beadboard before installation in order to save time and effort later on.

Once everything is complete, it’s time to reinstall the sink and any other accessories that were removed earlier. With these steps completed, you’ll have successfully installed wainscoting over tile in your bathroom or other areas of your home.

Cutting And Fitting Trim Pieces

When it comes to cutting and fitting trim pieces for wainscoting over tile, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, begin by installing the chair rail molding. Cut the chair rail to length and check that the pieces fit properly. Apply a generous bead of construction adhesive on the reverse side of the chair rail molding along its length. Then, secure it to the wall with small nails.

If your wainscot installation includes inside corners, you’ll have a choice about how to cut the chair rail. You can miter the two pieces of chair rail to fit against one another in the corner, which is the easiest and quickest way. However, best practice is to cut one of the moldings full-length to go into the corner with a square end-cut and then cope the next chair rail against that one.

All of the vertical pieces of picture molding will be equal in length. To save time, set up a stop on your saw to make sure that all of those vertical pieces will be exactly equal to one another in length.

You can make picture molding panels any size you want to. This makes it easy to plan for and around electrical outlets or any other features along the wall.

When it comes to height, keep in mind that the height of the wainscoting is your choice but it looks best if you keep it low or align it with some other element in the room. For example, window sills are a perfect example: don’t install the wainscoting within an inch or two above or below the windowsill as it will look like a design error.

Finally, when it comes to application, apply picture-frame molding and chair rail directly to your wall surface with adhesive and nails. Plan to drive your nails at an angle to help hold the molding tight against the drywall until the adhesive dries. Longer panels mean fewer panels and less work for you!

Finishing Touches And Maintenance Tips

After completing the installation, there are a few finishing touches and maintenance tips to keep in mind. First, consider adding a chair rail or other decorative trim to finish off the top of the wainscoting. This can add an extra layer of visual interest to the space.

To maintain the wainscoting, be sure to clean it regularly with a mild soap and water solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the surface. If any damage does occur, it’s relatively easy to replace individual panels or sections of the wainscoting as needed.

Finally, keep in mind that wainscoting can be a great investment in your home’s value and aesthetic appeal. With proper installation and maintenance, it can provide a timeless and elegant look that will last for years to come.