Whoever painted my bathroom before I moved in, clearly did not know what they were doing. Every time I took a shower, water would collect on the ceiling and drip down the walls. When I turned on the bathroom exhaust fan, the only result achieved was a extra hot, steamy bathroom. Bottom line; the wrong type of paint was used. I had plans to repaint the bathroom but first I wanted to install a wood plank ceiling. Yes, my original plan was to install a wood ceiling BY MYSELF. After watching multiple videos of wood ceiling installations, I quickly realized that this may be too big of a project for just one person. I revised my plan and settled on a wood accent wall. I figured I could always go back to the original ceiling idea once I got the hang of it.
Now for the fun part; choosing what type of wood I was going to use. There are so many types of wood flooring available today, but I already knew I wanted to use the “peel and stick” type wood. I think they do make a option specifically designed for walls but as far as I can tell, Home Depot and Lowes do not carry it in their stores, it’s an online purchase only. I found that Lowes had the best in-store inventory, so off to Lowes I went. Once I was there I had a very hard time deciding what my best option would be. I wanted a “weathered look”, which they had, but I needed something durable enough to withstand the heavy moisture problem my bathroom unfortunately has. After talking to a sales associate, I decided the vinyl covered wood would be my best bet. This type of flooring is waterproof so I won’t have to worry about mold or numerous other problems down the line. They had four different styles and I found exactly what I was looking for. Don’t let the word “vinyl” throw you off – it really does look good! The best part is – a box that covers 45 sq ft was only about $44.00.
Once home, I got to work. The planks are semi easy to cut with a box cutter equipped with a sharp razor but I’m not going to lie, my hand and arm were not happy about half way through the project. I finally realized that it wasn’t necessary to cut my pieces completely through. If I cut about halfway through, I was able to bend the piece at the cut mark and snap it off. After it was removed, I lightly sanded the edge with medium grade sandpaper to smooth it out. My goal was to have a staggered look with alternating light and dark pieces. Now this became slightly tedious after awhile because my home is old and the walls are not even. I had to measure every piece I cut which made this project longer than expected. I made sure to put the professional cut sides together in the center areas and my, sometimes uneven cuts (I tried my best!), up against the walls on each side. I started at the top of the wall, mainly because I knew I would most likely need to make adjustments to the final pieces width and the toilet would hide this. I peeled off the backing and stuck the first plank to the wall, making sure to press and smooth all the air bubbles out. I know some people use a tennis ball to help with this, I didn’t have one handy so I used a roller. First piece up! I left the room to go cut the next piece. When I returned, my first piece had slowly started to slide down the wall. It was obvious the glue made for the floor was not going to work on the wall. When I was at Lowes, I saw tubes glue made for the wood and vinyl flooring, I just didn’t think I would need it. I had no desire to go back to Lowes so I needed to improvise. I used what I had on hand – and that my friends, was Gorilla Glue.
Now I’m not recommending using Gorilla Glue for this project to anyone. It’s a great glue and I use it all the time but if I had the correct glue specifically made for wood and vinyl planks, I would have used it. With that being said, I moved forward with the Gorilla Glue. I was careful not to get the glue too close to the edges because this glue expands as it drys and I didn’t want any to seep into the seams. After I replaced the plank I was disheartened to see that it still wasn’t staying in place. I couldn’t stand around all night waiting for each piece to dry individually so I decided to use tacking nails at the corner of each piece to keep the plank in place until the glue dried. I did not hammer the nails in all the way in so I could remove them easily later and fill the small holes with wood filler. Finally, problem solved. I continued down the wall, alternating different wood shades as best as possible so I could achieve the rustic look I wanted.
It was rough going for a while, especially when I had to work my way behind the toilet, but I was able to get the pieces firmly into place. When I was finally finished placing all the planks, I needed to figure out what to do about some of the uneven gaps on each side of the wall.
The slightest difference in cuts seemed very noticeable to me. I was able to solve this unsightly problem with Elmer’s stainable wood filler.
I filled in all the gaps on each side of the wall with the wood filler. The gaps virtually disappeared. I cleaned the wall with multi-surface cleaner and the project was done.
I used a little less than half of the box of wood vinyl planks. I may even have enough left over to cover the ceiling!
1/2 box wood vinyl planks – $22.00
1 bottle Gorilla Glue – $6.00
Total cost – $28.00
Coming next week…..
Finishing the bathroom with homemade chalk paint.