Posted in DIY Wood Wall

How I installed a vinyl wood accent wall in my bathroom for under $40.00

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.