For this large planked wall we opted to use wider planks of underlayment. What I love about underlayment is that it's light, easy to work with and it's pretty cheap with a 4'x8' sheet costing about $21 here in Canada (and about $13 in the US). With the wall behind the TV we went with 4" planks which suited that small space but for a large wall we wanted more oomph.
Some of you may be wondering what underlayment is. Underlayment is a thin sheet that is used on top of a foundation or subfloor to absorb roughness and imperfections so that the flooring can be installed on a smooth surface and also give the flooring an added bit of support. It's the Spanx of the flooring world.
I've been wanting to do this large planked wall for evah ... ok, months. Brad was on board and the guru when it came to installing the wall but this baby was my vision. He completes me. For this large planked wall we went with 7-3/4" planks (this would maximize the 4x8' sheet of underlayment and also takes into account the thickness of the blade). After cutting our planks we were left with wee strips - about an inch or so in width - that we immediately thought would be perfect as a trim piece along both sides to give the wall a more finished look. Waste not, want not.
Installing the wall
One of the biggest differences between our small planked wall and this bigger one is that I didn't paint the wall dark gray beforehand. This saved us on paint (which can be costly) and time. Looking back I still would do it this way but this method may add a little extra work later on.
I've outlined some of the earlier steps in my posted titled DIY Small Planked Wall which includes buying underlayment and getting your planks cut at the store so you can check out the finer details in that post.
What You'll Need
- underlayment planks
- brad nails
- pneumatic brad nailer
- stud finder
- long level and/or laser level
- sliding compound mitre saw
- table saw
- sanding block with fine sandpaper
- stud finder
- 6-8 coins for spacers (we used two pennies glued or taped together)
- a good primer (we used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Primer)
- paint (we used Sherwin Williams 'Grizzle Gray' - SW7068)
- good paint brushes (a good paint brush and Dollar Store artist brush)
- painting tarps to protect your floor
- painters tape (if needed)
- safety goggles
Step One - Finding Studs
Mark off the studs in your wall because whenever possible you'll want to be nailing into a stud for added support. Use a stud finder to find your stud and use the laser level (if you have one) or a long level to mark off in pencil where your studs are vertically on the wall. By doing this you won't have to continually find the studs and the planks will cover up any pencil marks.
Step Two - Installing Your First Row of Planks
We started at the top left corner of our wall. Because this wall has a few bulkheads along the top, a window and two electrical receptacles to deal with we knew that we would have to use a saw (sliding compound mitre saw) to cut down the length of several boards to fit our space. It's a pain but a necessary one. We (meaning Brad) measured the first space along the ceiling which butts up against the corner and the edge of a bulkhead. Then we cut the board and sanded down the edges to get rid of little gnarly pieces just waiting to become slivers in our hands.
This next step is important. Your first plank MUST be level. Not almost level. Totally level. You may end up with a bit of a gap above it due to your ceiling not being straight and that's fairly normal because walls/ceilings are often wonky. Them's the breaks.
Place your first board on the wall and, using a long level or laser level under that plank, ensure that it's level. You'll want another set of hands to help hold the board/level.
Once you're sure it's straight, pop some brad nails in with your pneumatic nailer every eight inches or so, top and bottom ensuring that you hit as many wall studs as possible.
|The pneumatic nailer. Loud but awesome.|
|We did this wall in February which is cold here in Canada |
so we set up shop in our garage to do the cutting.