how we install bead board walls

The Shabby Creek Cottage living roomSince the first day I started blogging, the most frequently asked question is “What kind of bead board do you use?” closely followed by “What kind of bead board should I use?” I know there are a bajillion products out there to give you the look of bead board, but the time has finally come for me to share how we hang our bead board walls.


We use a product called Ply Bead, which we can always find at Home Depot or Lowe’s in the same aisle with the plywood & MDF. It varies a little, but runs about $25 per sheet. It’s a big chunk to spend (we used 14 sheets in our living room) but lends more than just looking good. Since I live in a mobile home, it also gives me the additional bonuses of better insulation on my walls making my home more energy efficient, and it gives me sturdy walls to hang basically anything I’d like. (Dude… it’s HARD to hang stuff on flimsy mobile home drywall!)

bead board walls in a mobile home
Ply bead has a tongue and groove feature, where one side is recessed (like in the photo) and the other side has a lip. The top and bottom and simply straight, so it goes together in an interlocking fashion. Notice the gap in the wall? That’s what the wall behind those pesky strips in manufactured homes looks like. The great part of the strips is that it shows you exactly where the studs are, and a full sheet of drywall is the same width as a full sheet of ply bead, making it easier to figure out your layout. We install the ply bead right on top of the drywall.

hanging beadboard walls
We use screws in the corners of the ply bead to make sure it’s safe & secure. Notice how he pulled it up off the floor just a bit? That wall is about 102 inches tall, which is about 6 inches more than 8 ft. The sheets we use are 8 ft. tall, so we pull it up off the floor just a little, then cover up the difference by using shims beneath and covering it all up with 6 inch trim on the bottom (aka base boards) and 4 inch trim on top (aka crown molding.)

how to hang ply bead
After putting the screws in the corners (which will be hidden by the trim), then we use a nail gun to use pin nails to secure it to the wall along the studs from top to bottom.

installing ply bead board to walls
The second piece overlaps just a bit, to make the tongue and groove action do it’s magic. Then rinse and repeat with all of the screws and nails. To make holes for electrical outlets, we measure out where it needs to be, then cut it out by using a jigsaw.

hanging bead board walls

(another quick peek at the tongue and groove action)
clip board art gallery

Once it’s all hung, I use paintable caulk to seal up the corners & where the trim goes, then paint it all. Now here comes the “UGH!” moment… it’s all painted – from top to bottom – with a brush. I know, I know… it’s not fun, but painting it with a good brush will get in all of those nooks and crannies, but also helps to make it smooth and beautiful. There is a slightly rough texture to the ply bead, which is somewhat typical of any ply wood product. Painting it with a brush makes all that grain lay down smoothly and creates a beautiful result.

So… that’s how we install bead board walls. It may or may not work for you. We love this method (which is why we’ve used it in 90% of our home) – but if you have good smooth dry wall to start with, then I highly suggest using the bead board wall paper method, too.

Got questions? I’ll do my best to 
answer them in the comments below!
 
*Disclaimer: I am not a building expert, these are my personal opinions and experiences.
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Comments

  1. Great post Gina,
    I would like to put bead board in our home someday. My husband and I went to Lowe’s a couple of weeks ago to see what they had in stock. Still haven’t made up my mind as to where I want it, ceiling or wall. Enjoyed your post as to how you installed it. Thanks!

  2. It really is a remarkable transformation. Mobile home walls are quite bland and not all that sound proof. I’d imagine this helps with that as well.

  3. I love that plywood bead board. We used it in our bathroom. It really is beautiful and I love the fact that it overlaps so you have no “seams”. We used it on the ceiling and as a wansecott.

  4. Gina – Great post! It really transformed your walls into a cozy cotage feel. I love the overlap part. Will definitely try this product. Thanks for the great tutorial.

    Judy

  5. Looks awesome!!! Wanting to add this look over my mudroom desk area!

  6. If we were not renting this house, I would be putting some up in my dinning room and one of my girls bedrooms. Someday! Great post!

  7. Great post, Gina! I am convinced that you and your hubby can do anything!

    Hugs friend!
    Georgia

  8. EEK! The room is looking wonderful! I love seeing Mr. SCC on the blog and bits of the room that we haven’t seen before.

    We used the plybead on our front porch and loved it. You’re doing such a great job! Lisa~

  9. So beautiful! I like how you used the trim to make lemonade out of lemons with too short panels.

  10. Shirley Wildman says:

    Does anyone know how to add extra insulation to a mobile home? Please and thank you

  11. Holly Young says:

    Loved your mobile home and bead board tips! We also live in a mobile home, and I’m DYING to replace the current ugly mobile home walls with bead board! thanks again!!!!

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