Removing old, outdated wall tile can be one tough chore. Dust, debris and shards of chipped tile are not only rough to remove; it can be down right dangerous. On more than one occasion I have watched several laborers on my crew bleed from wounds inflicted from shattering tiles, picking up broken pieces or slipping on loose, piled up tiles. So why bother with all of the hassle when you can simply cover up your old tile with wainscoting?
As long as conditions are not too wet; ergo, don’t install wainscoting in the bathtub, then it is just a simple matter of installing the product over the wainscoting and sealing it. While this project is mainly used for moisture free areas, it can be used in bathrooms or other semi-wet locations. So long as it is properly sealed.
Before you begin covering old wall tile with wainscoting, you’ll first need to prep the work area and gather a few tools and materials.
For materials, you’ll need ¼” tongue and groove wainscoting. These prepackaged veneered pieces of wainscoting come unfinished and wrapped in bundles of a dozen or more. These packages of wainscoting should be allowed to acclimate to the inner climate of your home for 48 hours to allow for stretching, twisting or any other deformation of the board. And don’t open the boxes!
The tools required for this job are pretty basic. A caulking gun with liquid nail and clear silicone, stain or paint for the wood surface and a quality water sealant are the basic tools you will need for covering old wall tile with wainscoting. Don’t forget the miter saw and tape measure!
Preparation of the tile surface should be done prior to any installation. A good cleaning with a powerful tile cleaner will help break down any soap, greases or other residues that can hamper the bonding process of the liquid nail. Rough the surface of the tile with sandpaper and wash down with a damp sponge.
Once you’re ready to begin covering old wall tile with wainscoting, give Installing Tongue and Groove Wainscoting a glance to learn some of the basics and a few tricks to installing wainscoting.
After your cuts are made and test fitting has been done, you can back butter each of the pieces of wainscoting and set them in place against the tile. Wipe away any excess glue.
Once you get it attached to the wall, you can paint or stain it however you wish. Seal any grooves or exposed cuts with the silicone and allow drying for at least four hours. Finish it off with two coats of water sealant.