Bathroom wainscoting question

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Forum topic by jtm posted 12-20-2016 07:22 AM 536 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jtm's profile


230 posts in 1836 days

12-20-2016 07:22 AM

Hi all,

I’m planning to build wainscoting for my bathroom. I’d like to make standard shaker style panels with a beaded inset.

Since this is in a bathroom, MDF probably isn’t the best idea. I want to get some opinions on the best way to approach this.

What I have in mind is sort of like a floating panel door. I can screw/glue individual 1/4” ply panels to the wall, and then make the rails/stiles out of poplar. Instead of routing a groove in the rails/stiles, I can rabbet the back of them so that they fit over the plywood panels. This will allow for movement, and I can add a bead of caulk on the edges.

Does this seem like a good idea? I’m open to any and all suggestions.


3 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile


944 posts in 1641 days

#1 posted 12-20-2016 09:00 AM

That plan should work fine. If you are using plywood panels, you don’t really need to worry about wood movement.

You might want to watch Gary Striegler's video on wainscotting

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2833 posts in 782 days

#2 posted 12-20-2016 12:13 PM

My bathroom has maple wainscoting panels, semi-floating. They’re attached to the wall, but not to the rails. The rails are also directly attached to the walls. Gaps between the flat panels are covered by vertical trim pieces which float over the panels and are attached directly to the wall.

I’ve had no problems with movement over the past seven years, and only lost one piece of corner trim that warped enough on a hot humid summer day to pop the brads loose on one end, and then I bumped against it, popping it off the wall. Took just a couple minutes with a brad-nailer to put it back once the humidity dropped and it straightened out again.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Peteybadboy's profile


519 posts in 2149 days

#3 posted 12-20-2016 12:14 PM

Kreg jig on Stiles and rails would make it easy and accurate.

-- Petey

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