The best thing about using tongue and groove wallboard on your home is that it’s easy to install. You don’t need any special tools or skills to do so. However, there are some things you have to consider before installing it on your walls. If you’re not sure what those are, then read on!
1) What type of wood?
Tongue and groove wallboard is made from different types of wood. There are two main kinds of wallboard; solid and veneer.
Solid wall board comes in various sizes ranging from 1/2 inch to 3 feet wide. Veneer wallboard is usually made out of hardwood such as oak, cherry, pine or mahogany. These boards come in varying thicknesses depending upon the size you want to make it for your home.
You may also see tongue and groove in the name of these products. That stands for tongue and grove.
Tongue and groove refers to how the board is glued together. When you buy wallboard, it will come with glue included in it. If you’re planning on gluing your wallboard yourself, then you’ll need to purchase a glue that contains no harmful chemicals like formaldehyde or phthalates (which are used in many household cleaners).
Here’s a good brand of non-toxic wood glue.
2) How thick is it?
The thickness of the board you want to use will be determined by the type of wall you have and how much support you want it to have. For instance, if you’re working with regular drywall, then you’ll want a thinner board.
If you’re working with brick or concrete, then you’ll want a thicker board.
If your wall is made out of regular plywood or drywall, then you’ll want to go for something around half an inch thick. If you’re doing something experimental and the wall is made out of stronger material such as brick or concrete, then you can use up to 3/4 inch thick tongue and groove wallboard.
3) Do you need it to be waterproof?
There are many different types of wallboard available on the market. The one you choose is entirely up to you based on your own specific needs and abilities.
Some materials are more durable than others and some are easier to work with than others. Let’s look at some of the options.
Pressure treated: This is an excellent choice if you happen to be working with something like concrete. The only catch to this material is that it’s not as easy to cut through as other options.
That means you’ll either need a powerful saw or you’ll have to use a lot of elbow grease. The good news is that it won’t rot and it’s easy to install.
This type of board is heavier than most of the other options presented here. It comes in sizes ranging from 1×2 inches all the way up to 4×12 inches.
Fiber cement: Another great option for outdoor furniture is fiber cement. You can use thinner materials on your wall because it’s easy to cut through and sturdy enough to support quite a bit of weight.
It won’t rot and it comes in a variety of different shades making it easy to use to create your desired look.
One major problem with this type of material is that it’s heavy. For smaller sections you’ll want to use a handsaw or a miter saw.
For larger sections you’re going to want to use a circular saw or even better, a skill saw fitted with a masonry cutting blade.
Wood: Wood is probably the most popular material for outdoor furniture. It’s readily available and easy to work with.
The main problem with wood is that it can’t handle too much weight for too long of a period of time. Even treated lumber can only handle so much weight. In other words, you can’t build a deck out of it.
You should only use untreated lumber for smaller furniture such as decorative benches. For larger projects such as an entire deck you’ll want to choose pressure treated lumber or something similar.
Pressure treated lumber: This is the best choice for larger projects such as decks or anything else you have in mind. It’s easy to cut, easy to work with and it can handle quite a bit of weight.
The only major problem is that it’s not very attractive. Unless you paint or stain the lumber, then it has a dull gray appearance that isn’t very appealing to the eye.
If you choose to use pressure treated lumber for your project, then be sure to purchase composite posts so you don’t have problems with them rotting later on. These posts are more expensive than regular wooden posts but they’re definitely worth the money.
Of course you can always just paint or stain the wood to enhance its appearance and to help protect it from the elements.
PVC: This is a very inexpensive yet durable material that’s perfect for small projects such as flower boxes or short retaining walls. It’s extremely easy to work with and lightweight to boot.
One of the downsides to this material is that it’s very flexible. In other words, it can bend which means that heavy objects placed on it such as flower pots have a tendency to shift when walked on or if extended pressure is applied to that side of the PVC.
Something like a short retaining wall would be fine but anything taller and you risk having the wall collapse because the pipes can’t hold the weight.
Another problem is that it tends to break if twisted or bent too much. This means that it can’t be used in large panels of any kind.
Instead it has to be used in short sections with expansion joints between each section.
I’ve built several small projects out of this material and I love it, but there are some limitations you’ll have to work within.
Composite: This material consists of wood or concrete mixed with plastic. The advantage is that it’s lightweight and very durable.
The disadvantage is the cost. It’s much more expensive than standard lumber and you probably aren’t going to want to make a deck out of it because of this fact.
It comes in several different styles and can be used for smaller retaining walls, garden boxes, small fences and other small projects around your yard. Once it’s in place, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance either.
I have composite posts set up for a small deck I’m eventually going to build over the creek and they’ve been in place for over a year now and show no signs of wear or aging.
Just keep in mind that this is more expensive than standard lumber so you wont want to use it for more than 50% of your project.
Just think about it before you go out and buy huge quantities of expensive material. You don’t want to make the same mistake I did with my deck.
Once you’ve chosen the type of material you want to use, then you need to decide on a pattern for how it’s all going to be put together. You have three basic choices and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
I’m just going to list them for you here and give a few words of advice on each one. It’s up to you to decide which one you feel most comfortable with.
Straight Line: The simplest and probably most common pattern is to lay everything in a straight line. If you choose to do it this way, then your first concern is whether or not you’re going to brace everything or not.
The advantage to bracing everything is that it gives it extra strength and makes the wall more rigid. The disadvantage to bracing everything is that it limits your design options because you have to place expansion joints everywhere.
If you’re going to brace everything, then my advice is to use the 2×4’s on every post because this allows you to get the maximum amount of posts for the least amount of money. It also makes a nice diamond pattern when viewed from the side.
You’re also going to want to space the posts evenly based on how large you want the panels to be. If you’re making a small panel then you can space them closer together, If you’re making a large panel then you’ll probably need to space them farther apart.
This is just a suggestion though and your design is limited only by your imagination.
The second straight line pattern I want to show you is the one I chose for my deck. I didn’t brace the whole thing, but instead put numerous expansion joints in it to allow for shrinkage and expansion.
Because I didn’t brace everything, I found that using only 2×4’s on every post wasn’t strong enough, so I braced everything with 2×6’s instead. This allowed me to use less of them and kept the cost down.
I didn’t place posts in every section though and this created several large panels that are great for sitting on. I also made a few of the panels in between the posts smaller so I could fit more of them in and create a more interesting look.
I kept the bracing to a minimum in these smaller panels because I wanted them to be able to shift slightly so I could get a wave like effect in some of them.
The disadvantage to doing it this way is that the entire panel is held together by the nails in the posts. This means it takes a little longer to assemble, but it also makes it easier to take panels apart if you need to move them.
I did this because I knew I wanted to expand the deck eventually and I figured it would be easier to do so before everything had solidified into place.
One last thing I want to mention is that you’ll probably want to cover the wood with some kind of material. This can be everything from standard siding to some kind of plastic or metal.
It really gives your deck a finished look and there are even patterns you can create by using different materials on the top and bottom and putting them together.
I hope this information helps you in some way. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Sources & references used in this article:
- So You’re Going to Insulate! What Are the Choices? (S Badenhop – 1980 – docs.lib.purdue.edu)
- On the Boards (D Trends, YF Step – 2004 – pickellbuilders.com)
- Architectural salvage: its use and validity within the preservation field (SE Repovich – 2009 – cardinalscholar.bsu.edu)
- Home insulation (WE Matson – 1982 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu)
- Cost Management By Using Optimum Construction Techniques (P Suganya, S Alan, JP Jose – International Journal of Applied Engineering … – ijoser.org)
- The Best (J Smith – 2003 – jbinteriordesigners.com)
- Insulation: an energy saving home improvement (L Walker – Service in action; no. 4.652, 1984 – mountainscholar.org)
- Insulation of farrowing houses (RE Phillips – 1980 – mospace.umsystem.edu)
- Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live (S Susanka, M Vassallo – 2009 – books.google.com)