General Instructions for Installation
of Beadboard and V-Groove Board
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Tongue and Groove Joints
Made with precision groove on one edge and a tongue on the other. During installation the groove of the next board is inserted over the tongue of the previously installed board. This creates an invisible, interlocking joint between each board. Why tongue and groove? By locking all boards together in this way it is almost impossible for one or more individual boards to warp, twist, or curl out of place!
We greatly favor pre-finishing prior to installation and the best finishing results will be obtained by completely finishing each board, including edges and ends, prior to installation. Otherwise, if the boards shrink slightly, unfinished wood will be visible in the tongue and groove area. Care should be taken not to leave a buildup in the tongue and groove areas that would interfere with installation.
Allow 1/4" at each end of a run for expansion. Butt joints should fall on a joist, stud, or other nailing surface and each end of the board should be secured. Use PVC Adhesive where PVC board ends meet one another. PVC Beadboard Planks should be installed when air temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tongue and groove joints permit concealed nailing. This is accomplished by nailing at approximately a 45 degree angle through the base of the tongue (perpendicular into nailing tab on PVC Beadboard Planks.) The groove of the next board then covers the nail head. Make sure the tongue is not obstructed by the nail, as the groove of the next board must be inserted over the previously nailed tongue.
If available, use a nail gun to shoot small brads at approximately a 45 degree angle through the base of the tongue.
If hammering, nails will also be used at approximately a 45 degree angle through the base of the tongue. You may want to pre-drill for each nail. Use an 8 penny finishing nail. Set the nail heads with a Nail Set tool.
Nail approximately every 24" along the length of each board. When installing AZEK® PVC boards on a ceiling we would suggest using 5/8" thick boards, as PVC is somewhat more pliable than wood for a given thickness. It is possible that thinner boards might sag slightly over time. Also, for this same reason, it is important that PVC ceiling boards be nailed every 16" or less except that PVC Beadboard Planks can be nailed 24" apart providing the adjoining space does not exceed 130 degrees fahrenheit. If it does, then PVC Beadboard Planks should also be installed on joists with 16" centers. Attic space should be well ventilated.
If you are installing wainscoting or other wall applications where individual boards run vertically, you will need something solid every 24" to nail into. This can be accomplished in several ways:
Existing Wood Walls - If you are installing over existing wood walls you can nail directly into them.
Exposed Studs - If the wall framing studs are exposed you can install nailing blocks horizontally between the studs. These are typically short pieces of 2x4 framing material.
Horizontal Nailers - A quicker method is to install 1x4 construction grade boards horizontally every 24" (including at the floor and ceiling) to the face of the exposed studs. Another advantage of this method is that shims can be used, where required, behind these horizontal nailers to even out bowed studs, thereby creating a flat surface on which to install your Beadboard or V-Groove Board.
Keep in mind, however, that you are adding an additional 3/4" of thickness to your walls if you install horizontal nailers. Door and window jamb projections, electrical switch and outlet boxes, and Baseboard/Casing should all be considered.
We do not have experience with this method, but sometimes construction adhesive is used to install wall boards without nails directly over drywall (also known as gypsum board, wallboard, plasterboard, and sheetrock). We do not recommend adhesive for ceiling installations because gravity is working against you.
Cut the grooved edge off of the starting board and butt that cut edge against the corner. Nail through the base of the tongue of that first piece.
Outside Corners (standard 90 degree)
Cut a 45 degree miter cut on each of the two corner pieces. Nail alternately into both sides of the corner to lock this seam into place. Alternatively, our Outside Square Corner Bead can be used, eliminating the miter cuts.
Baseboard, Casing, and Electrical Boxes
Traditionally, Baseboard and Casing (door and window trim) is installed over the boards. If Baseboard and Casing is already in place, it should be carefully removed and then reinstalled over the new boards.
It may be necessary to extend the depth of door and window jambs to accomplish this. If so, the seam between old and new jamb can usually be hidden behind repositioned Door Stop moulding or behind wider new Door Stop If you have difficulty locating sufficiently wide Door Stop locally, please let us know and we can provide that.
Also, the electrical boxes that switches, outlets, and ceiling lights are installed into might need to be extended or repositioned forward for safety and code requirements.
Snap a level chalk line on the wall at the height you want the top of your wainscoting. Measure the distance from one side of the wall to the other at this line and at the floor. If there is a difference, you will need to 'cheat' each individual board by a slight amount to ensure that the last board will end flush with the far wall, Casing, etc.
This is accomplished by installing either the top or the bottom of the tongue and groove joints slightly tighter to adjust for the measured difference by the time you reach the other end. If this adjustment is done gradually over the entire length of the wall no one, including yourself, will be able to detect this once you have gotten to the other end of the wall.
If nails will be covered by Baseboard and Cap Moulding, then nail at the top and bottom of each wainscot board. If wainscot is taller than 36" it is best to also nail through the tongue, as described above, halfway along the height of the each board.
Depending upon your situation, you may be able to install your wainscoting without having something solid and horizontal to nail the top of each board to. If you use an overlapping top Cap (or a trim board beneath our Shelf Cap), the Cap (or top trim board) can be nailed into each wall stud. This will secure the top of the boards without having to nail the top of the boards themselves to the wall.
Be sure to keep the tongue and groove joints tight as you proceed. This can be accomplished by periodically nailing the Cap (or top trim board) to the last board you have installed, thereby locking several previously installed boards tightly into place at their tops.
Wood framed walls typically have a bottom plate under the studs at the floor to which you can nail the bottom of the boards. As you nail the bottom of each board to this plate, confirm that each board remains plumb (perfectly vertical).
Wainscot Cap Moulding
You will want to finish the top edge of your wainscoting with Wainscot Cap Moulding.
The wainscot instructions above also mostly apply to floor to ceiling walls.
Ceiling board installation is easiest when the boards run perpendicular to the ceiling joists so that boards can be nailed directly to each joist. Also, when installing porch ceiling board, it is traditional to run boards with the length of the porch (perpendicular to standard ceiling joist layout.)
If you want to run your boards the same direction as the ceiling joists you will need to install blocking between the joists or 1x4 nailers to the bottom of the joists, as described above at Concealed Nailing, Nail Spacing. Either way, for interior applications where a roof is directly above the ceiling, a plastic vapor barrier should be stapled to your ceiling joists, with insulation above.
Modern construction typically uses ceiling joist 16" on center. However, in our office building we have several ceilings with 24" on center joists. We installed our wood 5/8" thick Beadboard directly to these joists. While we do not know if this will satisfy your local building codes, it has been very satisfactory for us due to the interlocking tongue and groove.
When installing AZEK PVC boards on a ceiling we would suggest using 5/8" thick boards, as PVC is somewhat more pliable than wood for a given thickness. It is possible that thinner boards might sag slightly over time. Also, for this same reason, it is important that PVC boards be nailed every 16" or less except our PVC Beadboard Planks can be installed on joists spaced 24" on center as long as the adjoining space does not exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If it does, then PVC Beadboard Planks should also be installed on joists with 16" centers. Attic space should be well ventilated.
For interior installations, we also feel it's very important to install your boards when interior conditions are reasonably dry, and after the boards have been allowed to "season" inside for several weeks. Otherwise, if you install boards under humid conditions, it is possible to later experience excessive shrinking.
It's always a good precaution to leave a 1/4" or so space between the walls and the ceiling boards to allow for expansion. This void can be covered with any Moulding, including simple quarter-round available locally.
High Moisture Areas
In areas of high humidity, but where direct contact with water is unlikely, you can use wooden boards as long as all surfaces, including the edges and back, are well painted. If staining, you should finish the front and both edges with a clear protective top coating. This will need to be renewed on a regular basis. For even better protection against high humidity you can consider Cedar or Cypress.
For areas with frequent direct water contact, such as inside a tub or shower stall, we only recommend PVC. This MIRACLE material will never rot, cup, split, twist, or warp. It is impervious to moisture, salt, and insects. It's also suitable for ground or masonry contact and comes with a 25-year manufacturer's warranty.
For the surface to be truly waterproof, even when using PVC boards, you will need to waterproof the seam between each board by running a continuous thin bead of waterproof caulk into each groove immediately before installation.
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