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Beadboard v Tile or Beadboard Wallpaper?

We are in the midst of an unexpected bathroom renovation thanks to a pipe leak!

So I am weighing my options on what to do with the walls and every contractor, decorator, and home improvement professional has varying opinions. So I bring my question to the TOH Forum. Any opinion and commentary is most welcome!:D

Floors will be tile as well as the bath. Currently we have tile on the remaining walls that goes from the floor to about half-way up. One of the tile store people actually steered me toward beadboard, showing me how at the floor seems tile/grout/etc gets dirty, etc.

We were already thinking about beadboard for the walls to save a little on cost. People seem to either love beadboard, or are wary of it's durability in a small bath space with humidity, and since we have little boys, I've been told to be mindful of the "splash" effect from the toilet and clean up on the walls. (This I didn't even think of and wonder how much of a big deal this is?)

Given the above concerns, I started looking into a PVC or mix of wood PVC beadboard --but does anyone have recommendations of a good product that doesn't look like plastic? What home depot and lowes carries is very plastic-like.

Finally, I stumbled across wallpaper that looks like beadboard and this got me thinking on using this --also applying some paint to it, then wood chair rail. (http://southernhospitalityblog.com/beadboard-wallpaper-project/comment-page-4/#comment-41054)

At this point I am scratching my head. I do love the look of beadboard, but I want a durable finish. Any one have some advice?

Many thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Beadboard v Tile or Beadboard Wallpaper?

It's your home, your checkbook, do what makes you the happiest.

I am not a fan of beadboard myself, though that doesn't mean that it can't be done nicely. When installed as a wainscot, it can be quite attractive. Beadboard will only be as durable as the paint that seals it. Use a good quality, alkyd paint and cleaning and sanitation shouldn't be an issue. Another tip, keep the beadboard an inch or so off the floor and use either plastic or real wood baseboard and keep the caulking joint between the floor and baseboard well maintained to prevent any surface water from getting to the base or beadboard. Beadboard is generally made of MDF or Masonite, both of which soak up water and swell like a sponge (hence the small gap along the floor ).

IMHO, tiled walls are dated quickly - if they were ever "in style". I'm not a fan of the look or tile either, but matching what you've already got will be cheaper than replacing everything..

Wallpaper isn't a particularly good thing to use in a bathroom. Sure, lot's of folks have done it, some with success, some with disaster. Paper, like the other products is a personal preference.

Little boys or big boys, the "splash" effect exists for both. For the most part, splashes remain on the toilet and the surrounding floor, then don't generally make it to the wall unless the wall was the intended target of the shooter.

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