Home>Discussions>BATHROOMS>wall paper or wainscoting
3 posts / 0 new
Last post
wall paper or wainscoting

We are redoing our bathroom. We have taken the plaster down from the lathe-and-plaster walls. We are going to put up greenboard on the walls. We are thinking of putting something on the bottom, and something different on the top. And, a chair rail separating the two.
Our house was built in 1863, and we want to stay in the late 1800's-early 1900's theme.
We have thought about wainscoting on the bottom, but are concerned about the moisture. And, we can't seem to find the bathroom type of wainscoting in any stores around us. I have also heard of wallpaper that is good for the bathroom.
Is one of these ideas better? We are thinking of painting above the chair rail. Do we use wood or plastic for the chair rail? And, can we use the same type of molding to go around the top of the walls next to the ceiling?
Of course, we will also need to put down the wide trim on the wall next to the floor.
I am attaching a picture.

Thank you, Maggie

Re: wall paper or wainscoting

Hi Maggie,

I also grappled with the same issue when I was designing my bathroom in a circa 1890 home. I talked to a few contractors about the wainscotting and they said while using it in a bathroom can cause problems later down the road, you can alleviate some of those issues by painting the back of the beadboard with a waterproof paint. This helps to create a moisture barrier, should the wood get wet. It's not a perfect solution, but it helps if you want to use wood.

In regards to plastic molding, I also thought about that for the bathroom. However, I decided against it when I learned that you cant repair plastic molding. If something were to happen, like the molding cracked or was chipped, you would have to replace the pieces. Also, should you decide you wanted to change the color, it will be more challenging because you have to paint the plastic. Wood will give you the most flexibility, but the least water protection. So, you'll just need to weigh the pro's and cons. Good luck.

Re: wall paper or wainscoting

Thank you for replying!
We ended up getting the tongue-and-groove wainscoting. And, I got water resistant/mold resistant paint to paint it. So far, so good. We don't have it up yet, but maybe soon! I am going to paint the trim with the same kind of paint, and probably the ceiling too.
Thank you for your help! Maggie

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.