wood wainscoting meets tile above tub... [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Down-to-the-Studs Dave
10-14-2005, 10:28 AM
Hello, nice people, this is my first post here at the exceedingly useful John Bridge Forums!

I have a question and I'm not sure if it's a tiling question or a carpentry question -- I think it's both. I need some wisdom here. I'm remodling a bathroom in a 1920's bungalow and applying wood wainscoting around the permiter of the room. The back portion of the 7.5' x 5.5' room is a shower-above-tub surrounded by tiles nearly to the ceiling and extending three or four inches on the walls past the tub.

I've made a diagram below, but here's the problem/question:

What happens where the tile meets the wood wainscoting? Does it go under the wainscoting? Above? Do they go at the same height with a piece of molding covering the seam?

As they say, it's all in the details. I guess the important question is what's typical?

Here's the view of the room from above. I hope the character spacing is remains the same for everyone...

"t" = wall with tile to near ceiling
"w" = wall with wood wainscoing
"x" = tub, pedistal sink, and toilet placement

txxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx w
txxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx w
txxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx w
txxxxxxxxxxxx sink xxx w
txxx(tub)xxxx toilet w
txxxxxxxxxxxx w
t w

Any advice you have would be wonderful. I love this site: you guys are a great resource!

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Down-to-the-Studs Dave
10-14-2005, 10:42 AM
It's the .GIF image file attached below!

10-14-2005, 11:04 AM
I don't have a clue what you are doing with all the X's and O's. I took one look at your drawing and thought it was a football power toss trap play, to the left, with the guards pulling.

Seriously I do a whole bunch of what you've described, because I do historical homes only. So when tile meets wainscot--

If we are talking tile on the bottom and wood on top, e.g., tile wainscot and wood walls above them--that was pretty common in the old days, and the tile would just end with a sorta chair rail, or just end, period. I've seen a ledge, like a 3/4 inch sorta shelf, made out of wood, with a bullnose (half round) which sits on top of the tile, too. That half round can also be made of of porceline. Then the wood takes over from there on top, and is usually frame and panel or t&g V groove boards. I happen to like the t&g and make my own with a router table.

If we are talking tile to one side, and wood to the other, then the interface will depend on your wainscot. Most true wainscot is frame and panel. Rails and Stiles about 3-4 inches wide set in a frame, rabbeted or dado'ed with a panel of plywood or hardwood in the middle "floating" not glued, right? If that is the case, I would use the edge of the frame, e.g., the Stile, to be the interface with the tile. If the wainscot is just t&g, then your last board would be the interface, scribed.

If you are installing the tile over studs and backerboard, chances are the tile will be thicker than the wainscot. CBU is .5, your tile is another half inch with thinset etc., so about one inch. But your wainsot is probably only about .75 inches, right? So, I like to fir out the wood walls, with a sheet of quarter inch plywood to bring the wainscot even with the tile. I'd just scribe that single Stile right to the tile, and caulk any gap, which shouldn't be much if you actually scribe it. Get yourself a Veritas scribe--wonderful tool. This is the way I do it.

That leads me to another point. You will need blocking for the wainscot--and lots of it. While you can insert horizontal studs and the various elevations around the room, If you want to do this on the cheap, then skin the walls with half inch ply in lieu of blocking, then skin it again with quarter inch veneer plywood in whatever species you are using for finish, and then nail half inch rails and stiles to that whole set up. This is sort of a fake wainscot. But if you do a good job with construction cement and thin nails, and putty up the holes, it will look OK. Then stain and use a polyurethane or shellac for the top coats. This method will bring you slightly above the the inch thick tiles quite nicely--half inch ply, quarter inch veneer and half inch stiles. If you are a perfectionist, skin the tile wall too with a quarter inch ply and it will end up being perfect.

Anyway without senseless blathering on anymore thats what I do and hopefully this gives you some ideas.