Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wood Adds Style to the Bathroom

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wood Adds Style to the Bathroom

Article excerpt

Wood is an easy-to-use, versatile material, adding practicality and style to all rooms in the home. It's useful in the bathroom too, and is a natural alternative to hi-tech shiny surfaces and hard, tiled floors.

Although the old-fashioned image of tongue and groove timber panelling is that it makes a room look like the inside of a sauna, don't forget that it can be stained or painted and it doesn't have to be left in its natural finish. What's more it can improve the thermal and acoustic insulation of the bathroom.

Adding panelling to a bathroom is a manageable DIY task, and can be considerably easier and less costly than tiling or replastering. It's advisable to use ceramic tiles around the bath and splash back areas, but timber panelling can be an attractive and hard-wearing finish for the rest of the room. It can help solve the problem of uneven walls, and can even be installed on top of old tiles.

Use horizontal battens fixed to the walls, about 300-500mm apart, with the top edge of a batten lining up with where the panelling will finish if the wall is to be panelled part-way up.

For fully panelled walls, there should be a batten at the top and bottom edges, with several other battens evenly spaced between. If you're installing the panelling vertically, battens should be horizontal, and if the panelling is to run horizontally, the battens will need to be vertical.

Tongue and groove panelling is made from separate planks, each with a `tongue' on one side and a `groove' on the other, allowing the planks to be slotted together, and fixed into position with panel pins `secretly nailed'.

Panelling can be installed over existing skirting boards, and new skirting boards can be put into place after the panelling is finished. The top edge of the panelling can be disguised by timber moulding ( perhaps quadrant beading, a dado-rail or L-shaped capping, depending on how far up the wall the panelling goes.

A timber bath panel, whether painted or stained, will look far nicer than the moulded plastic designs supplied with many baths. …

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