Re: Wainscoting Basics
Wainscot is pretty easy and straight forward. Basic height is generally 32", but any height that suits your purposes is fine. Take into account window sill heights and make sure your wainscot blends well with them.
Kits usually are to make a job easier, such as having materials already cut to dimension, special cuts, prefinished material, etc. Are they cheaper? Depends on your ability, the look you're going after, and the type of wainscot you're installing.
The type of nail gun and length of nail will depend on the type of wainscot you're installing. If it's 1/4" panels with trim, then a finish gun or brad gun with a 1" to 1-1/2" nail will suffice. If you're installing planks, then you will need a finish nailer with 1-1/2" to 2" nails, depending on thickness of the materials involved.
Typically you want to nail the material into the wall framing, not just the surface of the wall. The caveat to this would be if installing planks, then installing baseboard over the plank with a top cap that also covers the top edge of the planks. These long horizontal pieces can be anchored into wall studs to provide the stability needed to keep the wainscot on the wall. You can also use a touch of construction adhesive behind the wainscot for a little extra holding power if necessary.
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