A basement shiplap wall is an attractive solution for drab room that need a pick me up. It goes up fast, requires little tools, and can totally transform a space quickly while adding a ton of character! Not to mention, you don’t necessarily need a second set of hands, you can totally put up shiplap by yourself!
It’s week 3 of The One Room Challenge, and I’ve been knee-deep in Shiplap. Just a few days work and the bunk room already looks like a million bucks!
I have used Interbois 7-7/8″ shiplap planks in the basement master bedroom and now using them in the bunk room as well. I’ve learned a lot about putting up a basement shiplap wall, and wanted to take this opportunity to share a few tricks I have learned along the way
Helpful Tools for putting up Shiplap
- measuring tape
- speed square
- 4′ level
- adhesive + caulking gun or wood glue
- mitre saw
- table saw
Tips for Putting up a Basement Shiplap Wall
First things first, it is important to know Shiplap made from MDF may not be suitable for your basement if it is damp.
You got this, let’s dive into my best tips…
- Open your shiplap packages and allow them to acclimatize in the basement space for 72 hours prior to putting them on the wall.
- Determine where your studs are. Interior walls should be no problem, studs are 16″ apart on centre. If you’re covering with shiplap you can make a tiny hole to be certain where the first is, (use a stud finder if you have one) then measure and mark every 16″. If your studs are exposed, then no need to fuss with this step. Tip: most tape measures have a little triangle or the number is in bold red to take the math out of every 16″. I use the edge of my level to draw a line from floor to ceiling at each stud, so it doesn’t get covered by the shiplap as it goes up.
- Exterior basement walls may require strapping if they have not been previously finished. My basement is ICF (styrofoam blocks) which has a channel for screws. I applied 1×3″ strapping to each channel to ensure my shiplap panels could be well secured to the wall. If you are putting a horizontal shiplap wall, strapping should be vertical, if you want vertical shiplap, the strapping should be horizontal.
- Use a spacer between the floor and your first piece of shiplap to allow for things to expand and contract seasonally.
- Package directions may suggest using wood glue for application. I prefer to use construction adhesive in a caulking gun. Ain’t nobody got time to wait for the glue to drip down from a bottle every strip. I like PL premium. A little bit goes a long way, you don’t want it to ooze between the seams.
- Be 100% certain your bottom row is level. Check it, check it again, nail it up, check it again. No seriously, if your first row is not level, your entire room will be lopsided. If you’re doing more than one wall with shiplap you want to be certain each panel lines up in the corners.
- To reduce the number of nail holes exposed, nail each shiplap panel on the male side holding your nail gun perpendicular into the strapping. This way the nail hole will be concealed by the female end of the next strip.
- For added strength plan your cuts so the ends of each length of shiplap start and stop on a stud.
- If your wall is longer than 8′, the shiplap wall will have seams where the two pieces meet. Plan your cuts so no two seams meet vertically.
- When you reach an electrical outlet, measure accurately to be sure your cut is long enough to accommodate the screws reacing the holes in the electrical box (you’ll need to buy longer ones) and the face plate will cover on all sides.
- Fill all cracks, spaces, imperfections and nail holes. Allow to dry and give a light sanding prior to painting.
- To achieve a smooth shiplap finish use a paint sprayer which will easily get inside the cracks. If not, you may consider painting the planks before you put them on the wall.
Want to see the rest of the basement renovation? Check out these posts:
Disclosure: Thank you to Interbois for partnering with me to finish my basement bunk room. As always, the ideas, thoughts and opinions in this post are honest and 100% my own.
Have you installed a shiplap wall before? What home project are you currently working on? Let me know in a comment below!
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