Wood Plank Accent Wall: Avoid these Blunders at All Costs!
And How Wood-Look Tile Will Solve All Your Problems
You’ve waited long enough to figure out how to make that beautiful, wood plank wall a reality. But before you run to the store for supplies, make sure to spend some time putting your plan together and thinking through the details of the project. What seems fairly simple could get out of hand quickly, so it’s worth taking the time to learn about some of the most common mistakes made. The good news is, wood-look tile is a great solution for avoiding most, if not all, of the potential woes of this project.
Blunder #1 Mis-measure, Mis-cut
If you opt to cut up a sheet of wood or hardboard there are innumerable opportunities to mess up. You’ll have to keep your saw and measuring tape handy at all times—but even then there are no guarantees.
Tile gets rid of much of the cutting since you’ll only have to make the cuts to fit the planks into the space rather than making long horizontal cuts to create planks.
Blunder #2 Not Level
Don’t count on the ceiling or floor to give you a point of reference. The ceiling line and floor line are generally not perfectly level. You may find that your planks start to take on a bit of an angle after a few passes if you use the ceiling or floor as your guide.
You may need to create a slight gap at the top or bottom of your plank wall in order to ensure your tiles are level. In most cases, this gap will not be noticeable. Keep checking your planks with a level to make sure you’re staying level all along the way.
Blunder #3 Warping
One of the biggest pains when it comes to installing a plank wall is warping. Hardboard can start to warp—to the point of popping out the nails—before you’ve even finished putting up all the planks. Wood has the same problem but at a much slower rate. If you live in a humid area, you can count on your plank wall changing over time as it responds to the moisture in the air.
Tile removes the concern about warping. If you install the tile properly, it will not move or warp. Check with a professional tile installer to make sure tile is installed properly.
Blunder #4 Discounting the Finish Work
With wood, you may need to caulk or fill gaps and nail holes with drywall mud so you have a nice finished surface. Then there’s the sanding, and potentially painting. And down the road, you’ll have to do that all over again.
Since tile is a finished product, there is no sanding or painting needed. You’ll still need to grout the tile, but once that’s finished, your plank wall will continue to look great year after year with very little maintenance.
Blunder #5 Gaps Collect Dirt . . . and Other Stuff
The slight gaps between planks are what make the wall interesting. But there is a downside. Stuff can get in those gaps. Dirt is one thing, but critters are quite another. Maybe you can vacuum out the gaps, but there isn’t much you can do if stuff gets behind the planks.
Tile creates a completely sealed surface, but still has the classic look of a plank wall. Grout fills the gaps so nothing can get in. No dirt, no critters, no vacuuming.
Now that you’ve thought through some of the difficulties of a plank wall, you can avoid the mistakes others made. Go you!
Head to Home Depot to create your own stunning plank wall tile with Marazzi’s Montagna 4 x 28 wood-look tile. It comes in light colored, natural-look Soft Maple or deep, rich Caramello. Both have elements of reclaimed natural wood with a beautiful handscraped texture in well-worn, warm colors. Take a look at it today at your nearest Home Depot location or online.