Retail Space Walls Planked (or is it Tiled?)

I have been working on the walls of my retail space, which is a former bedroom and front hallway in the new house that I’m turning into my workshop.  Although I purchased the flooring a few months ago, I felt it best to do the walls first so that I wouldn’t drip paint on the new floors. As any of you DIYers know, it’s better to do things in the correct order.

At first I thought I would just paint my walls in the space that will house my products, but for two reasons I decided against that.  Firstly, the walls were not in good condition due to the fact that I removed a wall, closet and door in order to make the two areas into one.  (…and anyone reading this blog for a time will know that I don’t really enjoy patching and mudding drywall).  Secondly, I will need to put a lot of nails or screws (and maybe even shelving) in this room, in order to display my signs and other things I make.  I felt that hanging something off of drywall would not be as good (solid) as having some type of thicker material to “grab” the fasteners.  Initially I thought of horizontal boards spaced about a foot apart to help with that problem. Then, I started seeing quite a few bloggers who “planked” walls in their houses, and I liked the look, so decided to try that!

So, for a recap, this is the area I’m working on and this is how it looked when we bought the place:
(standing in the front hallway, the door goes into the bedroom)

This is after I removed the wall and door:

And, here is after I took out the flooring:

Okay, so what I did was get ten sheets of 1/4″ plywood underlayment at the lumber store.  It comes in 4′ x 8′ sheets which I had the store cut to 4′ x 4′.  This is much easier for me to handle and I did not want to put up any 8′ lengths of boards anyway, so the maximum length of my boards will be 4′. I primed all twenty sheets, which was made easier by having a basically empty workshop, and then cut the 4′ sections into strips of just over 5 7/8″ wide on my tablesaw.  This gave me 8 strips per 4′ length, or 16 strips from each 4′ x 8′ sheet. For anyone not doing the math, this is 160 strips!!

I proceeded to find the studs on all the walls (I use a strong magnet) and had all strips end and begin on studs. The studs were not at the usual 16″ apart, but this is a very old home, and this front section was added on at some point, so it didn’t surprise me. The ceiling is not at all level, so that was also something I had to deal with (and also wasn’t surprising!)

I started on the end wall, using my nailing gun to put nails wherever I found studs.  I used pennies to horizontally space out the strips (do not ask me how many times I had to pick up pennies that fell out of the slots, I lost count after 427) and I also staggered the boards from end to end, like tiling, with a space between the end of one board and the beginning of the next. (Most people butt them up together, but I wanted the visual look of the spaces both horizontally and vertically)

Here are some progress photos (this took quite a few days of work):

Now it’s time to paint the walls!

0 thoughts on “Retail Space Walls Planked (or is it Tiled?)”

  1. I think that's a great idea for imperfect walls, and a room that used to be 2 rooms is really hard to get smooth with drywall. Another great thing about these walls is that you can hang your stuff anywhere, plus it looks good.

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