Beadboard on Back Wall Between Cabinets

Here are some tips on installing a wood beadboard backsplash when there's a scarcity of framing to nail to. December 27, 2007

I need to install beadboard on a back wall between lower and upper cabinets. It is 1/2 x 4 inch cherry stock that has a shiplap joint on the edge and not a tongue and groove. The wall is standard wood studs at 16" on center with 1/2 blueboard and plaster over the studs. Therefore, I cannot hit the studs with nails. My question is on how to install. Should I just apply standard Liquid Nails to the paint and plaster, or do I have to put some sort of plywood on the walls first? If I did, the thickest ply I could use would be about 3/8" thick.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor S:
Why is the thickest ply you can use only 3/8"? Did you take into account removing the existing wall treatment?

From contributor J:
I think you'll need to nail into something to secure the beadboard. It may be overkill, but what about using Liquid Nails to adhere the 3/8" ply to the wall, then fasten to beadboard with a little more adhesive and brads? Should make a pretty solid backsplash.

From contributor E:
1. I see no reason why you cannot use adhesive. I know Liquid Nails has a paneling and molding adhesive that tacks quickly/has a short open time.

2. Cut some slots in the drywall and slip some scrap for blocking in there. Secure it with some screws through the board and it will give you something solid to nail to.

From contributor C:
Just about any full bodied glue should be fine, and if you want you can tack it up after the glue by toe nailing it off with a 16ga blow gun and some 1 1/2 trim nails alternating the direction of the toe nails (I have always heard the term "cod locked").

I would recommend some of that white premixed tile mastic. Put it on with a 1/4" notched trowel, but only because it is water cleanup. But that tight bond grip-tight stuff seems good too if you have extra money lying around (Lock Tite, I think).

The only thing I would worry about is if someone thought they could mount something to the paneling down the road. If this bothers you, then sawzall out a top and bottom strip in the plaster and install a backer/nailer of the appropriate thickness and then nail up your beadboard. But I really think that a good glue/mastic will be plenty (prime the walls first to make sure that you aren't trying to glue to dust).

From the original questioner:
Thank you. The reason I said 3/8" ply at the most is because at either end of the cabinets (which are existing), I am butting up to existing 3/4" window trim. That is why they milled the stuff to 1/2". Now that I think of it, I really couldn't use plywood without removing the wallboard. I like the glue and angle nail idea, and also the idea of cutting slots in the drywall to insert and screw boards.