Butt board or tongue and groove
carlockh
December 8, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I see wonderful pictures of both and am not sure why you would use one over the other. I love the horizontal look of these boards on the wall in a wide board. What do you use for butt board? Wood or MDF? If you use wood, do you have the problem of the knots showing through the paint which is what I will be doing. I did hear that you can use MDF as well. What are the pros and cons? I am adding on to my mountain house and have not had any suggest in finding out the answer to this. Please help.
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bungalowmo
Do you mean bead board?? I've never heard of butt board.
December 8, 2013 at 1:57pm     
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carlockh
Thank you for getting back to me. Yes, if you look on your site for buttboard, there are quite a number of pictures. Some are pine and some are MDF but I don't know the pros and cons of either.
December 8, 2013 at 3:40pm   
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Fred S
If you are using real pine, the tongue and groove helps keep things flat (less warping) it also hides the crack you would see through from expansion and contraction. Real wood looks better even when painted, but can be very finicky. MDF is quite heavy and sags easier, but is more stable if it can be nailed often enough. You can hide the nails (blind nail) T&G.
December 8, 2013 at 3:57pm        Thanked by carlockh
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carlockh
Does MDF look like wood when painted?
December 8, 2013 at 4:05pm     
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Fred S
Maybe if it was high up like on a ceiling, but you usually have two choices, smooth or heavy wood grain.
December 8, 2013 at 4:12pm        Thanked by carlockh
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carlockh
This is actually for a mountain home, a Bob Timberlake which we are adding on to. We have wood in all the house and I wanted to brighten it up a little and thought if I put the butt board or tongue and groove and painted but put up wood beams on the vaulted ceiling I could do it. I am having second thoughts since all I see the butt board with are in summer homes. I am using the Benjamin Moore Universal Kakhi colors with the baseboards painted in Quiver Tan and walls in Wool Skein. I had planned to put this on the walls and ceiling in a vaulted two story family room with wood reclaimed beams. So confused.
December 8, 2013 at 4:22pm     
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chookchook2
We did tongue and groove. We did fibreglass batts behind it walls and ceiling. It was a beautifully insulated room, the tenants never ran a heater/ cooler in there.
December 8, 2013 at 4:46pm        Thanked by carlockh
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Fred S
Can you post a few pictures? Old and new parts? Nothing wrong with a bit of smooth sheetrock on the walls. Maybe some chair rail height wainscoting and beams on the ceiling? It doesn't have to match the rest of the house, just bring in some of the elements like doors and trim for starters.
December 8, 2013 at 5:03pm     
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carlockh
I could send some old but the new is still in the framing stage. where do I send the pictures? They are on my phone.
December 8, 2013 at 5:25pm   
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Fred S
Right after you start typing below here, the "attach images" button will appear. You can put four picture in JPEG format on here per post.
December 8, 2013 at 5:28pm     
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carlockh
You say real wood can be finicky. In what way? I assume you get white pine? I also assume you can get it in 8" wide pieces. I think you are right. I don't want to take the chance with the buttboard even though the tongue and groove is more expensive.
December 8, 2013 at 6:25pm   
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chookchook2
Real wood expands and contracts, which is why you can't lay tile on it, but as Fred said, tongue and groove is more stable.
December 8, 2013 at 6:42pm      Thanked by carlockh
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chookchook2
We don't call them buttboards here, they are boogie boards!
December 8, 2013 at 6:43pm   
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Fred S
It seems that softer woods are the most prone to problems like warping and sap dripping out after you paint them. Probably not dried as well as a poplar or birch, but less expensive. Real wood can also check (split) after it is installed especially in a wide board like you want.
December 8, 2013 at 7:00pm     
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Fred S
5 1/2 inch wide is way more common. Can't say that I have ever looked for 8".
December 8, 2013 at 7:02pm     
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carlockh
I guess when I was looking through your pictures, the ones that were 8" were the butt boards or like you say, boogie boards. So boogie boards or butt boards are just pieces of wood and why the tongue and groove is better is because they have a tighter fit. Are you saying then to maybe go with poplar or birch and that they are cheaper. I was concerned about the sap coming out later. Again, are you saying the birch or poplar would be better as the pine is softer and would have more of the warping and sap problem?
December 8, 2013 at 7:29pm     
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Fred S
It really depends on the quality and supplier as for how dry they are. The clear strait grain board would be better than one with knots and wild grain patterns. Chook is just messing with you on the boogie thing.
December 8, 2013 at 7:43pm     
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carlockh
Thank you.
December 8, 2013 at 7:47pm     
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chookchook2
A boogie board is a surf board you sit on.
December 8, 2013 at 7:53pm   
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carlockh
Ok, I got it. I believe it is also called ship board. I still am assuming you both recommend the tongue and groove over the butt board - I still wonder how the MDF would do if it had a lot of nails in it. I did have a contact from a painter to use a shellac primer on the wood so the knotholes might not come through.
December 8, 2013 at 8:00pm     
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chookchook2
Heat rises, also, unless you use fans to push it down.
December 8, 2013 at 8:30pm   
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Fred S
Shellac does work pretty good. If you wanted to try MDF, I would probably try a textured 4'x9' x1/2" siding product. Rip it down to the desired widths and ease the edges. Then glue and nail it to the 1/2" sheetrock on the wall.
December 8, 2013 at 8:30pm     
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Fred S
Now that I am thinking about it, look into 8" lap masonite siding and lay it flat on the sheetrock they come in 16' lengths I think and already the right width?
December 8, 2013 at 8:36pm     
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bubbasgma
Carlockh- This is the "beadboard" photo from one of your ideabooks. Is this the look you are trying to achieve?
December 8, 2013 at 9:19pm   
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Fred S
I think we are looking for something horizontal like this.

December 8, 2013 at 9:32pm     
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Fred S
Here is a double dutch lap siding that has the grooves similar to the picture above. A shiplap is a square groove and a dutch lap is angled on the bottom. http://www.menards.com/main/mobile/building-materials/siding/engineered-wood-siding/lap/1-2-x-16-x-16-lp-smartside-double-8-dutchlap-lap-siding-cedar-textured/p-1922185-c-5828.htm
December 8, 2013 at 9:49pm     
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Fred S
Here is a 4'x8' panel with grooves that match the picture above the best. The problem is that you will need to find a way to hide the seams every 8'. http://m.homedepot.com/p/96-in-Composite-Panel-Siding-25934/202057827/
December 8, 2013 at 10:26pm     
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bubbasgma
"Contains shiplap edges and 8 in. vertical design". Fred- what would "shiplap" edges mean? Would that camouflage the seam? Would something like this be rough or smooth?
December 8, 2013 at 10:36pm   
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chookchook2
There are new products out now that are fire resistant, that give you more time to get out in event of a fire. Don't know what are called in US. No asbestos in them.
December 8, 2013 at 10:40pm     
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bubbasgma
Thanks, Chook. Rebuilding our flooded, lower level (with walk out and waist high foundation walls). Have been trying to choose between beadboard mdf (similar to what was ripped out) or drywall with some sort of trim cap around room to finish off foundation wall. Haven't considered fire resistance.
December 8, 2013 at 11:03pm     
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chookchook2
Are also products that r more water resistant for your problem, bubbas.
December 8, 2013 at 11:36pm     
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Fred S
Bubbas, the first picture is different shiplap profiles. The other two are what you are referring to as 8" design. The shiplap edge is the overlap as in the second picture. The seam is not meant to be camouflaged per say, but to look like every other fake seam in the 4'x8' sheet. They are generally wood grain, but may come in smooth or stucco look. The wood grain ones generally camouflage the seam better. Chook is referring to hardipanel, but it is no answer for a wet basement because the framing and insulation behind it would still get wet. Sheetrock is actually plenty fire resistant. If it is a concern, use 5/8 firex sheetrock. Beadboard can be a thin 1/4" that goes over sheetrock or a 1/2" that can go on by itself. If you want the grooved look, then look into all the James Hardie panels. There may be one you like and there is a slight advantage to the water and fire resistance over actual wood. But sheetrock is so different you can't really compare it to the other two. It has its own advantages like smooth, fire resistant, cheap, and easy to rip off and start over if you have another flood.
December 9, 2013 at 12:55am     
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bubbasgma
Thanks you two! Have gutted, regraded, rewired, replumbed, and reframed. Have sealed foundation cracks, floor/wall joints, and holes in the slab from footing frames that weren't removed before they poured the floor! Haven't had enough rain/snow melt to really test out the water-proofing yet. Next step..XPS insulation for foundation wall and FG batts above, cuz brrrrr, it's cold in here! Then comes the FUN part. Great information to know as we slowly inch our way back to "normal".
December 9, 2013 at 5:53am   
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carlockh
If you go to my Houzz and look under butt board, you will see the look I am going for. This house was built by architect, Jim Strickland, actually out of Atlanta. I have asked him exactly what they are etc. Looking through his questions so far, it seems they are pine boards butted up to each other (not sure if he used the "quarter" trick to space them apart but then whitewashed them. What I love is the width of the boards which I am not sure I can get from the tongue and groove. He didn't use the MDF, that I do know.
December 9, 2013 at 6:16am     
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PRO
D.C. Snelling Limited
In your situation, I would go with real wood. MDF does some funky stuff if it gets even damp - swells, bends, crumbles. It also does not hold fasteners well. Depending on the grade of MDF, it can be difficult to get the same finish texture as wood.
If wood gets damp, it will return to its previous condition when dry
December 9, 2013 at 6:21am        Thanked by carlockh
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carlockh
Thank you so much for this. I assume yiu agree with the shellac primer in order to keep the knotholes from showing through. Does it make the wood too shiny though? Also wonder what type paint to use? A satin was suggested?
December 9, 2013 at 6:35am   
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bubbasgma
The designer's project photobook. The entire project photobook.
December 9, 2013 at 6:47am   
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PRO
D.C. Snelling Limited
I would highly recommend you to use a shellac based primer on the knots at minimum. Some high quality primers and paints will work without shellac, but it is hit and miss.
If you are top coating with a paint, pick the sheen you want. Again a high quality paint needs to be selected. Certainly when you pick a shinier finish, they seem to be tougher in general. Myself, I like a flat/matt finish as it evens out the look and can disguise small imperfections in the surface
December 9, 2013 at 6:50am      Thanked by carlockh
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bubbasgma



Questions answered by designer and follow-up posts with this photo.
houndliture wrote:
Interior sheathing - Are the boards you use for interior sheathing finger jointed or tongue and groove?
Like Comment April 24, 2013
December 9, 2013 at 6:55am      Thanked by carlockh
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bubbasgma
"Historical Concepts
In this particular application, we've used butt boards, just plain boards butted up to each other.
April 25, 2013 at 5:38am "

"houndliture
....you can put boards over plaster without issue. They are just wooden boards, usually 3/4 inch thick. They are "butted" up to each other, as opposed to interlocking like a tongue and groove board. Typically you would use pine boards available from your local lumber yard. If you want to paint them a light color you will want to treat the knots so they don't show through with a product like Zinner's Bin.
August 11, 2013 at 5:16pm"

"patshelton
Like houndliture above, I, too, am an avid Historical Concepts fan and am smack dab in the process of installing and finishing these butt boards in several rooms of our under-construction lake house. We are using pine boards which were kiln-dried at the lumber yard and which our carpenters 'trued' to a consistent width before nailing to the walls (i.e., to the studs using a nail gun). You will want to consider your final measurement if you choose to true your boards since naturally, some of the overall width of each board will be lost in the process. Also, we stapled black felt to the walls (studs) before nailing up the boards to give a uniform look to the 'pinstripes' (not hard, just cumbersome) AND we made sure to prime the fronts, sides, and backs of the boards beforehand. If you are applying the boards to a finished wall, you could simply paint the wall black to achieve the same backdrop. Finally, it might be wise to allow your kiln-dried boards to acclimate to the ambient temperature in your room before applying them as this might help minimize further 'movement' of the wood. Hope this helps anyone interested in achieving this look!
August 13, 2013 at 4:37am"
December 9, 2013 at 7:02am        Thanked by carlockh
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carlockh
Thank you so much. This is great advice. What size boards are you using? I was thinking of 8" boards. Are you priming the boards with a primer before hand to eliminate the knot hole problem? I had heard about using a quarter to evenly space the boards apart. Are you doing this?
December 9, 2013 at 8:04am   
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bubbasgma
carlockh- I copied and pasted the photos from the "butt board" ideabook you like, onto this thread, so Fred, Chook, and DC could see what you are wanting to achieve. I also copied and pasted the questions and answers that had been posted to the designer's original photos. Hope that gives a bit more direction. It is a very cute, shabby cottage look. It was written up again with more detail here:

December 9, 2013 at 8:35am     
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Hannah Anderson
If you use butt boards, there is a possibility of seeing wiring/insulation/etc in the cracks as the wood does expand and contract. Using the shiplap or a t&g option would eliminate that and also allow you to install without face nails that will have to be puttied. You can still maintain the look (such as the crack/line) by making the tongue deeper than the groove. This is the application we are using in the home we are building. We are using 8" poplar. We looked at using some 1x material from a lumber yard (such as Lowes), but even though it is less expensive, it was much softer and would have the problems mentioned above.
December 9, 2013 at 8:48am      Thanked by carlockh
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Hannah Anderson
While we are using the 8" horizontal boards in larger rooms such as the family room, we are also using some 6" vertical boards in smaller rooms such as the powder room and breakfast room.
December 9, 2013 at 8:50am      Thanked by carlockh
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Fred S
Carlockh, where is this mountain house located? Local weather conditions will make a difference in how you proceed. With an 8" wide board, it will need to have some face nailing to keep it flat regardless of using T&G or not. I have not been showing you MDF products for an alternative to real wood, but exterior grade siding that will not have the issues of MDF and moisture. Do you want a more textured wood grain look or a smooth look with hand painted brush strokes? Do you want a uniform nail pattern showing or would you rather the nails be as close to invisible as possible? What type of insulation are you using? Do you want black lines showing between the boards or would you rather have it the same color as the boards? This "look" can go in many directions and still look great. To give you the best recommendations, I need to know all these details. Do you have fire codes where you are building (ie are there other homes close to yours)? Sheetrock may be required before any finishes and this can create more important moisture problems than any MDF material would have done if not applied properly for the climate. Sheetrock underneath is also advisable for energy efficiency, but again, needs to be done properly. Other sheet products as underlayment may be more advisable depending on your exact situation. Has anyone in your area advised you as to where to put a vapor barrier?
December 9, 2013 at 11:19am        Thanked by carlockh
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Fred S
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to go. The cleanest, most real, high end look is going to be the most expensive. It will be a custom milled poplar T&G, but that is not necessary unless you are doing all this to get your picture in a snobby magazine. If you are looking for more of a shabby chic, then several other methods may work fine. If you can find a way to not need boards longer than 8', that would open up even more possibilities price wise. One problem with going for cheaper or more stable products is that they start to look too perfect and then look somewhat fake.
December 9, 2013 at 11:34am        Thanked by carlockh
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carlockh
The house is In Big Canoe, Ga. and is one hour north of Atlanta. It doesn't get that cold. Maybe 5 to 10 degrees less than Atlanta. This room will be in the interior of the house so there is only the two story hall taking you downstairs with the outside wall at the turn of the steps. I do love the look and concerned if we use t & g that I won't be able to get it as wide as I want. It will be put up on the studs, not sheetrock. My builder does understand that the felt will need to be put up first. Thank you so much for all your help.
December 9, 2013 at 4:53pm   
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Amy DaSilva
I have the same decision to make regarding paneling. I built two 6.6' sleeping areas into our loft for our sons. I think the outside of each would be a good place for ship lap/butt board/clapboard. The space is so tall already that putting the wood horizontally would be better...I think. (I plan to finish the area with attached open bookshelves held up by industrial pipe). I visited my local Home Depot and they have nothing available in 8" and one in a 6" t&g. I would prefer butt edge to a beveled edge. I'm considering all options including 4x8 panels turned sideways and cut into 8" strips or maybe even outdoor siding...although I'm not sure that would look the best. Any advise on size and product would be appreciated. We live in a small mountain town with little access to lumber yards, just HD.
December 10, 2013 at 3:43pm   
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