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Ask a Pro Q&A: To Keep or Not to Keep Beadboard in a Bathroom

While shiplap may be the current darling of the design world, beadboard is also receiving attention for its versatility and style. When debating whether to take on a renovation that involves this timeless design, consider the time and cost investment.

Question: I have beadboard in my hall bath and want to know if I should keep it, replace it with shiplap or leave it plain and just paint the drywall? The room has vintage floor tiles, a pedestal sink and marble tile surrounding the tub/shower.

– Ken G.

Well, this is a great question and my answer is, it depends! Use caution. This sounds like a simple project, but it might not be. Do you have a problem such as dry rot, mold or peeling paint that requires removing the beadboard? Is it painted already? Do you simply not like it? What looks beautiful to you? What are your goals for the space and how it will feel?

In general, unless you are going for a new look completely or know you need to fix something, I recommend keeping a project simple. Any time you tear something out is an opportunity to find hidden problems that might delay the project or increase your budget. In bathrooms, in particular, moisture wreaks havoc without being noticeable. And in old buildings, paint often has lead in it, so talk with a licensed contractor before doing anything to create dust or cover up potential problems.

-Jennifer Adams