It’s no surprise that accent walls are one of the hottest DIY projects around. They’re trendy, they’re stylish and they’re a great way to add dimension to a room. Lately we’ve seen DIYers and designers taking this trend up a notch by using wood and laminate wood looks to create true “wow walls.” Laminate accent walls are not only creative and eye-catching, they are also easy to install and maintain – for a fraction of the cost of hardwood. And when we say easy to install — we mean it. You can have your own gorgeous laminate accent wall in a single afternoon with some planning, a few tools and a little work.
Start by planning
Begin by deciding on a look for your laminate accent wall. Choose a color palette for the room and choose the type of wood look that will work with your style direction. If you’re interested in a reclaimed wood look visual, take a look at the Quick•Step® Elevae and Reclaimé collections. If you want something very textural, you might opt for the Envique lineup.
Once you’ve got the perfect wood-look inspired design, it’s time to get started.
Before you install your laminate accent wall
First and foremost, read the directions on how to install your accent wall. You can find laminate wall installation instructions here. It’s important to complete a few simple steps before you install to ensure that the wall will look great and last for years to come.
Before you begin, check to see that your wall is clean, dry, secure, vertical and meets all local building codes.
- Don’t install laminate over existing wallpaper or paneling
- Don’t install laminate on ceilings, countertops or as a structural material
- Don’t install on sloping walls or surfaces that aren’t ninety degrees perpendicular to the floor
Keep in mind, you are responsible for compliance with all local building codes, including maintaining the required distance from heat sources such as fireplaces.
Overall, installation is pretty simple.
- You need a basic bare wall, free of wall paper or paneling. Your wall will also need to be no more than 40 feet in length and 10 feet in height. And before you begin, you’ll need to let your planks acclimate to the room for 48 hours before you install them. So be sure to plan for the two days your planks must sit in the room where they’ll be installed. Your room climate should be between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal installation. It’s pretty similar to installing laminate planks on your floors.
- You’ll also need a few tools to get the job done right. You can find these at your local Quick•Step dealer or almost any home improvement retailer:
- Uniclic tapping block and pull bar
- Screw gun or drill
- Step ladder, pry bar (to remove any trim)
- 18 gauge brad nail gun
- Brad nails
- Dry wall screws
- 100% Silicone adhesive
- Quarter round molding
Horizontal Accent Wall Installation
- To install planks horizontally on your wall, select enough planks to make the first row on the bottom of the wall. Lay the planks on the floor with the décor side up and the groove side toward the wall. Measure the length needed to complete the row horizontally. Now you need to click them together.
- Be sure to leave a 3/16 inch gap against the wall on both ends. After installation you can add matching quarter round to cover the gap.
- Once you have connected the panels, flip them over so the décor side is face down. It’s time to add the adhesive! Simply apply a bead of 100% silicone in an “S” pattern onto each laminate plank.
- Then carefully press the planks against the wall; be sure this first row is perfectly level and that all end joints remain square and tight. Drive a brad nail through the groove at each wall stud. Place the drywall screws into the wall stud along the bottom edge of this first row only. You’ve just installed the first row to your accent wall.
- For the second row, and all rows after, start on the right side. Maintain a joint stagger of 8 to 12 inches for each new row. You want to be sure your wall looks natural, so you don’t want all of the planks perfectly aligned. Plank two of row two and each plank thereafter in the row has to be modified before installation. Remove the short end tongue by scoring with a utility knife 3 to 4 times to remove. Apply adhesive in the “S” pattern to the unattached plank then fit it into the plank on the first row.
- Use the tapping block to fit the plank into place, then drive a brad nail through the extended groove into each wall stud to attach it to the wall.
- Complete the process until you reach the ceiling. Be sure to continue staggering your planks.
- Cut all planks in the last row to the required width to finish your installation, finish the installation in the same way you have done all prior rows.
- Finally use your quarter round for the inside corners and along the ceiling to cover the 3/16” expansion gap and creates a finished look.
- Now just dust with a microfiber cloth, and you’re ready to show off your wood-look accent wall! Hang some photos, some shelves, it’s up to you!
- You can also install our laminate vertically on your wall for a classic wainscot look, learn how here.
Horizontal or vertical, laminate DIY walls are easy. It only takes an afternoon, and there are so many different wood looks to choose from. Try something cozy like the rich Dutch Oak planks from the Envique collection. Or something light and polished like our Cider Applewood planks from Veresque. With so many color and texture options, you’re sure to create an accent wall that’s just as unique and style-savvy as you are.