We recommend installing a board and batten between 8 inches to 30 inches. It depends on the height of your ceiling and the overall width of your wall.
How Tall to Make Your Board and Batten
When deciding how tall you want your board and batten to be, there are really only two things to consider: ceiling height and personal preference.
- As a general rule of thumb, the longer your ceiling is, the taller you can go with board & batten. However, if you’re working with a very high ceiling (over 12 feet), consider adding an overhang on either side of the wall so that it doesn’t hit you in the head when you walk by it!
- Also, remember that if you have lots of windows or other obstructions in your room, this may determine how tall your board & batten should be. In these cases where windows are present, we recommend no more than 8″ above those obstructions for any length of the wall because otherwise, things start looking weird from an architectural perspective as far as proportions go…and nobody wants that!
The height of your ceiling determines the maximum height for the board and batten. If you have 8-foot ceilings, you can go up to 8 feet in height—but if your ceilings are higher than that, then there’s no reason not to make them as high as possible!
Likewise, vaulted ceilings with a peak of 10 feet or more will not affect the maximum height for board and batten on account of their upward slope.
In our case, we decided to use 8-foot boards because it was a good compromise between making sure they were big enough to be noticed and not so big that they took up too much space on the wall. The downside of this decision is that there are only four board and batten stripes instead of five.
To fix this problem, you could add an extra strip of trim at the bottom or middle of your wall (similar to how you’d add extra trim if you had a narrower window). If your walls were taller than eight feet, however, then you’d have no problem using 9ft or 10ft boards without any issues at all!
Higher than 8 feet
In theory, you could go higher if your walls were taller than 8 feet (or if your ceilings were vaulted) because the top of the wall would be longer than the bottom.
There’s a reason why board and batten are traditionally used on walls that are 8 feet tall or shorter—it’s all about proportions. The top of an 8-foot wall is the same length as its bottom, so it looks balanced when you install 8″ boards with 3″ spaces in between. Anything taller than that gets lopsided very quickly, like a miniaturized version of an I-beam structure.
If your ceilings are higher than 8 feet (or vaulted), then you could technically go taller with your board and batten installation because the top of the wall would be longer than the bottom; however, doing so wouldn’t look right because in this case, we’re not talking about proportionality but rather exaggeration.
Keep it well below the ceiling
However, since most baseboards are 3 or 4 inches tall, it would start looking weird if the top was more than 10 inches from the ceiling.
This will also help you figure out how to fit board and batten around moldings, like a chair rail or crown molding.
When it comes to the height of your board and batten, personal preference is a strong factor. If you like the look of a higher board and batten, go for it—but keep in mind that this will increase your material costs. If you don’t want to see all of your beautiful hardwood flooring peeking through the top rails, keep them low (and remember that your labor costs will be higher).
Of course, there are other variables to consider as well: What kind of windows do you have? How high are they? Do they need special hardware? Is there an existing wall finish below where the windows sit? A lot goes into building out a home; getting these things right can make all the difference in creating an inviting space.
How to Make Board and batten
Board and batten is a classic wall treatment, and it’s easy enough to do in your own home. The board and batten look can be created using a saw and straightedge.
You’ll want your boards to be at least 1-1/2 inches thick, and they should be cut so that they are 3/4 inch narrower than the wall surface behind them. For example, if your wall is 10 feet wide, you would cut four 2×6 boards at 48 inches long.
How to Install Board and Batten
All you need is some plywood or MDF and a few spare hours.
Supplies: Plywood or MDF, saw, tape measure, pencil, drill (with bits), hammer and nails (or screws), sandpaper.
Measure the height of your wall. The number of rows will be determined by this measurement plus half an inch for each row above it. Then cut your boards to size with a power miter saw if you have one; otherwise, use a handsaw or hacksaw.
Once all your pieces are cut, attach them together using wood glue before nailing them together to make sure they’re flush against each other at every joint point.
This is especially important if you’re installing them vertically rather than horizontally because otherwise, gaps could form between the joints, which can lead to cracking over time due to moisture exposure when rainwater gets trapped inside those gaps after heavy rains fall outside during the winter months in temperate climates