Should I Buy Peel and Stick Wood or Nail up Planks without Adhesive?
So, you know you want to put up an amazing reclaimed wood wall. You have searched the web, asked friends, pinned about 3,000 pictures on your “farmhouse style” board on Pinterest…. You are ready to buy – except one question remains – Should I buy peel and stick planks or planks without the adhesive on the back?
Peel and Stick planks are relatively new in the construction world. Prior to the sticky planks coming into this world, the typical method involved lots of construction adhesive and a trim nailer (or a hammer and lots of nails.) Rockin’ Wood Peel and stick planks are a ¼” thick plank with 2 industrial-strength adhesive strips on the back of the board. To install them you peel off the backing on the strips and use pressure to adhere them to the wall. For a lot of people, they are a dream come true.
Let’s talk about the PROS of using peel and stick planks.
- They can work in places traditional paneling doesn’t. Peel and stick planks are great for surfaces that you wouldn’t be able to use nails on. We have seen some amazing projects completed with our peel and stick planks. People have put them on mirrors, tile, even concrete walls. If the surface is relatively smooth and cleans the adhesive should stick. (We always recommend putting some sample boards up in an inconspicuous area first just to be sure, as we cannot vouch for every surface and what is on that surface that may prevent the boards from sticking). Check out this frame around the mirror! Literally all you have to do is peel the backing off and stick it directly to the mirror and “Voila!” you have completely upgraded your look in just a few minutes.
Or this beautiful vent hood where the peel and stick planks were stuck directly to the existing vent hood. Our customers make our products look good every day!
- No need for specialized tools. Peel and stick planks are a great solution to someone that does not have access to a trim nailer (also known as a brad nail gun). If you are installing on a large area and do not have access to these tools, peel and stick can make your installation a lot faster.
- Can be put up in a temporary situation with the right set up. If you rent your home or office space, you may be worried about using the peel and stick adhesive because of the damage it may cause when they’re removed. There is a solution to this problem with just a little extra prep work. You can install a thin plywood veneer to the wall first, then apply the peel and stick planks to the veneer. You would have minimal damage from a few screw holes that held the veneer to the wall. These can easily be patched after removing the wall.
Now for the CONS.
- Cost – Peel and stick planks do cost more than the planks without adhesive. At Rockin’ Wood, we use industrial-strength adhesive strips and we apply each strip by hand to the back of the planks. This adds to the cost of the planks. Our peel and stick planks cost between $2-$3 more per square foot than the nail up planks.
Adhesive Strips can be tricky– Many people struggle with getting the backing of the strips. This can be easier if you use a razor blade or sharp edge to separate the backing from the strip at the corner. Once you have it started it pulls off like a breeze.
- Typically, won’t work on rough surfaces – There are some surfaces that are too rough for the adhesive to work – Although- we have had customers tell us they’ve used it on brick walls and it has worked for them. (We haven’t tried it yet though)
- Installation can be just as fast with nail up planks – If you have access to a brad nail gun, you can nail the planks up just as fast as someone installing peel and stick (maybe even faster). Since the boards are only ¼” thick, they don’t take many nails to keep them on the wall. You can zip right through an installation nailing each plank directly to the drywall in your home. Since the boards are only ¼” thick, they don’t take many nails to keep them on the wall. You can zip right through an installation nailing each plank directly to the drywall in your home.
- Permanent Industrial Strength Adhesive – The same quality that can be considered a benefit, (the super stronghold of the strips) can also be looked at as a negative feature. If you are someone who likes to change your décor often, or you don’t own’ your space, you may want to use the nail up planks. As mentioned above, you can install the peel and stick planks over a veneer, OR- you can just nail up the planks with the tiny brad nails. Yes, you will have some tiny holes from the brad nails, but those are a lot easier to fix than having to fix any damage leftover from pulling off the adhesive strips. Some of our customers have said they were able to remove the strips without any damage by using a heat gun or a hairdryer, but we can’t say for sure if that will work for you.
The bottom line:
Whether you choose our peel and stick planks or our nail up planks, you are going to end up with a gorgeous wall that has so much character and beauty, you will be admiring it every day. The peel and stick planks make it easier and faster in some applications and you may choose to go this route, especially if you have little experience with these types of projects. The nail up planks will save you some money but may take a little longer to install if you don’t have a nail gun. If you are still on the fence, you can always give us a call and we can help you decide which is best for you.
Our family has been working together for over 20 years. We have three generations in our shop every day, along with the rest of our crew, working hard to produce a quality product that we can be proud to put our name on. We still do business the old-fashioned way and have a live person to answer your questions if you need any help. We source all our wood locally and recycle 99% of everything we bring in. Any wood that we can’t use gets turned into mulch and even our sawdust gets another chance as compost! We save over 5 tons of wood every week from going to the landfill and we are happy to create beautiful rustic décor with wood that would have ended up at the dump. Let us know what we can do for you, we are just a phone call or text away.