I have a beam between the living room and dining room which is load bearing. We've already placed the laminate around the base, so I'm not entertaining further ideas of moving the posts. I'd like to move from walls to columns so the two rooms appear a little roomier.
Round columns are expensive. I could buy a lathe and make my own for the cost of commercially built columns, and they aren't readily available in the sizes and shapes for a half wall column, so will take time to obtain. If we go square it's just trim boards and done, but I'm interested in having a cylindrical column, without the cost and time.
PVC pipe is cheap and readily available, though. I'm thinking about doing this:
- Use 6 or 8 inch PVC
- Split it lengthwise
- Fill it with expanding foam
- Place it around the studs while the expanding foam is still soft
- Use pvc glue along the split edges and straps to hold it
- Secure it at the base and top
- Sand, prime, paint
I'm going to widen the beam and build a wide half-wall base for the column to sit on, and use two half-pipes for the studs sticking out from the wall. We'll use appropriate trim for the base and capital.
My questions are: is this a reasonable process? What problems can I expect building it, or in the long run? Am I going to end up spending more time and money on this than doing it the "correct" way? Is there a primer I can use that will stick to the PVC? Will the expanding foam be enough to make it sound and feel, perhaps not as solid as wood, but more than a PVC pipe?