The term “wainscoting” originates from the use of high quality wainscot oak and signifies an additional wooden wall covering. Another term usually associated with wainscoting is “panelling” and it pretty much means the same thing these days. Although the original material was solid wood, there are other options you can consider for your home these days that are more budget-friendly like fibreboards and tiles. Let’s take a closer look at the styles of wainscoting that is still applicable today:
- Raised Panels
Raised wainscoting panels date back to Colonial days and is one of the most traditional styles that is still being used today. A raised centre is created when the edges of each panel is bevelled. Although a typical application is about 30 to 40 inches up from the floor, it’s not a hard and fast rule. If you’ll like to use the top of the raised panels (cap moulding) for some display space, all you have to do is extend it out further horizontally. Model-Home Makeover provides home upgrade services whether you want to renovate the living room or basement.
- Flat Panels
Unlike raise panels, flat panels do not consist of bevelled edges. Instead, it’s a clean and simple design of a recessed portion that was popular in Mission styles. You can have this built up piece by piece from the floor up or you can also use an easier method of lining the wall with sheet material first (panels) before finishing off with the mouldings on top.
Slim boards are placed directly next to each other in succession until the designated wall portion is covered. This 19th century Victorian addition showcases a more informal side of wainscoting that you can consider for your kitchen, hallway and bathroom. If you prefer a more elaborate feel, you can always add on a section of flat or raised panels just where it ends at the top for a more elegant finish. For a more “rustic” feel, this is definitely a style you can consider.
- Board and Batten
Like beadboard paneling, the board and batten style uses vertical pieces of board. The “batten” part of the name refers to the thinner portions of wood that was used to close up the seams in-between each individual board. This Craftsman style of wainscoting is both simple in design and easy to install. Again, how much of the room you intend to cover with this style of wainscoting is really up to you, but typical applications are usually about 6 feet tall from the ground up.
This style is a more elaborate version of raised panels. Think Neoclassical elegance if you want your room to look more formal. It’s usually deeper than a typical raised panel for a more 3D visual effect. Depending on your preferences, it can also be applied directly onto the drywall. All you need then is a base moulding on the bottom and a chair railing on top to complete this classic look.
- Using Tiles
This isn’t the material originally associated with wainscoting, but the exact term applies. It’s a perfect replacement that’s suitable for areas that are constantly exposed to water like our kitchens and bathrooms. In the kitchen, the most common area that is usually covered is the backsplash, but there’s no reason why it can’t be extended further on other parts of the wall. The size of your tiles is entirely up to you and can range from small mosaic pieces to larger ones a few feet wide.
- Picture Frame
When it comes to easy, the picture frame style of wainscoting is as easy as can be. Just think about the frame for a picture as the foundation for your wainscoting. There won’t be a need for a middle panel as you will be placing the frame directly onto the drywall. Some prefer to have their wall one colour and the frame in another colour for some contrast, but you can also have both these features painted in the same colour for a more subtle effect.