Wainscoting provides the perfect mix of function and style by adorning the lower half of walls while also protecting the wall from scuffs and smudges. This form of wall paneling started back in 1300s primarily as a way to shield the lower half of plaster walls from damage from things like chairs and boots. Today, they make up an important part of interior design, helping add some warmth and style to a space. Wainscoting is especially great at styling up bare walls that would otherwise look dull and boring.
Traditionally, wainscoting (typically pronounced as Wayne’s-Coating) is made from solid wood panels. But these days, there is so much more variety in materials. You can get it in plastic, plywood or medium fiber board (MDF). For more money per square foot, you can get yourself custom made hardwood wainscoting panels. Other materials used, though less commonly, include stone, tile and acrylic.
While you can install your own wainscoting during your home renovation if you know your way around with tools, it is always best to hire a contractor to do a perfectly neat wainscoting installation. To save time and money, you can buy pre-made wainscoting panels so that the only work will be installing them onto the wall.
There are numerous styles, colors and patterns to choose from, ensuring that you can find something to match your décor. For instance, you can choose a recessed type of panel, raised panel or shaker panel.
An important part of wainscoting is its height. This greatly defines its look and how it impacts the overall style of the room. When planning a wainscot installation, the first step is to measure the height you want it to reach. Here are a few pointers on how to Measure Your Walls for Wainscoting Panels.
- Generally, the wainscoting goes up to a 1/3 of the wall height. This is not a rigid rule; you can place it lower or higher depending on your specific décor preferences.
- Determine the height of the bottom wainscoting railing, which usually starts at 7.5 inches.
- Measure the width of the wall and divided it by the number of panels you want, determining the size of each panel.
For more accuracy, ask your contractor to help you take the wall measurements. Use these measurements in buying the right wainscoting panels and molding.
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Whatever style, height or type of wainscoting you choose, the effect will be positively stunning.