Wainscoting is, at it’s most basic, a method of panelling a room. There are many different styles of panelling rooms, most of which have their own name. In the case of wainscoting the idea is to panel the lower section of the wall – the area traditionally between the skirting board and the dado rail (roughly the lower 3 to 5ft of the wall).
Usually this design is reserved for interior walls and uses a ‘tongue and groove’ style patterning – though that design is not the only design you can use for wainscoting. In fact that is what this site is all about – coming up with wainscoting ideas, not simply doing the same old thing every-time.
1. Raised panel
Rather than using the traditional tongue and groove style wainscoting one popular idea is to create a raised panel style instead. In this the panel is usually framed by a more sunken frame, creating the raised panel look.
2. Flat panel
This wainscoting idea is simple – flat panels are fitted along the bottom of the wall with only style slats separating them. The slats are usually raised and there to give definition and style to this type of wainscoting.
This takes the raised panel plan but adds its own twist to the wainscoting ideas. Instead of using raised panels between sunken separators this glues on styled wood, literally overlaying a flat surface. This allows for far more ornate designs and styles than other wainscoting ideas.
Combining 2 different wainscoting ideas together can help create something special on your walls. Mixing together, for example, tongue and groove wainscoting on the lower section with raised panel wainscoting on the top section can help create some amazing looking walls.
Obviously there are other styles to look at, and other wainscoting ideas. For example it doesn’t have to be wood that you work with – other materials can lend themselves to being worked with in such a manner.
Whatever you do make sure that you give yourself proper time to come up with some quality wainscoting ideas… too often people simply go with the style that tends to be done and don’t pay proper attention to how much better less traditional wainscoting styles may look in their homes embossed metal or ceramic tiling, for example, can look amazing.
Wainscoting Ideas – Materials
Deciding on what materials you want to furnish your wainscoting ideas in can be vital. Whilst traditionally ‘wood’ is the answer to the question “what material do you want your wainscotting in” it is actually a problem answer for 2 reasons
- Many times people simply haven’t considered what options there are available for wainscoting. Instead they just go with what they see as traditional – wood.
- What type of wood do you mean? There are so many different types of wood – all having a different look and ‘personality’. Simply saying wooden wainscotting isn’t exact enough.
Since the material plays a big part in deciding what wainscoting ideas put into practice look like it becomes vital that you give it due consideration.
What Materials Can be Used?
So in creating wainscoting what sort of materials can you choose from? Actually there are a wide range of options available.
Like wood not a great answer, as various metals have various ‘looks’. But various metals have become very popular amongst those that like to fit wainscoting.
A bit more ‘old school’ this, but ceramics are being used more and more widely in wainscotting. With their ability to trap heat ceramics are also being used not only for their stylish look but their ability to help reduce heating costs as well.
Whilst saying ‘wood’ means very little saying ‘oak’ gives a feeling of warmth, of old school luxury and of an olde worlde style. Oak is often a great choice for wainscoting.
A far lighter wood than the deeper oak. The beech wood is a lighter, more modern looking wood that has become very popular who want a more ‘lightweight’ feel to their rooms.