What's Wainscoting?

Sometimes “wainscoting” can be a bit of a mystery, mainly because there are so many varieties available. So let’s take a look at those varieties and get inspired, shall we?

First, what exactly is wainscoting? It’s a wooden paneling that lines the lower part of the walls of a room. The key elements of any kind of wainscoting are the panel and the frame around that panel. Often the type of panel used determines the name, or variety, of the wainscoting, such as raised-panel, flat-panel, board-and-batten, and beadboard.

This lovely, yellow and white bathroom is a great example of what beadboard can do for a room. Whether you want a cottage feel or simply like the look of clean lines that direct the eye in interesting ways, beadboard is a wonderful accent.

Raised panel wainscoting offers a more elegant finish to a room. So if you want to go more formal, the raised panel look is the perfect option. That’s why many homeowners love this kind of wainscoting in dining and living rooms.

Board and batten is probably one of my favorites for reasons that you might guess as you look at the image below. It allows you to transform an accent wall into a dramatic, eye-catching feature for the room. If you’re feeling less cottage and more farmhouse or Shaker style, board and batten is the way to go.

Flip through my Mouldings pinboard for my images and ideas that will help you compare and contrast the different styles of wainscoting and get your creative juices flowing.