Wainscotting is an incredibly versatile interior design solution that adds character to any room. Many Canadian homeowners rely on this technique to add charm to their interior. Ever since the 18th century, this timeless design trend has been serving as not only an additional layer of insulation but also as a support to the surface of the wall as well.
If you’re considering including wainscoting for your next interior renovation project, it’s important to know what types are there so you can choose the one that best matches your home. Fortunately, you’ve landed on the right page. In this article, we discuss different types of wainscotting to help you choose the ideal one for your needs and preferences.

Essential Parts of Wainscoting

Before we dive into the types of wainscots, let’s quickly explain their construction. There are six basic parts that all wainscoting types have:
  • Top Cap
  • Upper Rail
  • Stiles
  • Bottom Cap
  • Lower Rail
  • Shoe
So, what makes wainscoting styles differ from one another?
The addition of new elements.
Some homeowners add more parts to the center, including a flat panel, beadboard panel, raised panel, overlays, or a shiplap board.
These are different the types of wainscoting we’ll discuss here.
So, let’s dive right in.

Flat Panel

Flat panel wainscoting has panels featured behind the rails and stiles. It’s a modern-looking style that comes with boards that lack moulding or bevelled edges. As a result, the boards seem deeper than the rails and stiles.
This design is smooth on the front, without beads, bevels, or grooves. The sole stylistic feature of this wainscoting is the seams between the boards. Some homeowners choose to open the seams, while others cover them with wood or metal strips.

Beadboard Panel

The main features of the beadboard wainscoting are the raised beads and long vertical grooves. These elements are 1 to 2 inches apart from each other and are made of individual boards that are installed one by the other. These boards are thin and can be anywhere from 32 to 48 inches long and 4 inches wide. The panels are interlocked with a tongue and groove system.
Recently, manufacturers have started making larger beadboard panels (up to 8 feet) for a seamless installation. For this model, the designers mould the beads and grooves directly into the board instead.

Raised Panel

Raised panel is one of the oldest wainscoting types. It dates to 17th century England, and it was a common technique used for home insulation. To this day, it’s the most applied wainscoting style. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit colonial-type homes, you’ve most likely come across raised panel wainscoting.
In this style, the panels go in front of the rails and stiles, resulting in panels that seem raised off the wall. Raised panels are typically installed 30 to 40 inches high around the entire room but can go even higher. This style is mainly used for living rooms and dining rooms.

Overlay Wainscoting

Overlay wainscoting is a mixture of raised and flat panel types of wainscoting. The flat ones are set up first, with additional panels being centred on them. If you want to add more style to the construction, you can line the additional panels with moulding.
It’s also possible to mount a flat, shaped-edge wood panel directly on the drywall. The overlay wainscotting copies the solid wood raised panels and belongs to the neoclassical design.

Board and Batten

This is a specific wainscoting style that uses flat panels featuring vertical boards to cover the seams. This style is known for the pattern of wide moulding boards called battens that are 4 to 6 inches wide, 6 to 10 inches apart. The battens are commonly used to cover the space between boards, with additional ones being placed to add style.
This wainscoting style was especially popular in the 20th century, but it seems like it’s slowly coming back in fashion. Its seamless looks and clean lines are a great fit for contemporary homes.

Shiplap Wainscoting

Shiplap is a wainscoting type that uses horizontal or vertical boards across the entire wall. Many homeowners choose this style for their bathrooms because of the room’s small size. The vertical lines make the space look longer and give the impression that the ceilings are higher.

Box Wainscoting

Box wainscoting also goes by the name of two-tone wainscoting. The frame and the back come in different colours, forming the shape of a box on the wall. This is a great style for anyone looking to add more texture, elegance, and colour to their room. The two-done design quickly catches the eye as it provides more contrast to the space.

Choosing the Right Wainscoting Type

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best wainscoting style for your room – type of the room, desired outcome, budget, and technical possibilities. Also, different rooms can suit different types of wainscoting. In truth, there are endless options to choose from. And if you’re creative enough, you can come up with your own twist and have a reliable wainscoting service provider turn it into reality for you. Whether you’re just researching or are ready to redecorate your interiors right away, knowing your options will ensure you get the most out of your project when it’s due.
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