The 10 Most Asked Questions About Wainscoting Designs

Some of you might have been raised in homes with wainscoted walls. Some might have bought a house with a flat panel. And some don’t really know what wainscoting is. Is it a panel? Is it a noun? Is it a verb? And why is it so important to know more about it? Well, the truth is that nearly the majority of homes today have some form of wainscots decorating the walls.

Since these panels cover your walls and any calamity will have an impact on them, it’s good to know a thing or two about them. On top of that, modern wainscoting styles have become essential decorative home elements. And so if you plan such projects, it’s crucial to broadening up your knowledge. So here is a short answer to the most frequently asked questions about wainscoting.

10 Most Asked Questions about Wainscoting Designs and Installation

What is wainscoting?

Wainscoting is panels, which run the lower section of the walls horizontally. But they can also cover the entire wall. They date back to centuries, originate from Europe, and were primarily used for wall protection and insulation.

Today, they still serve such needs but mainly play a decorative role in the room. We can say ‘to wainscot’ the wall or ‘wainscoting’ the walls, but we can also say ‘wainscoting design or panel’. AlexMoulding offered so many wainscoting patterns that can be used for any home renovation.

Are wainscoting and trim the same thing?

Wainscoting is the panel. And we often say that we trim the wall with a classic wainscoting design. But trims basically refer to additional moldings, like the baseboard, chair rail, door casing etc.

Which are the main wainscoting designs?

There are four main modern wainscoting designs but each might come in variations in terms of ornaments, details, size, and material. The 4 main types are, Flat panel wainscoting has no special ornaments and is one of the simplest styles. A shaker is a classic example of flat panels. It stands out for its thin inset panel and the lack of fancy details.

Raised panel wainscoting is much thicker and its main characteristic is that the edges are often ornate. There are classic and beaded raised panels.Recessed panels stand somewhere in the middle. Their inner panels are flat and the edges can be beaded. Beadboard wainscoting has vertical planks, which once upon a time came separately. Today, the beaded planks come in wide sheets. They have a cottage-style design.

Which are the main wainscoting parts?

Although there are differences among profiles, the main classic wainscoting parts are the baseboard, the upper cap and chair rail, and the stiles. The latter is the vertical sections framing the panel. The rails are placed at the top and bottom parts but there also diagonal rails.

What is the average size of wainscoting?

There are all sorts of sizes and weights. As an overall, they are 5/8” thick. The smallest panel is 5”. The shortest one is 6”. It depends on which profile you get. But you can also have them custom made.

Which are the main wainscoting panel materials?

The traditional wainscoting was made of wood. It still is. But today you find panels made of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) with or without enhanced resistance to moisture. You can also find PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) wainscoting, which is actually plastic. This is the best choice for curved sections and wet environments.

Does wainscoting need painting?

It depends on the material. MDF wainscoting is best to be primed and painted for better resistance. You don’t have to paint wood panels unless you choose to do so.

Is wainscoting designed only for wall installation?

Due to the new technology and thus abundance of materials, you can install a flat or raised wainscoting panel to all walls, staircases, or even outdoors. But you can also use some profiles to dress the area around and over the fireplace, cabinets, and the kitchen island. Beadboard is often installed on ceilings.

Can I install wainscoting alone?

Although some DIY enthusiasts attempt wainscoting installation, it’s not often recommended. Styles and materials have their own unique features. Materials can shrink or contract based on temperature fluctuations. Before you install wainscots, you need to measure with precision. And then it’s not easy to end the wainscoting panel, especially if there is door casing, window casing, or stairs and columns in the way.

What’s the cost of wainscoting?

There is not a fixed price for all wainscoting profiles. There are definitely kits you can get if you still prefer to install the panels alone, but the cost varies too. It depends on material, size, and style, but also how many panels you need.