Interior Wall Paneling

Many homes have wood paneling that covers all or part of a wall in a living room, study, family room, or similar space. Sometimes paneling is paired with another material on a single wall--it isn't unusual for the top of a wall to be drywall and the bottom half to be wood paneling or wainscoting, for example.

Wood Paneling

Wood paneling is typically installed as solid, interlocking boards. Sheets of wood are fairly thin, normally 1/4 to 3/4 inch thick, and are made of different kinds of hardwood that can be given a clear finish or less expensive woods meant to be stained or painted. Boards may be milled to overlap or to interlock with tongue-and-groove or shiplap edges.

Wood paneling is also sold as a 4-by-8-foot sheet material with a wood-veneered or simulated wood surface. Paneling may be applied to drywall, directly to wall studs, or to furring strips applied over masonry surfaces. In many areas, building codes require installing wood paneling over a fire-resistant backing of drywall.

Plastic Paneling

Plastic cladding/paneling solutions are made from precision extruded PVC and decorated with unique designs ranging from marble, onyx and granite to wood grain patterns. White, Ivory and other colors are also available. The result is a product with durability and low maintenance. It has a safer fire rating than wood or other wood fiber products.

These panelings uniquely finished PVC panels are resistant to color change or fading and will not rot, delaminate or absorb water. Tongue-in-groove PVC profiles are designed to allow easy installation, with recessed fastening by either stapling or nailing to conceal the fastener. PVC wall panels can also be glued.

The benefits of PVC paneling are innovative, decorative patterns that are not available in other wall covering materials. They are safe, with the highest fire rating for any interior wall finish; flame spread, ASTM E-84, less than 25. PVC is waterproof; it will not rot, delaminate or absorb water, and is ideal for tub surrounds and high moisture areas.

PVC paneling is easy to install, lightweight, and easy to handle, requiring no special tools. Plastic panels can be readily fastened using nails, staples, screws or glue. They are made of strong, high quality PVC, with easy maintenance (cleans with a damp cloth); the plastics have a high insulation value.

Tin Paneling

For over one hundred years pressed tin tiles have been used extensively on walls. There are several one-way designs specially created to be used on vertical surfaces such as walls and cabinet doors. There are also many tin tile designs for ceilings which can be used effectively on vertical surfaces too. These aluminum panels can only be used indoors.

See Also:

Soundproofing Interior Walls
Hanging Paneling