Wainscoting has been a favorite type of wall treatment for over 100 years. Wainscoting is any paneling that runs the length of the wall between the baseboard and the chair rail. It is used to both protect and decorate this area.
It can be made of wood, marble, ceramic tile, heavy fabric, or newer materials like wood combinations or plastic. The most popular of these is wood. Tongue and groove wainscoting is the most popular type of construction of these decorative panels.
History of Wainscoting
Wainscoting gained in popularity in the mid nineteenth century and was commonly made from the wood of wagons. These panels were installed vertically in a tongue and groove fashion and were originally meant to hide wall joints. Since colonial times it was thought the bottom of the wall would need more protection and wainscoting was often made from wooden doors.
Traditionally, wainscoting was placed above the baseboard to extend it. Baseboards had a decorative edge in older houses, so when the baseboard was extended by wainscoting, usually this decorative edge was placed above the wainscoting.
In the 19th century, cloth wainscoting became popular, especially for use in dining rooms. Normally, it was a heavy linen material, grass cloth, or burlap. The fabric used varied but they were generally rich in color and some had intricate patterns. The panels were separated by thick molding to add elegance and show craftsmanship.
Advantages of Wainscoting
Wainscoting isn’t just for aesthetic purposes but is also durable and can help protect your walls. Children and pets can easily leave marks on walls but with wainscoting, those marks will easily wash off.
It can also serve to flatten a warped wall or uneven drywall. Wainscoting can also cover up a water stain or other damage. If you have plaster walls then it can hide cracks and prevent new ones from forming.
When chairs and tables slide and hit the wall they usually leave a mark over time but with wainscot the wall is protected. If you have an older home then moisture can build on your walls due to lower standards of constructions. Wainscoting will help protect your walls.
Wainscoting can offer your wall protection from many kinds of accidents. Damage from children, pets and high-traffic areas can be eliminated. It usually cleans up with a damp cloth, and in just a few short minutes, it can look as good as it did the day you installed it.
In older homes, wainscoting can protect your walls from getting damp. Because older construction homes are not subject to building codes the way new construction homes are, they sometimes need extra materials to protect them from environmental problems. Another advantage of wainscoting in older homes is that it can hide imperfections in the construction of the walls.
Wainscoting can be of any height, but at its lowest level, wainscots are an extension of the baseboard that runs the length of the room. Most baseboards run up to eight inches up the height of the wall. They are usually one board with a decorative upper edge.
Wainscoting runs anywhere from forty-eight inches to fifty-four inches in height. Traditional wainscoting is usually a bit higher. It usually runs anywhere from forty-eight inches to fifty-four inches in height.
Tongue and grove construction makes installing it easy and the finished project looks professional. Some even come precut so there is no guesswork involved. Wainscoting was used to hide wall joints in the past, but now it is simply used for its durability and beauty.
Not only does it offer an elegant look, but it also brings an element of the past into play. People love the inexpensive nature of wainscot. It is possible to supply an entire room of quality wood wainscot for as little as one hundred and fifty dollars. It offers elegance, as many expensive homes use it in the original construction now.