Bring back the warmth and beauty of fine wood to your
home with wainscot paneling. There is nothing like the
warmth and beauty that real wood wainscot bring to a room.
In fine homes throughout history, wood paneling can be found
in living rooms, dining rooms, libraries, family rooms,
bedrooms, entry foyers, and along staircases. Today, they
are even being used in kitchens and bathrooms.
The practice of lining interior walls with wooden panels
began in the late Middle Ages and became very popular during
the Renaissance. It was an attempt to make living areas more
comfortable. Stone walls are cold, and they can pull
dampness from the ground up into the building. Covering
walls with thick wood made them warmer and drier.
Early wainscoting was tall, often covering the lower
three-quarters of the wall. Oak was the wood most frequently
used for the purpose. For several centuries in England,
"wainscot oak" referred to the beautiful quarter-sawn oak
surfaces that were typical of wainscoting.
Raised Panel Wainscoting
A raised panel wainscot, popular in England throughout
the Stuart and Georgian periods, was the earliest style to
be developed. Each panel is pushed out into the room
slightly, so that it is in front of the styles and rails.
The beveled edge created by molding is very noticeable.
Raised panel wainscoting is the most formal wainscot style
Flat Panel Wainscoting
Recessed panel, or flat panel, wainscot was
developed during the 19th century in North America.
The panels are placed a little deeper than the rails
and styles, giving a recessed appearance. No molding
is used, so the panel edges are very obvious. These
panels were used in Mission-style buildings and were
often placed in Craftsman houses.
During the Victorian period, wainscot made of
beadboard was very popular, especially for informal
areas or beach houses. It was usually installed with
the beaded lines running vertically. The rails and
styles were quite narrow and inconspicuous. Today,
beadboard wainscoting is often used to create a
casual or country mood.