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If you are looking for a decorative piece you can have for the inside of your home that will surely spice things up, Wainscoting is an option that may have come up in your research or by recommendation of your experienced pals. If you do not know what it really is, the best thing for you to do before you make your decision is to know more about wainscoting in general.

All About Wainscoting

Wainscoting, what does it mean?

Back in the year 1300s, the Dutchmen has done a process similar to today’s Wainscoting by making a shield-like covering on the bottom half of their walls to avoid it from getting scratched by normal activities being done in the house. In the past, their walls can get damaged by the pressure of leaning furniture or by their scabbards, which is the sheath they use for their swords. It has been said that the term, Wainscot came from the Middle Low German term “wageschot” which means the inner wooden covering or paneling of a wall.





In the traditional way, wainscot was made of oak that was usually imported from other countries such as Germany and Holland, which is the reason why it is also called as Wainscot Oak. 

What is the purpose of wainscoting?

In the present time, wainscoting is still widely used and has withstood the passage of time. The term wainscoting is being used to simply call the wall paneling or covering that is placed on the lower half portion of interior walls. Though the time of using scabbards has become a thing of the past, people usually have wainscoting installed to protect their walls from oil in the kitchen, scuffs on stairways, and dirt from shoes that are used outside. It can also be a safety precaution for kids that do roughhouse and may bump their heads on the walls. Wainscoting can lessen the impact and damage that can be a result of unfortunate accidents.

Another important function of wainscoting in the present is for aesthetic purposes. Many people love how there are so many options available in wainscoting that will fit the look of your home. This is one of the main reasons why wainscoting is still popularly used at this time. 

When do you need wainscoting?

1. When you want to make a statement

If there is a particular space or area in your house that you want to highlight, wainscoting its walls will be one of the best choices you can make. Though wainscoting can be done in any part of your home, if you have a limited budget at the moment, you can opt to install your wainscoting at your living room or entrance area first. This is because it is the part where you and your guests see first, and having it installed in these areas can give off the best first impression. 

2. When you need to protect your wall

When we go back to its history, wainscoting was first used not as a decorative piece but as a way to shield the walls from scratches due to everyday use. You can have your wainscoting installed in places with high traffic such as entryways where shoes, umbrellas, and bags are placed, stairways, and hallways. 

3. When you need to protect the little ones

Wainscoting is also a popular choice for children’s rooms or playrooms as it can be a safety issue to have them bump their heads on hard walls. It is also easier to clean up when kids decide to use the walls as their canvas to draw or paint their adorable masterpieces.

Where exactly can wainscoting be done?

Back in time, wainscoting is only usually installed in entryways and living rooms to protect walls from damage and save money, however, in the present time it is being utilized in many parts of the home, such as:

1. Kitchens

Adding panels on your kitchen walls can not only match your theme but also protect it from the oil that can splash when you fry your food. Having wainscoting installed on kitchen walls makes it easier to wipe down when dirt and grime stick on it. 

2. Dining rooms

Dining rooms are a public space in your house where you and your family come together to eat your meals and it is especially important to make it look homey and attractive. 

3. Bedrooms

Because bedrooms are personal and guests usually do not enter private bedrooms, it was not common practice in the earlier times to have wainscoting done in bedrooms as it can be seen as a total waste of money. At the present, there are many options for wainscoting available that are not so heavy in the pockets, and many homeowners have panels installed in their bedrooms as well to make it look good.

4. Bathrooms

Bathrooms are very efficient to install wainscoting in, as it can help in protecting the walls from water damage.

Types of Wainscoting Materials

There are many types of materials you can choose from, such as:

  1. MDF
  2. Plastic
  3. Plywood
  4. Solid wood