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Originally comprised of oak, wainscoting was applied to walls in order to make living areas more hospitable. Each panel was comprised of a tongue-and-groove board in order to allow easy installation. Nowadays, wainscoting panels can be comprised of any number of materials, not just oak. Modern technology has allowed wainscoting panels to be produced in sheets, rather than individual boards. This cuts down on the amount of trouble installing individual boards can cause. The look uses boards with no bevelled edges or moulding, causing them to look deeper than the stiles and rails.

Beadboard wainscoting is made of thin, individual boards placed directly next to each other. The design is typically 30 to 40 inches high around the entire room, though it can be taller.

Pine and spruce woods later became popular choices for wainscoting due to availability.

Today, all sorts of woods are used for wainscoting depending on the climate and desired color.

Using wood for wainscoting gives a timeless, sophisticated feel to any room it’s installed in. This could make vinyl panels more expensive than wood as they might be hard to find.

Vinyl wainscoting comes pre-finished, usually in white, but can be painted to easily fit with the style of any room it’s installed in. Vinyl wainscoting panels come in a variety of easy-to-install sizes and styles. There are even reversible panels available, to easily fit the style desired. Households with actively messy children will find vinyl wainscoting a nice alternative to wood.

It features a traditional tongue and groove system for installation, aided by adhesive and nails where necessary. Plastic wainscoting is ideal for bathrooms, mudrooms, playrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and porches.

Regularly dust and wipe clean with a damp cloth to keep it looking fresh.

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