When you hear the word wainscoting, you may think immediately of older, historic homes because this wall feature has been in use since the 14th century and has been popular for hundreds of years. Many older homes incorporated wainscoting as a necessary part of the design. Today, it is mostly used for decorative purposes but it is still as popular as ever.
So, what exactly is wainscoting?
The term refers to a type of wall paneling that is used on the interior of a home and covers the lower part of a wall, whether it is beadboard, raised panels, or recessed panels.
Though there are various materials used for wainscoting, traditionally it is made of wood.
Originally, wainscoting served a practical purpose. In homes with stone walls, the wooden paneling helped to insulate the room from the cold stone, providing an extra layer of warmth. It also served as a form of protection against moisture in homes prone to flooding or other water damage. The paneling provided an extra layer of protection, preventing water damage to the wall itself.
Today, with the invention of space heaters and other technology, this feature is no longer necessary.
So why is it still so popular?
Well, apart from its decorative appeal, wainscoting helps to protect your walls from scratches, dings or scuffs made by chairs or other furniture dragging against your walls. This is especially useful in homes with dry wall that is easy to puncture.
Wainscoting may also be a clever way to hide holes or other blemishes on your walls. The paneling will cover any imperfections.
Additionally, wainscoting can protect your walls from dirt and grime, for instance, when touched by children with sticky fingers.
Such blemishes may be tough to clean on plain wall, but can be easily wiped away on wainscoting. Therefore, wainscoting is perfect for rooms that see a lot of traffic and are more susceptible to wear and tear.
But the main use of wainscoting in modern homes is for decoration.
Wainscoting is used to visually