What Is Wainscoting? Pros, Cons, Cost, Beadboard

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What Is Wainscoting? Pros, Cons, Cost, Beadboard: Wainscoting is a term for different manners of interior design techniques. It started as a description of a specific type of wall covering. Formerly, its purpose was to make a thicker covering to trap heat within the house. Over time, with better ways to insulate rooms, the concept evolved for its aesthetics only. Also, before doing the actual wainscoting, you can convert 2D to 3D floor plan wherein 3D rendering can be helpful.


Still, there are features to wainscoting that make it stand out as a unique home decoration idea. What makes it different? Which environment best suits it? When should or should you not go with the concept? How does it compare with other similar designs? These are some of the regular questions surrounding the topic.

What Signifies Wainscoting?

With the evolvement of wainscoting, several designs fall under the category. Some of their features are essential if they are to qualify as wainscoting.

Initially, it was used only wood for the paneling purpose. But since then, other materials have come into the fray, even in combinations. The height is also a question of the design. A typical wainscot decoration is about only a third of the wall, going from the bottom up. The height does not have to be precise and can vary above or below up to two feet. In rare cases, wainscoting transcends the entire length of the wall.

Depending on the choice of material and the height of the interior design, there are four classifications of wainscoting:

  1. Higher panel design
  2. Flat height design
  3. Coated panel design
  4. Board and batten: beadboard


The value of wainscoting is in the aesthetics of room design. It is by far the biggest plus of the concept. You need not stick to the norm and get creative to build something that better suits your taste.

As discussed earlier, you can use different materials to build a wainscoted wall. But you should be careful with the choice depending on the environment. For example, wainscoting in a moist area, such as the bathroom, should use only a select few materials, such as real wood or ceramic tiling.

You can protect the paint on walls from peeling away by wainscotting them. It adds an extra layer that is pleasing to the eye and acts as insulation. As such, you get a three-in-one package, especially in the colder regions of the world.


There is not so much a con to wainscoting as the concept itself. Any disadvantage to it stems from the place of decoration and the material of choice.

If you plan on wainscoting more than half the wall of a room with a low ceiling, it will look out of proportion. In such a case, it is the choice of design that is the con instead of the idea.

In the bathroom, if you choose a material that is susceptible to expansion and contraction with moisture, again, it is only a wrong choice of material.


Wainscoting is one of the best methods to decorate the walls of a room uniformly. But its value is in the design cost. Wainscoting charges vary according to two cost patterns:

  1. Cost per panel
  2. Cost by wall area

The first of the two methods is cost-effective for wainscoting more than half the height of the wall. Give or take, each panel is worth $10.

The second method is better for wainscoting only a small portion of the wall height. A single block or panel costs between $15 to $40, depending on the material.

Wainscoting vs Beadboard

Beadboard and wainscoting are popular wall decoration designs that get confused with one another. Beadboard is one type of wainscoting design that has only vertical panels that span the height of the wall. In between boards, there are periodic curvy portions either inward or outward, which are a feature of the beadboard design.


Wainscoting is a concept that has been around for generations. It is a multipurpose wall design that is sure to improve your quality of life!

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