1. What is wood paneling?
Wood paneling is made up of traditional solid wood, modern engineered wood boards or wood-like products put together in a large sheet or single planks. While engineered wood paneling consists of multiple boards and topped by a veneer layer of genuine wood, solid wood paneling is 100% of a single, solid type of wood in each individual board. Thus, the degree of authenticity between the two can be seen, which will come in handy when it comes to validating its value.
An expert homeowner with high expectations and elegant tastes would be most inclined to go for solid wood paneling, especially the unfinished type, which does have an advantage over any type of pre-finished paneling. Wood paneling fits most interior styles, from commercial design, home applications, cottage architecture to the modern home.
2. Different types and applications of wood paneling
2.1 Wall paneling
Wall paneling which uses timber products makes an architectural statement that shows off your design savvy. Think about the old days when luxurious houses of the affluent used wood for wall paneling to show off their wealth. The sophistication of wood paneling is also found in yachts and luxury ships and vessels. When it comes to choosing wall paneling style, it is important to consider whether you prefer a painted or stained look.
Painted wood is widely popular because it allows you the freedom to tailor your design ideas to suit your style. If you fancy a natural look, you can leave it as it is which allows the display of the knots and grain of the wood to be more vivid. This method also adds value to your home, as not painting the wood prevents the chemicals in the paints from altering inner characteristics of the material.
Wainscoting is a paneling system which uses wood boards applied to the lower half of an interior wall.
Because wainscoting is made up of wood, factors like expansion and shrinkage may occur. Depending on the type of wood you choose, real wood, hardwood and so on, the impact of these will vary because wood products respond differently to humidity and temperature conditions.
Among the best suited woods for paneling is teak. Teak performs well in either wainscoting, walling or ceiling, because of its dimensional stability when glued together and applied on the structure framework.
Wainscoting offers homeowners a wide variety of design choices which can be achieved using flat panels or beadboard, whether painted or natural.
2.3 Ceiling paneling
Ceiling panels are designed to withstand pressure and to resist effectively to moisture conditions. Depending on the type of wood you chose, well-made celling panels are built for high performance that can withstand extreme room conditions which will guarantee a comfortable overall temperature and feel in any room.
2.4 Exterior paneling
Besides multiple materials available to build exterior paneling such as fiber cement or plastics, wood paneling proves to be highly sustainable and ecologically friendly. Exterior applications include balconies, outdoor wood siding, among others. Wood paneling lasts longer than vinyl siding and periodic maintenance is sufficient. Wood paneling for exterior applications is usually stained, although some prefer a painted look.
3. Why wood paneling?
Serving as a big design component in home building since the Victorian era, wood paneling was widely used in mid century homes, and it prevails in modern culture with stylistic adaptations. Technological advances in processing offers new choices, from classic to the contemporary design styles. Wood paneling is added as a decorative accent or to cover up damaged areas. It provides added value because it acts as an insulator, Wood paneling keeps the cold out, retains the heat inside, and also performs better at soundproofing than other materials, especially solid hardwood, like teak.
Wood paneling, especially if solid wood, is more durable than wallpapers and wall paint. Solid wood paneling is also a greener choice because it is often harvested in man-made, sustainable forests, where various wood types are grown for multiple timber purposes in an ecologically sustainable manner. Moreover, because of its strong endurance, homeowners are less likely to purchase more wood panels over time, which in turn reduces consumption.
With paneling, it is a clear-cut process of cutting, gluing to its base and nailing into your wall or ceilings. For DYI crowd who want to avoid paying expensive contractors, this is definitely an optimal choice.
4. A few installation tips
Traditionally it was used on kitchen walls and entryways, but todaywood paneling can be found throughout the house, from bedrooms to libraries and in exterior applications like balconies, it has seen a resurgence in its uses and applications.
A popular type of wood paneling is tongue-and-groove. The price of this type can be higher than sheet paneling, however, it is a worthy investment because the added value and attractive look will totally pay off afterwards. It is important to decide how you will lay the panels – vertically and horizontally with careful measurement which should fit with the unity and structure of the house.
It is advisable to reserve a small space of 1/16" extension joint between each panel so that the panels can increase and decrease without stacking together in times of seasonal changes when temperature alteration is significant, say winter to summer and vice versa.
Wood paneling is not as challenging as wood flooring, but if you are paneling the ceiling, being able to work on a ladder is a necessary, and should consider leaving it to professionals if necessary. For those who are interested in knowing how to install teak paneling on your walls, thorough instructions can be found here.
Recap on the qualities of wood paneling:
1. Wood paneling is made up of solid wood or engineered wood boards put together that comes in a stack or single planks.
2. Wood paneling is suitable for various applications with substantial benefits:
- Wall paneling offers a sophisticated, handsome look
- Wainscoting enhances any interior space
- Exterior paneling is durable.
- Wood paneling is decorative, good insulator, and an ecologically sustainable material.