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Low Maintenance Vinyl Wainscoting

Wainscoting is the process of covering the lower half or portion of a wall with either a wood paneling or wallpaper. A popular technique for centuries, wainscoting brings eye-catching design and lasting class to a room. Wood paneling has come a long way from the original materials in the 1500s, and you now have the choice of vinyl paneling as well.

Vinyl wall panels are made out of a PVC composite; and come pre-manufactured with the pattern and design imprinted on the vinyl. They don’t require painting, but home improvement stores do offer a line of special paints. You can choose between regular wall panels with accompanying trims or the old-fashioned beadboard design.

Wood paneling and its variations are all great products, but they do require a certain amount of maintenance. Wood tends to warp and twist, and continually needs repainting and staining.
Additionally, it is prone to water damage, mold and mildew, and insect damage. Vinyl panels present a virtually maintenance-free alternative to wood products, and can look just as striking within your home. Its waterproof qualities make
it an excellent product for kitchens, bathrooms, and mudrooms. Although vinyl requires very little maintenance, it can be difficult to repair a deep scratch. Many manufacturers offer warranties to ensure your satisfaction with the product.

Vinyl panels, although easier than wood, are harder to find and more expensive
because of it. Unlike exterior vinyl products, vinyl wall panels are a relatively new idea and need an increase in manufacturing to make them more readily available to consumers. That’s not to say you should resign yourself to
alternatives, just do a little research and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Talk to your contractor as well, as some of his/her suppliers may offer what you are looking for. Request free estimates from prescreened remodeling contractors in your area.

While wainscoting—or covering the lower half of a wall with wood paneling or wallpaper—has been popular for centuries, vinyl wainscoting is a fairly new phenomenon. Many homeowners are attracted to vinyl because it requires very little maintenance and comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Here’s what you need to know.


Vinyl wainscoting costs depend on your own specific needs. Get a few price quotes from local contractors to find out what this project would cost.


Also waterproof, making vinyl wainscoting a great option for kitchens and bathrooms.

Vinyl wall panels come in a variety of patterns and designs, no painting needed.

Virtually maintenance-free paneling option.


A relatively new concept, vinyl panels can be somewhat hard to find.

Currently more expensive than wood panels because it is more rare.

It’s very difficult to repair scratches in vinyl.


Since vinyl is moisture-resistant and requires little to no maintenance, it is considered a durable paneling option for any home. With regular wear and tear, vinyl wainscoting should last for years to come.


To keep vinyl wainscoting looking great, simply dust regularly and wipe the paneling down occasionally with water and a small amount of soap. Dry afterwards.

Common Questions and Answers

Can vinyl paneling be painted?

Yes, although vinyl paneling doesn’t need to be painted, it can be based on the homeowner’s preference. However, to get the paint to stick to the vinyl, it must be sanded, wiped down with a tack cloth, primed, and painted with latex paint.

What are the main differences between vinyl wainscoting and wood wainscoting?

Vinyl wainscoting is made out of PVC composite and doesn’t require much upkeep. Wood, on the other hand, tends to warp and twist, and continually needs repainting and staining. It can also be more susceptible to water damage. In terms of appearance, howev


Wainscoting has been a popular wall finishing option since it first appeared in the 16th century in England. The concept has now been broadened to include such materials as vinyl.

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