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Traditional Flat Panel Wainscoting

The process of wainscoting was first established centuries ago. Initially, it had more of a practical purpose; adding an extra layer of wood to a wall for support. Its full beauty wasn’t fully appreciated as it is
now. Now, wainscoting is mainly used for decorative purposes, unless needed to hide a blemish or damaged wall. Flat panel wainscoting has a unique look that sets it apart from the beadboard and raised panel designs.

What is flat panel wainscoting?

Flat paneled wainscoting is essentially just that, flat or recessed paneling. These panels can be solid wood, MDF, HDF, vinyl, or wood veneers. Quite simple in design, they allow the installer much liberty to work them into their particular desired style.

How are flat panels installed?

The flat panels are installed directly over drywall, and nailed into place with a finish nailer. The holes and seams can be caulked and
filled, or covered with decorative moldings. Flat panels are often times used in combination with decorative moldings. They are very supportive to accompanying trims, and because of their flat nature, the trims can be used to create designs and patterns on top of the flat panel.

How can I finish the flat panels?

Depending on the material your panels consist of, you can either paint or stain them. The natural woods or wood veneers can be stained or sealed. All materials can be painted, and the vinyl either comes pre-painted or you can purchase a special paint made just for that purpose.

Use flat paneling to line a stairway, hallway, or any other
room where you either want to protect the wall, or simply bring more style. Request free estimates from prescreened remodeling contractors in your area to install your decorative paneling.

Used primarily for decorative purposes, or to hide a blemished or damaged wall, flat panel wainscoting is essentially just that—flat or recessed paneling. It can be made from a variety of materials and finished in plenty of attractive styles. Here’s how to decide if it’s the look you’re going for in your home.

Costs

If you feel confident enough to install flat panel wainscoting yourself, you can buy a kit for around $200, depending on the quality of the materials. Expect to pay more for professional installation. However, hiring a contractor is highly recommended due to the skill level required in installing wainscoting. Get a price quote to see if it fits within your budget.

Pros

Flat panel wainscoting can be finished in a lot of architecturally interesting styles.

Flat panel wainscoting can hide blemishes or imperfections on most walls.

Offers a unique, varied look that fits with most design styles.

Cons

Having a professional install flat panel wainscoting may be costly, depending on the contractor and scope of project.

Durability

The durability of raised panel wainscoting depends on the materials used. Natural hardwood may be the best choice, but MDF is also considered durable as long as it isn’t exposed to a large amount of water.

Maintenance

Wood paneling, MDF included, is generally very easy to maintain. Simply dust the paneling regularly, and do a deep clean now and then with a mixture of detergent and warm water. Always dry your paneling right away.

Common Questions and Answers

How are flat panels installed?

The flat panels are installed directly over drywall and nailed in place with a finish nailer. The holes and seams can be caulked and filled or covered with decorative moldings. Flat panels are often used in combination with decorative moldings. They are v

What finishes can be used on the flat panels?

Depending on the materials your panels consist of, you can either paint or stain them. The natural woods or wood veneers can be stained or sealed. All materials can be painted, and the

History

Wainscoting has been a home decorating staple since its origins in 16th century England. It was originally intended to insulate the home from cold, damp weather and to show a family’s wealth.

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