Wood wall paneling is a type of wall covering that has been used for centuries to insulate houses, as well as interior decoration, and it has started making a strong comeback in home design ideas in recent years.
Whether it’s made from MDF or boards of solid hardwood, it can be a great alternative to drywall, paint, and even wallpaper. If you’re considering giving your home a unique look, here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of wood wall paneling.
Let’s take a look at what makes wood wall paneling an appealing choice for interior design even today:
Wood wall paneling is often associated with cozy, rustic homes, as well as the luxurious interiors of Georgian or Colonial-style houses. Whether you opt for decking your entire wall in paneling, or even just halfway up, this will give your home a stylish, warm look that can also increase its value. Wood wall paneling is also versatile, and it comes in several types that can fit any home decor project, from wainscot and beadboard, to shiplap and tongue and groove.
Apart from its aesthetic appeal, wood is a natural insulant, and can provide thermal and acoustic insulation to your home. Wood wall paneling is typically installed on a rigid foam insulation board, which adds an additional protective and insulating layer to your home.
Wood wall paneling is a great way to conceal flaws in the walls, such as cracks and dents, as well as cables and exposed wiring. As long as there are no major issues that need solving rather than hiding, wood panels are a great solution.
Although this type of wall paneling is harder to damage than drywall or wallpaper, it is also surprisingly easy to fix in case something does happen. Dents and scratches can be sanded off and resealed, and entire boards can also be taken off and replaced without causing as much disturbance as repainting an entire room, for example. Even holes from hanging objects on the wall, such as paintings and shelves, can easily be fixed with the right color wood putty.
Compared to other types of wall decoration, wood paneling is more environmentally friendly. It uses a renewable resource, and if you worry about trees being cut down, there are plenty of reclaimed wood options that are both cheap and equally stylish. Wood is also biodegradable, and its insulating properties will make your home more energy-efficient.
While there’s lots to love about wood wall paneling, it’s also good to take a look at some of the cons that are worth considering:
Given the fact that wood wall paneling is not waterproof, it can rot if continuously exposed to humidity. Depending on the severity of the wood rot, the panels can either be sanded down, or even replaced altogether.
Although wood paneling, just like wood flooring, needs to be given several days to acclimatize in the room before being installed, it will lose its natural moisture over time. This will result in the panels shrinking, which will create noticeable gaps, and, in severe cases, the panels can even split. If the room has drastic temperature fluctuations, the wood can also warp and bulge, which may result in a costly repair.
Wood is susceptible to damage from both moisture and dry interior conditions, and it needs proper maintenance to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Special treatment, such as beeswax or mineral oil solutions, needs to be applied regularly, and the panels need to be wiped with a cloth every week, to prevent dust building up in the curves and gaps.
Because wood wall paneling has been used in interior design for centuries, many homebuyers might associate it with an outdated look. Not only that, but it doesn’t work well with modern, minimalist furniture, or with house appliances with a metallic finish.
Even though you can find MDF wood paneling for as cheap as $10 per sheet, quality panels can cost anywhere from $40 and up, especially if you’re looking for exotic wood types. Installation is also crucial when it comes to its lifespan, and even though you can put up wood wall paneling as a DIY project, it’s best to hire a professional for the job, to ensure that there’s no risk of it warping and flexing over time.
Wood wall paneling can be the finishing touch your home decor needs to achieve the ultimate stylish and cozy look, and with proper care and installation, you can enjoy it for decades. However, if you’re worried about the upkeep and the cost, but still want to enjoy its unique look, composite wood cladding is also a good alternative.
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