Some Call it Wainscot – Some Call it Bead Board

Wainscot and Bead board

Wainscot and bead board applications can really dress up a home. The terms wainscot and bead board are often used interchangeably.

Bead board – reversible

Wainscot can be either bead board or a build up using recessed panels. Generally speaking bead board is commonly 1×4 or 1×6 tongue and groove panels with a bead on the front side and often a “v” groove on the back. Bead board is now often sold in 4×8 plywood sheets as well.

Bead board was very popular from the Victorian era through the 1920’s. It is also commonly associated with a  “Cape Cod” or beach house look. It was a very popular wall treatment in kitchens, bathrooms and mud rooms. While it is more common to see the bead board painted, staining is an option as well. For stain grade material we carry Red Oak, and Hemlock with a variety of other species available to order. For paint grade, we stock a primed finger joint, and poplar. We also stock a 4×8 sheet in primed MDF and can special order Alder, Oak, Hickory and Maple as well.

Recessed panel wainscot is generally made from thin sheet goods (either 1/8” or ¼”) and dimensional lumber. This forms square panels with a recess in the middle. Recessed panels are a much older look, seen often in colonial style homes back east, and in Europe. Recessed panels can be left plain for a Shaker style look, or can be dressed up with panel molding running along the interior border. We stock a variety of plywood and finish grade lumber that can be used to build recessed paneling.

One way that both beaded panels and recessed panels can be dressed up is to add caps to the top. A lintel for example, can be added to the top rail to create a more elegant shelf like look.

Both bead board and recessed panels can be added to any home regardless of when it was built. It is often a very cost effective way of dressing up a room and adding an entirely new element to a home.

Our showroom has examples of both the bead board and recessed paneling in both paint and stain grade products.

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