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An Alternate To Drywall





Wainscoting has been used as a wall covering for well over a hundred years. Paneling that is placed on the lower half of the wall has been used since colonial times since it was thought the bottom of the wall would need more protection. Wainscoting can be made of tile, marble, or plastic, but the most traditional material is wood. The wood is usually constructed in tongue and groove boards but other methods can be used. Even old doors have served as wainscoting.

The original wainscoting of the early nineteenth century was made of wood wagon siding, and since it was so plentiful, it became widely popular. Traditionally, it was placed above the baseboard to extend it. Baseboards had a decorative edge in older houses, so when the baseboard was extended by wainscoting, usually this decorative edge was placed above the wainscoting. This lower style of wainscoting, really just a heightened of the baseboard, was popular in the early 19the century.

The wainscoting we see installed today will usually be from 48 to 54 inches high and this style became popular as both a decorative and protective feature in the middle of the 19the century. Tongue and groove boards were nailed to the wall and the purpose then was to hide joints, but now we use them for their looks and their durability. Later in the 19the century, cloth wainscoting as high as 72 inches became popular, especially for use in dining rooms. Many kinds of materials, such as burlap or grass cloth was used, and often in deep, rich colors.

Despite the historical aspect of wainscoting, today it is not considered old fashioned. It is an easy way to add a new look to a room very inexpensively. Despite its low cost, it adds an elegant look to a room and many high end homes are now being built with wainscoted walls, offering a rich wood look to a room. Wooden wainscoting is very durable and will protect walls from the abuse that everybody in the household, especially kids, can pile on. Walls are protected from pushed back chairs and dirty hand prints. They just need to be wiped down with a cloth, perhaps dampened with water or a little furniture polish. Wainscoting also protects the walls in older homes from moisture buildup. Most modern homes have better insulation, preventing moisture buildup on the walls, but the poor insulation on older homes can lead to droplets of moisture forming on the walls. This is aided by wainscoting. Another advantage of wainscoting in older homes is that it can hide imperfections in the construction of the walls.

After being so popular in the 19the century, wainscoting may still continue in popularity into the 21st century.
About Author Vince J. Paxton :

Focusing recent findings in taping techniques, Vince Paxton is publishing normally for <a href="http://www.insidewoodworking.com" target="_blank">http://www.insidewoodworking.com</a> . You can come across his publications over at <a href="http://www.insidewoodworking.com/drywall/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.insidewoodworking.com/drywall/index.html</a> and various other sources for drywall information.


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Article Added on Thursday, February 15, 2007
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