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Carpentry  /  October 18, 2021

Calgary Home Repairs: What Is Wainscoting?

Calgary Home Repairs: What Is Wainscoting?

Wainscoting is a type of decorative panelling that extends partway up the wall from the floor. It starts at the baseboard and typically extends up to chair-rail level. When professionally installed by a carpenter in Calgary, it can give your home a more finished, well-built look. Wainscoting comes in many different styles and materials to produce different effects in a room. While sometimes regarded as merely decorative, wainscoting can serve practical purposes.

What Does Wainscoting Do?

Stains and scuff marks on painted or papered walls can be difficult to remove. Wainscoting helps to protect your walls from marks and stains. It is much easier to clean than painted walls or wallpaper, and if it is damaged beyond repair, it can be replaced with relative ease. Wainscoting has been used since at least the 1300s to protect walls from jostled chairs and other hazards. Today, the damage is more likely to come from dirty fingerprints and muddy overshoes than sword scabbards and riding boot spurs. However, the protection that wainscoting provides is the same.

What Materials and Styles Are Available?

In the past, wainscoting was typically made of solid wood panels, usually oak. Today, wainscoting is available in a wide range of materials, including pressed wood, PVC, and medium-density fiberboard. These materials can mimic the look of solid wood at a much more affordable price. Some can also go into areas where wood might warp.

Beadboard is a wainscoting style that gives a more rustic impression. In the past, it consisted of thin, vertical, uniform pieces of wood that fit together in a tongue-and-groove pattern. Today, you can also find wainscoting in sheets or panels that resemble the traditional beadboard pattern but are easier to install.

Depending on the material used, wainscoting can be stained to bring out its natural beauty or painted. It is traditional for wainscoting to be painted white, but you can choose any colour you like.

Where Should You Use Wainscoting?

While wainscoting can improve the look of any room, it is most practical in those that see a lot of traffic. You are likely to see it in areas such as the foyer, hallways, and stairwells where people are frequently coming and going. In dining areas, it can help prevent damage to the walls by chairs being swung around too vigorously, as well as staining from food spills. Wainscoting can also be used in areas where kids and pets frequently congregate. In addition to protecting the walls, it can also have a calming effect on its occupants. Some people also use wainscoting in the bathroom as a more affordable alternative to tiled walls. However, if you use wainscoting in the bathroom, you must ensure that it is made of a material that is resistant to moisture.

How Tall Should Wainscoting Be?

There really isn’t a definitive height for wainscoting. It can be up to 5 feet tall but more often ranges between 36 to 42 inches. It depends on the other features in the room. The general guidance is that wainscoting should be approximately one-third of the room’s height to remain proportionate. Therefore, in a room with a 9-foot ceiling, a 3-foot wainscot would be reasonable. However, it might be dwarfed in a room with a higher ceiling, in which case it would be appropriate to increase the height.

The room’s windows are another consideration. The wainscoting usually extends to the level of the window sill, but if the windows are very low or very high, you may have to choose a more arbitrary height for the wainscoting to maintain the desired proportion.

Choose Handyman Connection as Your Carpenter in Calgary

It is difficult to install wainscoting so that it is straight and even. With a minimum of 10 years of experience in the field, each of our carpenters has the skills and expertise required. Contact us for wainscoting installation and other repair services in Calgary.

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