When you install wainscoting panels, what you are trying to achieve is add an architectural interest and create the perfect visual impressions in the room. And that’s only part of our goals. We also want to protect the walls, make a room look larger, or bring the ceiling up. So far so good!
What we don’t want is to see our new shaker cracking, trip over the baseboard, or give the wrong impression. And just like any other home improvement, wainscoting the walls needs good planning from the very start. You need to make a detailed layout, think of what your intentions are and what you want to install in terms of trims, check out what is available out there, and take a look at our tips before wainscoting installation.
6 tips before you install wainscoting panels
· Choose durable wainscoting materials
A classic wainscoting panel will be made of wood. But today you can get them in PVC and MDF too. What’s important is to consider their strength and resistance to moisture, especially if you want to install the panels in wet environments, like your bathroom or basement. The good news is that you can find water resistant materials today for such rooms. A good tip prior to installing the wall panel is to keep it in the room where it will be installed to adapt in the environment.
· Focus on the wainscoting panel’s height
Choose a tall wall panel wainscoting for a low ceiling room and the space will be claustrophobic. One of the most vital phases, when you are still planning wainscoting installation, is to take measures, write down dimensions, and consider whether you want to bring the ceiling up or down.
· Use the colored palette to give the right impression
Think of the colors you want to paint both the shaker wainscoting and the wall above it before you even buy the boards. It’s best to paint the panels before you install them. As for the color, you can never go wrong with white. But you can play with all shades of the palette. Remember that dark colors will make the room a tad smaller and bring the ceiling down. Always consider how much natural light comes in the room and the color of the floor too. A white might not be as white as you want it depending on natural light and floor color (it will reflect on the wall).
· There are wainscot designs for any room & style
A beadboard wainscoting is the perfect choice for the bathroom. But it will give a cottage-style to your dining room or living room. There is a reason why there are so many wainscoting styles to choose from. Consider which one will match the architectural style of each room in the house. You don’t have to use the same panel for each and every room.
· Wainscoting & molding go hand in hand
Whichever wainscoting design you select, you will probably match it with ceiling molding. The latter should match the baseboard and cap rail in terms of thickness and style. It takes great attention though to install wainscoting along with casing. The wall panel shouldn’t cover the door casing or it will cancel its presence since it will cut it in half. And there is one more thing to consider: thickness. If there is already a door or window casing in the room, consider its thickness and buy wainscoting accordingly or it will stick out (if it’s thicker). This lack of balance will compromise the aesthetic result and might create convenience problems too. And this last observation lead us straight to our last tip.
· Watch your step with the baseboard
When you take measurements before installing a new beadboard in the bathroom or kitchen, consider your moves too. Take the baseboard for example. If it protrudes enough from the wall, you might have a hard time standing in front of your vanity cabinet or kitchen island. These are small details of course, but don’t forget that the devil hides in little things. You don’t want to go through the trouble and expense of wainscoting installation only to discover that your feet bump in the baseboard!
So, the secret to ensuring the proper installation of the new shaker or flat panel wainscoting is to plan well from the start and take into account all the small details – from temperature fluctuations to room height and personal convenience. And don’t forget that installing wainscoting panels is not an easy job. Always take it to a pro.