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Wood Paneling for Walls

by Don Vandervort, © HomeTips

If your remodel involves adding wood paneling to a living room, study, family room, or similar space, you have a few choices to make regarding the effect you want to achieve, the paneling itself, and the means of installation.

wood wall paneling diagramSometimes paneling is paired with another material on a single wall—it isn’t unusual for the top of a wall to be drywall and the bottom half to be wood paneling or wainscoting, for example.

Wood paneling is typically installed as solid, interlocking boards. The boards may be milled to overlap or to interlock with tongue-and-groove or shiplap edges. The boards are fairly thin, normally 1/4 to 3/4 inch thick, and are made of different kinds of hardwood that can be given a clear finish or less expensive woods meant to be stained or painted.

Wood paneling is also sold as a 4-by-8-foot sheet material with a wood- veneered or simulated-wood surface.

Paneling may be applied to drywall, directly to wall studs, or to furring strips applied over masonry surfaces. In many areas, building codes require installing wood paneling over a fire-resistant backing of drywall.

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