What is Wainscoting: Types, Applications, and Indian Requirements

What is Wainscoting

What is wainscoting? It is a decorative wood panelling that typically covers the lower portion of a wall. It found existence in the 18th Century and known to serve both aesthetic and functional purposes. The word “wain” from the parent word “wainscoting” denotes fine oak that was used as a material by the English. In medieval and early times, wainscoting served a practical purpose, where walls which often made of porous materials, were provided with a protective layer, preventing and offering insulation. Currently, it is an interior design trend which is on uphill rise. From being subjective to solely wood, to the advent of new materials like PVC, Vinyl and MDF in the present day interiors, wainscoting is now the talk of the town. To understand more on what is wainscoting, please read further.

Types of Wainscoting

There are various types of wainscoting, each with its own unique style and characteristics. Here’s a brief explanation of some common types:

1. Flat Panel Wainscoting

What is Wainscoting
Image Credits :

Flat panel wainscoting involves panels that were set into the frame, providing a clean and flushed look. This style is versatile; it can adapt to various design aesthetics, making it a popular choice for both traditional and modern interiors. It offers a subtle look, making it suitable for any room in your house.

2. Beadboard Wainscoting

What is Wainscoting
Project By: Utsav Patel Architects

Beadboard wainscoting is a style that features narrow, vertical planks with a distinctive ridge, or “bead,” running along the length of each plank. The term “bead” refers to a rounded moulding that separates each plank, adding a decorative element to the panelling. This style is popular for its cottage-like appearance, adding texture and visual interest to walls. It’s often chosen for spaces where a charming look is desired.

3. Raised Panel Wainscoting

What is Wainscoting
Project By: ARK Architecture Studio

Raised panels feature elements that are elevated above the surrounding frame, creating a three-dimensional and bevelled effect. The surrounding frame may also include additional mouldings or bevelled edges for added detail. This style is the oldest colonial style, making it more formal and traditional. It adds an element of sophistication and can be a focal point in rooms with a more elegant design.

4. Board and Batten Wainscoting

Image Credits :

Board and batten wainscoting consists of vertical boards (battens) applied over the joints between horizontal boards. These battens cover the seams between the boards, creating a cohesive and textured appearance. This style imparts a rustic and farmhouse charm to a space, often chosen for a more casual and relaxed ambiance.

5. Overlay Wainscoting

What is Wainscoting
Project By: ARK Architecture Studio

Overlay wainscoting is a combination of flat and raised panels. It begins with the installation of flat panels, and then the customised positioning of raised panels can add depth and layers to the space. This style has two panels and is a characteristic feature of neoclassical interiors. It is mostly used in old libraries.

Which Rooms Are Suitable For Wainscoting?

Wainscoting proves to be a stylish addition to various rooms in a home, marrying aesthetic charm with practical advantages. Across these diverse spaces, wainscoting proves its adaptability, enhancing the character and functionality of each room in distinct ways.

Galleries or Hallways, Prone to High Traffic, Find Both Protection and Visual Interest.

What is Wainscoting
Hallways (Image Credits :

The Living Room Benefits From Wainscoting’s Classic Appeal, Providing a Sophisticated Backdrop for Furnishings and Decor.

What is Wainscoting
Living Room (Project By: Swastik Interiors

Bedrooms Acquire a Cosy Allure With Wainscots, Especially When Used Strategically Behind a Bed.

What is Wainscoting
Bedroom (Project By: Bonita Casa)

Wainscots Extend Their Decorative Touch to Nurseries and Children’s Rooms, Offering To Control Damage That Can Be Done by Kids.

What is Wainscoting
Kid’s room (Image Credits:

Bathrooms Benefit From Both Aesthetics and Moisture Protection and Are One of the Most Viable Places for an Effective Wall Treatment.

Bathroom ( Image Credits : )

Wainscoting In The Indian Climate

Integrating wainscoting in Indian homes can be a tasteful choice, blending classic elegance with practical benefits. In a country with diverse climates, this trend can be both challenging and exciting. The versatility of wainscoting allows for customisation, adapting to diverse design preferences. Whether embracing traditional charm or opting for a more contemporary look, it can bring a touch of sophistication to Indian homes while addressing the unique demands of the climate. Professional installation and thoughtful material choices ensure that it becomes a resilient and aesthetically pleasing addition to Indian interiors.

Pros Of Wainscoting In The Indian Climate:

  1. India as a country attracts dust and stains, so wainscots can provide protection to walls, especially in high-traffic areas or rooms.
  2. Due to diverse climates in areas with high humidity, certain types of wainscot materials can resist moisture, preventing issues like warping or mould growth.
  3. Choosing termite-resistant materials helps protect against common pest issues, particularly in regions prone to termite infestations.
  4. Wainscoting comes in various styles, allowing for customisation to match different design preferences and architectural styles.

Cons Of Wainscoting In The Indian Climate

  1. A bad selection of wainscot material can ruin its purpose, making it an added cost for the user. Materials must withstand high temperatures, humidity, and potential termite threats.
  2. The design and installation of the wainscoting chosen are very typical and thus challenging, so correct manpower and help may not be easily available.
  3. Quality materials suitable for the climate may come at a higher cost, impacting the overall budget for the project.
  4. In regions with high humidity, there could be a risk of mould or mildew growth if proper ventilation is not maintained.

How Is It done ?

  1. To install a wainscot, start by measuring the wall height and planning the design.
  2. Prepare the wall by removing existing baseboards and ensuring a smooth surface.
  3. Install a baseboard, cut its panels to size, apply adhesive, and secure them to the wall.
  4. Following manufacturer instructions, seeking professional help for intricate designs, and prioritising safety contribute to a successful wainscoting installation.


This article decodes the question “What is wainscoting?” through an exploration of various types. Thus, one can articulate that this technique provides homeowners with a canvas for personal expression. It enhances the visual appeal of diverse spaces, protects walls from wear, and contributes to a sense of architectural grandeur, making it a valuable addition to any home. So, what is wainscoting? It is a transformative design element with the power to elevate interiors, adding character, elegance, and a touch of historical charm to walls. Whether embracing tradition or modern design trends, wainscoting stands as a classic choice.

Content Writing And Research By: Ar. Ishita Jindal

Humble abode named after a cottage in Dandaka Forest built by Lord Rama | RSAA Studio

‘कुटीरम्’ in Sanskrit is a humble abode named after a cottage in Dandaka forest built by Lord Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita. It means “a house made of bamboo, leaves and straws.” Humble abode named after a cottage in Dandaka Forest built by Lord Rama | RSAA Studio Set in the dense old part of the […]

Read More

The Majestic Exterior of the House Embraced the Tenet of Classical Architecture | New Dimension

The majestic exterior of the house embraced the tenet of classical architecture, presenting a symmetrical facade that exuded an air of harmony. The task at hand was to create a dwelling fit for a family of four, along with their diligent support staff. The vision was to craft a residence in the classical style, drawing […]

Read More

Walk-in wardrobe design: Where Fashion Finds Its Home

A well-organized walk-in wardrobe design is important for maintaining an efficient and visually appealing storage space, especially in Indian homes. In India, where space is limited, a walk-in wardrobe allows for optimal space utilization and customization that allows for the proper arrangement of clothing and accessories, ensuring that every item has its designated place. A […]

Read More

The Community Centre Is A Memorial Building For The Client’s Father | Sanjay Puri Architects

As per the brief, The Community Centre is a memorial building for the client’s father, Padmaramji Kularia in Nokha, Rajasthan. The sweeping curvilinear volume rises up from the northeastern corner. The Community Centre Is A Memorial Building For The Client’s Father | Sanjay Puri Architects It further loops around the site and rises up on […]

Read More

The Existing Outhouse Structure Is Transformed Into An Exhibition Space | Square

The existing outhouse structure is transformed into an exhibition space. It is a space where one can host exhibitions, design workshops, fashion pop-up shows, and Sunday brunches. At the same time, it also serves as an office. The Existing Outhouse Structure Is Transformed Into An Exhibition Space | Square The vision behind developing this experience […]

Read More

20 Types of Door Handles for a Stylish Home Upgrade

Types of door handles play a pivotal role in both functionality and aesthetics, offering diverse options to complement various architectural styles and personal preferences. Understanding the plethora of choices can help in selecting the perfect door handle for any space. From traditional lever handles to modern electronic ones, the market boasts an array of designs […]

Read More

A House Extension That Seamlessly Blends With A Rejuvenated Facade | Gangwal PMC

The clients expressed a desire for a house extension that seamlessly blends with a rejuvenated facade and boasts luxurious yet timeless interiors. Right from the start, their preference for a minimal and contemporary design was evident. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of redefining the utility of existing terraces in the overall project vision. The house […]

Read More

50 Exceptional Baluster Design Ideas Suitable For Indian Homes

Baluster design plays a crucial role in architectural aesthetics, particularly in structures like staircases, balconies, and railings. These vertical supports not only provide structural integrity but also contribute significantly to the overall visual appeal of a building or space. Baluster design also vary widely, ranging from simple and utilitarian to intricate and ornate, reflecting different […]

Read More

10 Captivating Wall Texture and Colour Combinations for Indian Homes

Texture and Colour are powerful tools for creating a unique and functional space. They not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also create an ambience that resonates with style and purpose. These textures and colours can be sleek and modern or rustic and inviting, allowing you to infuse your personality into the walls. They serve […]

Read More

Design Has A Contemporary Approach With A Neutral Material Palette | Inner Value Architects

The Design has a contemporary approach backed by a neutral material palette, bringing out the balance in the rhythm of the spaces, integrating the large garden space, that plugs into a L-shaped built-space. The residence site is a amalgamation of two 400 sq. yards plots, and thus composes to a almost square plot of 800 […]

Read More
  • Modulor By Le Corbusier: Uncovers Secrets of Design Harmony

    Exploring 15 Types of Kitchen Cabinets for A Culinary Haven