How Much Does It Cost to Install Wainscoting or Beadboard?

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

The walls that line the perimeter of your home present you with opportunities to indulge your sense of style. Treat them as blank canvases that you can beautify in any way you prefer. To beautify those elements of your home, you can consider installing some wainscoting.

Wainscoting is a specific type of wall covering that you can use to change the appearance of your home. Homeowners usually install wainscoting for decorative purposes, but it can also offer some measure of protection. If you’re interested in seeing what wainscoting looks like over your walls, you must first know how much it costs.

The average cost of installing wainscoting is $16 per square foot. The price will change depending on the type of wainscoting selected. If you’re going with beadboard as your wainscoting, you will have to pay $13 for each square foot of it. Professionals charge an average of $1,620 to install wainscoting and that also depends on the type you chose.

You can refresh or refine your home décor by adding some wainscoting to your walls. Now is a good time to start learning more about that topic. Continue with this article and find out exactly how much coating your walls with wainscoting will cost.

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Cost of Wainscoting by Type

Type of WainscotingCost Per Square Foot
Board and Batten$11

You can install different decorative additions on your walls, but wood paneling is an ideal choice if you want something understated. Wood paneling such as wainscoting can add a decorative flourish that makes your walls pop in just the right way. Expect to pay $16 per square foot for new wainscoting.

Not all types of wainscoting are the same. There are notable disparities between the available options and they will likely influence the option you select. Learn more about those available options below.


Many people make the mistake of saying beadboard when they mean wainscoting and vice versa. Just to clarify, beadboard is a type of wainscoting you can use to decorate your home. Beadboard wainscoting costs $13 per square foot.

In beadboard wainscoting, you’ll see vertical panels of material lined up next to one another. The vertical panels are separated by small grooves.

You may also see some trim running along the bottom of the panels. They help frame the beadboard and create a cleaner finish. Additional borders may also be placed around the panels if you want to keep them separated from their surroundings.

Board and Batten

Homeowners also have the option of installing board and batten wainscoting. At $11 per square foot, board and batten is a reasonably priced option you can choose for your home.

With board and batten wainscoting, vertical boards are placed over your walls. They are laid next to each other, but small gaps are left behind.

Thin boards are used to cover those small gaps. Those are what we call the battens.

Board and batten wainscoting is bolder than beadboard. Decorate your walls with that kind of wainscoting if you want to make a stylish statement.


Flat-panel wainscoting is the option to choose if you don’t want to spend big on your wall décor. Suppliers sell flat-panel wainscoting for the price of $10 per square foot.

You should choose flat-panel wainscoting if you want to use other decorative items inside your home. The simple design of flat-panel wainscoting will not get in the way of your desired home décor.

Flat-panel wainscoting also makes sense if you want to experiment with your home’s design scheme. The flat panels will fit just about any design scheme so no clashing will occur.


Next up, we have overlay wainscoting. Overlay wainscoting is considerably more expensive than the aforementioned options. You’ll have to pay $30 per square foot if you want overlay wainscoting.

Overlay wainscoting is a combo of the flat-panel wainscoting we discussed earlier and the raised-panel wainscoting we will detail next. Two types of panels are used to create this wainscoting variant.

First, there’s a large panel installed on your wall. A smaller board will then be installed onto that back panel.

The edges of the back panel are left exposed to present a striking look. They also result in the overlay wainscoting gaining a textural element. After that, an even smaller board is added to the center of the paneling for decorative purposes.

You can imagine just how gorgeous overlay wainscoting will look on your walls. It’s pricey, but it’s also well worth the investment if you want to feature elaborately designed walls.


Raised-panel wainscoting is not quite as expensive as overlay wainscoting. You can get raised-panel wainscoting at the price of $20 per square foot.

The main difference between raised-panel wainscoting and overlay wainscoting is the innermost panel. The innermost panel is not included in raised-panel wainscoting. You’re still getting the textural element from the panels, but the additional decorative flourish is gone.

Instead of that extra panel, you can place something else in the middle of your raised-panel wainscoting. You can use the raised panels to frame other decorative elements inside your home better.


To finish up, we have shiplap wainscoting. Shiplap wainscoting is priced at $12 per square foot.

Shiplap wainscoting differs from the options we’ve already discussed because of its orientation. The panels are not meant to be installed vertically on your wall. They are supposed to be positioned horizontally instead.

The horizontal lines add a new dimension to your home décor. Use them to your advantage as you try to create a unique design scheme.

Cost to Install Wainscoting by Type

Type of WainscotingCost
Board and Batten$1,450

The average cost of professional wainscoting installation is $1,620. The cost of installation will also depend on the type you chose for your home interior. Detailed below are the different wainscoting options and the costs attached to installing them.


Professional beadboard installation will cost $1,550. It costs slightly more to install beadboard wainscoting because of the trim. Workers will have to spend time lining the trim up with the panels before they can finish the installation.

Installing the panels themselves is a fairly straightforward task. The workers just have to focus on not allowing the gaps to get too big.

Board and Batten

Board and batten wainscoting installation will cost $1,450. Installing board and batten wainscoting can be tricky because of the gaps.

The gaps have to be just the right size so the battens cover them up properly. Fail to measure the gaps correctly and you risk creating unsightly openings.


Professional flat-panel wainscoting installation only costs $1,400. It’s more affordable because installing flat-panel wainscoting is easy relative to other comparable tasks. You just have to focus on lining up the panels so they won’t look crooked.

Installing wainscoting by yourself is risky. If you still want to do it, you should practice installing flat-panel wainscoting.


Overlay wainscoting installation is the most expensive service at $2,000. Given the number of elements involved, the high cost of installing overlay wainscoting should come as no surprise.


You’ll have to pay $1,800 for raised-panel wainscoting installation. The high installation price is related to how difficult lining up the front panels can be. Installing all those panels in the right spots is time-consuming work.


Shiplap wainscoting installation costs $1,500. Although the panels for shiplap wainscoting are aligned horizontally, the installation process is not that complicated. Most home improvement professionals will be able to handle shiplap wainscoting installation.

Cost of Custom Wainscoting by Material

Wainscoting MaterialCost Per Square Foot

If you’re not happy with the wainscoting options available, you can opt for something custom-made. Before your custom wainscoting can be made, the carpenter will first ask which material you want to be used. Several options are available but ceramic, cherry, maple, plywood, and vinyl are among the most common.


Ceramic wainscoting will cost $17 per square foot. You should choose ceramic if you’re planning to install the wainscoting in moist areas. The ceramic will work better in those spots compared to wood.


Cherry wainscoting is expensive at $28 per square foot. Even so, cherry is such a gorgeous material that homeowners don’t mind the higher price tag. Your interior walls will stand out more with cherry panels covering them.


You can install maple wainscoting inside your home for the price of $22 per square foot. We like maple because of the different looks it can provide. You can even use different types of maple for your wainscoting to create some interesting patterns.


Plywood wainscoting is priced at $11 per square foot. Carpenters don’t charge as much if you’re asking them to use plywood because the aforementioned material is easy to work with. Creating plywood wainscoting panels can also be done faster.


Go with vinyl if you want affordable custom wainscoting. Vinyl wainscoting only costs $5 per square foot. Despite the low price tag, vinyl is a high-quality material that can offer plenty of protection as it covers your walls.

Cost to Install Custom Wainscoting

Estimate TypeCost
Low-End Estimate$1,700
Mid-Range Estimate$2,500
High-End Estimate$4,000

After choosing the pattern and material for your custom wainscoting, the carpenter can start crafting it. The average cost of installing custom wainscoting is $2,500.

Ideally, you want to give the carpenter a heads up if you want custom wainscoting. Give them time to gather the materials and plan out the design of the panels. You don’t want to just drop the assignment on them and expect them to complete it immediately.

Creating the panels will likely take a few days at least. Exercise patience if you want those custom panels lining your walls.

You can also get custom wainscoting for your home in exchange for $1,700. Paying only $1,700 means the wainscoting panels won’t be particularly elaborate. However, going with simple wainscoting panels is a good choice if you want them installed as soon as possible.

In some cases, carpenters may charge up to $4,000 for custom wainscoting. They will hike up their charges if you want expensive materials and intricate patterns featured in the panels.

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Related Questions

What Is the Purpose of Wainscoting?

Wainscoting can do a lot for your home. First off, you can use wainscoting to change up the appearance of your home interior.You can also install wainscoting to conceal damage to your walls or to protect them. Wainscoting can also serve as added insulation.

What Rooms Should Have Wainscoting?

Feel free to install wainscoting just about anywhere in your home. The living room, bedroom, and even the bathroom can benefit from the addition of wainscoting.Choose the material for your wainscoting carefully before installation. Make sure the material makes sense for your chosen room.

How Long Does It Take to Install Wainscoting?

Professionals can finish the installation of your wainscoting in just one weekend. The installation will take about 12 hours. You can ask the workers to stay for an extended day or give them two days to finish the job.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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