8 Different Types of Wood Panels

types of wood panels

Before drywall became popular, many homeowners used wood paneling. Wood paneling was used to decorate their walls and would protect them from any damage. Whether you have a modern or traditional property, wood paneling can bring style to any interior space. If you’re considering using wood paneling in your home you should consider the ways to use wood paneling, types, pros and cons, and the ways to use it for your interior design.

Ways To Use Your Wood Paneling

Since the twentieth century, wood paneling has made such a statement. In the last decade, it has picked back up and come back again. With bright, sleek colors, wood paneling can replace the traditional textures we have always known. Whether you haven’t decided if you’re going to use wood paneling for interior design or not, here are some ways you can use your wood paneling.

1. Cover Imperfections

Instead of completely replacing your walls to hide any imperfections, you can use new methods of using wood panels. Wood panels can be the cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to cover any damages or imperfections if you’re in a tight spot financially. Wood paneling also doesn’t require too much maintenance and can be durable through many conditions and holds up great against wear and tear.

2. Three-Dimensional Geometry

Three-dimensional designs can also be achieved when using wood paneling. You can incorporate any style that you want and get creative and funky. Depending on the size of your room, you can choose large wood panels or small wood panels that can give your walls a collage effect.

3. Improve Acoustics

Using wood paneling can also improve the acoustics of many rooms. Wood panels can absorb the sound of any environment and can minimize the sound from one room to another. The effect you get depends on the material and the thickness of the wood. If you choose a thicker wood you have the greater sound barrier you will get. The high-end insulation can give you an outstanding acoustic experience.

4. Segmented Spaces

In modern homes, it has become custom to implement wood panels as it can create a sudden texture to your room. This generates an interest in the walls when a person will walk in. Wood panel walls that are surrounded by white walls act as a great visual barrier to make it more modern. This is a great way to create separate area concepts.

5. Convert Unused Rooms

Wood wall paneling can be the perfect option to use in your unused rooms and converted them into a living space. The panels are very easy to install in any room of the house whether it’s your second living room or unfinished basement. The most up-to-date wood paneling is designed to adjust to any environment even if they are damp because they have high-insulating properties.

There are various types of paneling options that include: reclaimed wood, shiplap, tongue and groove, board and batten, beadboard, raised panels, flat panels, and tile board panels. 

Types of Panels

1. Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is popular in both offices and households. Reclaimed wood is processed from its original workings. You can find reclaimed from timbers, old decks, warehouses, coal mines, or wine barrels. The majority of paneling we see that is recycled today is made from reclaimed wood and comes from buildings in both the USA and France.

Antique reclaimed wood is used mostly for decorating and when building homes. For example siding, furniture, flooring, etc.

The process of what reclaimed goes through before it’s ready for purchase is very detailed. It goes through initial research, inspection, and quality, removal of wood segments, removal of nails, sanding for lumber, and finally storage and shipment.

2. Shiplap

Shiplap started to become popular on the hit shower Fixer Upper, starring Chip and Joanna Gaines. Originally, it was used to waterproof ships. It is paneling that has a groove cut at the top and bottom, so they overlap and then will form a tight seal. Shiplap is very effective against wind and water and is a great option for siding. While you can identify shiplap by the ninety-degree angle, other paneling options also look similar.

3. Tongue and Groove

Tongue and groove paneling is a favorite material to use for both walls and ceilings. They are also considered high-quality. They have consistently sized options made to specific dimensions, tight-fitting joints on both sides, do not cup, are lightweight and easy to handle, and you won’t get splinters or other imperfections. Your tongue and groove paneling project can be completed by easily using a nail gun to secure them.

4. Board and Batten

Board and batten were originally used on barns and uses strips of narrow wood that are called battens. When installing, these boards are alternated with wider pieces of board to create a layered effect. This unique style can be found and look great in any room in your home. They are very popular in dining rooms and entryways.

5. Beadboard

Beadboard is a style of paneling that uses a series of thin, raised strips of wood that are combined to make a panel. When using headboard panels, you can paint or stain them to match your vision. If painted in blue or greens it will give your home a country feel. You can find beadboard paneling in solid oak, pine, wood composite, fir, and cedar. You can find headboard mostly below seating rails. You can also find it on ceilings.

6. Raised Panels

Raised paneling is the centerpiece of a door or wall that is slightly raised. You can find raised paneling options in a variety of styles and colors. Raised paneling is very popular among kitchens as it can be used for cabinets and can be found in both traditional or modern kitchens.

7. Flat Panels

Flat paneling is very popular in craft rooms or dining rooms. It can be a lengthier project as you have to start from the baseboard and build it up. A horizontal piece of paneling is placed horizontally, then vertically, then the top rail and cap. Not only does flat paneling look great, but you can also use it to cover up any damage or textured walls.

Flat paneling is similar to the raised panel, except it is not using raised-shaped paneling. It uses thin pieces of wood that fill in gaps. Flat paneling is also less expensive than raised paneling.

8. Tile Board Panel

Tile board paneling is a very interesting option of wood paneling. This design is to make it look like porcelain tile. These tile joints are very easy to install and can be a great DIY project. The smaller size panel you use, the more frames you will need which will increase the amount of labor. It is best to use tile board paneling on half of your wall, rather than an entire wall in your kitchen or living room. This would work great acting as a backsplash.

Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of using wood paneling.


  • Stylish: whether you’re using wood panels to design a whole wall or halfway, they can give your room a warm and stylish look.
  • Versatile: wood paneling can come in several types that would fit any home decor space.
  • Insulation: aside from it being versatile, wood is a natural insulation option. By adding layered panels to your wall, you can defeat noise and drafts.
  • Hide flaws: panels are a great way to hide any flaws like chips, cracks, or wiring.
  • Easy repair: compared to drywall, wood paneling is more difficult to damage. Scratches can be sanded down and resealed, and entire panels can be replaced without replacing the entire wall. Holes can even be filled in using putty.
  • Eco-friendly: wood panels are environmentally friendly compared to drywall as they use renewable sources.


  • Can rot: as we all know, wood isn’t waterproof. If your wood is constantly exposed to any humidity, it can rot. There can be a solution to this. If your panels are inside, you can sand them down and re-stain them to protect your panels from any further damage.
  • High-maintenance: depending on the panel you choose, they can be high-maintenance. Moisture and dry conditions can make wood paneling very vulnerable. This requires maintenance to make sure your panels last. To protect your wood, you can use mineral oil and wipe the panels regularly to prevent any dust build-up.
  • Can look outdated: since paneling was used decades ago, some people still see them as outdated. While traditional panels may not work with modern homes, there are other designs you can choose to match your home.

Ways To Use Paneling For Interior Design

Not only meant for outside usage, when used properly paneling can look great on the inside of your home. These design ideas can improve the interior design of your home.

  1. Wainscoting: for paneling needs, you can use an option called wainscoting. Wainscoting is a decorative panel option that will cover half of your wall while leaving the rest plain or painted one color. You can incorporate wainscoting by having a high-quality panel run from the floor, stopping mid-wall. If you want to have a narrow shelf around its edges, add anywhere from three to six inches of lip at the top of the paneling. Wainscoting also looks great paired with a brick wall.
  2. Use plywood: if you’re planning on a DIY project, but you’re on a budget, you can use plywood. Rather than buying palettes of expensive hardwood, you can even buy a peel-and-stick veneer option and stick it to your plywood.
  3. Make an accent wall: you can create an accent wall using wood paneling. An accent wall can create a focal point in a room and can make a complete transformation.
  4. Use on ceilings: using paneling on ceilings is best left to someone who has the experience, rather than a DIY project. By using paneling that runs narrow on a ceiling, this makes your room look elegant.
  5. Try it painted: if the wooded texture isn’t right for you, you can give your room a complete makeover using white or colored paint. All you need is a good coat of primer and paint. There is also the option of whitewashing your paneling to achieve a faded look. Painted paneling looks great behind bookshelves, in dining rooms, and on kitchen cabinets for a DIY look.
  6. A mixture of woods: mix different pieces of wood with different stains to create your design. A mixture of wood can bring a fresh space and new look to an old room.
  7. Texture: use your paneling to create texture on your walls. Texture can be best achieved when using beaded wood panels.
  8. Use as a backsplash: backsplashes are very common in bathrooms and kitchen areas. Wood paneling can be used for the same things. To achieve a backsplash look with paneling, you need to make sure it has a watertight seal. You can also use wood paneling for the back of your bookshelves.
  9. Rustic: to achieve a rustic look, you can use reclaimed wood, like barn wood, that is sanded at a minimal level. You can use this panel to create a weathered look that gives your home a beautiful aesthetic appeal.

If you’re still up in the air in choosing what wood paneling would be perfect for your home, don’t worry about their dated appearances. Wood paneling comes in so many styles now and can easily be created to look modern and not outdated. You should know that there are many paint colors, wood options, and sealing products that can protect your wood. Before purchasing, go through your checklist to ensure that you have everything you need to keep your panels in great shape.

What’s even greater, is that if you decide you want to change the interior design of your space, they can easily be adjusted and fixed with another design or color. By giving your panels proper maintenance and routine inspections, wood panels can last for many decades to come. This isn’t even close to prior decades where we didn’t have enough resources to make it last.

Whether you choose to make this a DIY project or hire a handyman, your friends will surely be impressed with these designs when entering your home.

Nicole Abbott

I'm a stay at home mom of 2 who loves DIY projects! Since childhood I've always enjoyed to design and put personal touches on rooms around my home that fit my personality. When I'm not writing I'm doing DIY projects, as well as homeschooling and caring for my 2 children.

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