Apr 07, 2023 | Ahalya Ravi

All about wall panels that you should not miss before you refurbish

Do you want to give your home a contemporary, stylish revamp? Wall panels are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners who wish to add an interesting, eye-catching look to their space. With so many options to choose from, I am sure you'll be super excited to find the perfect fit for your walls as we did for ours.

Photo by archideaphoto on Depositphotos

All about wall panels that you should not miss before you refurbish:

  1. Easy to install - do it the DIY way or get professional help.
  2. Cost-effective - it is a cheaper interior decoration option than painting or wallpapering.
  3. Enduring - Long-lasting, easy to clean and maintain, and can withstand wear and tear.
  4. Versatile - plenty of options for styles, designs, materials, colors, and textures to meet each one's customized preferences.
  5. Energy-efficient - insulated panels help reduce electricity bills.
  6. Require professional installation - Mirror and metal panels require professional installation due to their heaviness and complexity.
  7. Not so eco-friendly - like PVC panels due to their manufacturing process and material composition.

Wall panels can be used in any room of the house, from the living area and bedroom, right through to bathrooms and kitchens. They offer a unique design element that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing while providing insulation benefits.

Before getting started on this exhilarating project, make sure that nothing important is overlooked by reading through our article about all things related to paneling walls.

1. What Are the Different Types of Paneling?

1. Wooden Wall Paneling:

There's something about a room with wooden wall paneling that gives it a warm and inviting feeling. Wooden paneling not only adds a touch of rustic charm to any room but can also help with insulation and soundproofing. Plus, with all the different types of wood (like oak, maple, and cherry) and finishes available, you can customize it to express your unique style.

Whether you go for a sleek and modern look or a more traditional feel, wooden wall paneling is a classic choice that will never go out of style.

A. Shiplap Paneling: This charming, country-style appeal makes a room feel warm and inviting and gives real value for your money. Shiplap panels are resilient to corrosion, rusting, scratches, and dents and have proven to withstand temperature fluctuations.

If your home is situated in a testing terrain, such as deep woods or along a jagged coastline, this type of paneling is your perfect choice for its exteriors, as it withstands the onslaught of wind and water.

They are not just ideal for entries, kitchen backsplashes, and bathrooms, but they are also a great choice to upgrade the look of your living room. So, ready to give your home a touch of rustic appeal with the captivating shiplap paneling?

B. Nickel Gap Paneling: Consider nickel gap paneling if you like the shiplap with a modern twist. This type of paneling has become a popular choice among homeowners for its subtle yet stylish look.

The panels have a small gap between them (just enough to insert a nickel), creating a shiplap-like effect that adds texture and dimension to any room. Plus, nickel gap paneling is easy to install and maintain, making it a great DIY project for any homeowner. So, spruce up your space with this trendy paneling option and watch as it transforms your home into a cozy and inviting haven.

C. Beadboard Paneling: If you're looking for a cost-effective way to add beauty to your home's interior, consider beadboard paneling. This type of paneling consists of narrow tongue-and-groove planks that fit together seamlessly, forming a classic, timeless look perfect for traditional and modern homes. Also, you can mount it at any height to suit your needs.

Whether you decide to install it in your kitchen, bathroom, or living room, beadboard paneling can add a touch of warmth and character to any room. Plus, it's easy to install and very durable, making it a great investment for any homeowner. You can even play around painting it.

D. V-Joint Wood Paneling: When it comes to achieving a classic, rustic look, V-joint wood paneling is definitely the way to go. With its signature V-shaped grooves, this type of paneling can add a touch of appeal to any space, whether you're looking to spruce up your living room, bedroom, or even your bathroom. And the best part? You don't have to be a DIY expert to install it. Just grab a few tools, and with a little patience and elbow grease, your walls will look like a cozy cabin in no time.

Photo by Max Magda Ehlers on Pexels

E. Board and Batten Paneling: If you're looking for a classic style that brings a touch of warmth and allure to any room in your home, board and batten paneling might be just what you need.

With its distinctive vertical lines and textured, three-dimensional look, board and batten paneling adds depth and interest to walls while creating a cozy, welcoming ambiance. Plus, it's easy to install, can withstand harsh weather conditions, and can be customized with a variety of finishes and stains, so you can achieve the perfect look for your space.

2. PVC Wall Panel: 

If you're looking to add some pizzazz to your living space, consider PVC wall paneling. Not only does it provide a fresh, modern look, but it's also a breeze to install. You can choose from a wide range of styles and designs, including the latest 3D panels that are available.

And the best part? PVC panels are low maintenance, making them perfect for busy households. They're also durable and waterproof, making them ideal for areas like the bathroom or kitchen.

3. Gypsum Wall Panel:

These stunning, versatile panels not just add an element of texture to any room but also provide sound insulation and fire resistance. With a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from, you can mix and match to create a unique look that perfectly suits your taste.

Made from gypsum plaster, they can be wallpapered or painted to match your interiors. So, whether you're going for a sleek modern vibe or a more traditional feel, gypsum wall panels are a great option to bring depth and texture to your walls.

4. Metal Wall Panel:

Perfect for adding an industrial and modern feel, this popular choice for both commercial and residential buildings will surely make your property stand out. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it's also durable, easy to maintain, and can withstand extreme weather conditions.

The variety of finishes and colors, such as brushed metal, copper, and bronze, are great options for you to pick from.

5. Mirror Wall Panel: 

Mirror wall panels add visual interest and depth to a room. They also reflect light and make your space feel bigger and brighter. Whether you want to make a small room feel more spacious or just want to add an eye-catching feature to your space, a mirror wall panel is a great option to consider. 

Photo by Max Rahubovskiy on Pexels

The options are numerous, from small squares to large rectangular, framed, or unframed sheets. Mirror wall panels also feature decorative etching or other design elements.

Though this is a lucrative wall panel option, this is not suitable for all walls. If you want to install this, you need to check your wall's strength before considering this and take help from professionals for installation.

6. Acrylic Wall Panel: 

Contrary to mirror paneling, acrylic wall panels are lightweight and easy to install. Not only does it look aesthetically pleasing, but it's also more durable than traditional wall coverings. In addition, its clear and shiny surface adds a unique touch to any decor.

Whether you want to add it to your kitchen backsplash or your bathroom walls, acrylic is a versatile and affordable option.

7. Fabric or Upholstered Paneling: 

One way to achieve texture and dimension to the walls is through fabric paneling. Not only does it bring warmth to a space, but it also acts as an interesting visual element on walls.

Imagine a cozy den with soft wool paneling or a bohemian-inspired bedroom with a colorful print - the options are endless!

But the main reason you should choose fabric paneling is that it can act as an acoustic element to absorb sound and create a more peaceful environment.

8. MDF Paneling:

MDF, or medium-density fiberboard, is an engineered wood product that offers a smooth and consistent surface. This makes it a popular choice for paneling and trim work, as it is easy to install and can be cut to fit any space.

Not to mention, MDF paneling comes in a wide range of finishes and colors, allowing you to design a look that suits your style.

Also, with its affordable price point, you can achieve a high-end look without breaking the bank.

I chose MDF paneling for my walls because it was a one-time solution for the termite problem, which is a constant bother in my place.

2. What Are Wall Paneling Materials?

Wood paneling can give a cozy, cabin-like feel, while PVC paneling is durable and easy to clean. MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is a budget-friendly option that can be painted any color you like.

Mirror or glass panels can help brighten up a room and make it seem larger - though it is unsuitable for every home, and installation needs expert help. Upholstered panels can add a touch of luxury and softness. 

With so many choices, you will surely find a wall paneling material that suits your style and budget.

3. How Do I Maintain a Decorative Wall Panel?

Having a decorative wall panel in your home is a great way to add a touch of elegance and charm. However, it's essential to maintain it properly to keep its beauty intact.

  1. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaning tools that may scratch the surface of the panel.
  2. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the panel gently.
  3. For tough stains, try using a mild soap solution.
  4. Keep the panel away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading and discoloration over time.

With these tips, your wall panel will look fabulous for years.

4. What Are The Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Wall Panels?

It's important to avoid some common mistakes to ensure that your project goes smoothly.

Photo by Antoni Shkraba on Pexels

  1. Measure, Measure, Measure - is the success mantra of paneling. One of the biggest mistakes is assuming that every application is the same. Take the time to carefully measure the area where you'll be installing the panels to avoid any gaps or uneven placement.
  2. Read The Product Installation Guide Religiously - Another crucial step is to read the product installation guide to ensure you follow the correct procedures.
  3. Hire Equipment: Make sure that you have the proper equipment at hand. Hire or buy what is needed before starting the work.
  4. Alignment and Tolerances: Ensure that your framing is precisely aligned, with closely heeded measurements, to guarantee accuracy.
  5. Order Extra: Always buy extra panels to be safe.

By being proactive and avoiding these mistakes, you'll have beautiful and professionally installed wall panels in no time.

5. What Factors Should You Consider When Deciding on Wall Panels for Your Home Renovation Project?

Choosing the right wall panels for a home renovation project can make all the difference in the final outcome. It's not just about the aesthetic appeal but also the practicality and durability that should be considered.

The first factor to think about is the room's purpose and function. Will it be a high-traffic area that requires sturdy and easy-to-clean panels or a cozy living room that can benefit from more decorative options? 

Additionally, the panel's material, texture, and color should be considered. For example, wood and brick panels can provide a warm and rustic feel, while glass or metal panels can create a modern and sleek look.

Lastly, the cost and installation process should also be taken into account. Investing in quality panels may cost you more upfront, but it can save money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary repairs or replacements.

By paying attention to these factors, you can select wall panels that suit both your design preferences and practical needs.

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