Popular Types of Wood Paneling for Your Home

Wood Paneling on walls has a deep architectural history. From elaborate detailed layers showcased in stately manners to the simple wainscotting of old farmhouses.

Over the years wood paneling has increasingly become a popular feature in all styles of homes. Not only does it add character to your home’s aesthetics, but it can also hide imperfections, act as additional insulation, protect walls from chair bumps and could increase the value of your home.

If you’re thinking of installing would paneling in your house, consider which type and style works best for you. There are many to choose from. Let’s look at some of the most popular.

Tongue and groove

Tongue and groove are a design of connecting two wood panels together. Each panel, running length wise has on one side a projection called a tongue and on the other, an open slit called a groove. This feature allows the panels to interlock, creating a tight fit. Panels can be installed vertically or horizontally, looks great on ceilings and is easy to work with. Material costs are also budget friendly.


Interior shiplap paneling was inspired from exterior house siding, also referred to as shiplap. Panels are long, flat boards installed horizontal. Each board has an overlapping rabbet joint which has a groove cut into to side of the panel and creates a snug fit on walls. This joint also creates a small gap between each board, referred to either a channel or a reveal. Its style is commonly featured in a farmhouse design but can crossover to modern interiors such as an accent wall in a living room painted a bold color.


Typically, and visually known as wainscotting, traditional beadboard features narrow panels with small vertical grooves or “beads”, between each board, hence the name. Beadboard can be purchased as individual boards or as long panels, up to 8ft with the beads molded into the panel. Its standard purpose is to protect walls from being damaged from furniture being pushed up against the wall in dining rooms. It also looks great in bathrooms, adding a country charm and it’s even been known to act as a backsplash in kitchens. Its style covers half to two thirds of the wall from the floor up and is capped with a chair rail or flat trim. Its inexpensive, simple to install, and gives warmth to a space.


Board-and-batten wood paneling combines wide boards and narrow strips called “battens”. This type of paneling was commonly used in early 20th-century homes and was a go to style for barns. Boards were installed vertically, and the battens nailed on top, covering up the gaps or joints between the boards, giving a three-dimensional textured pattern and a clean look.

There is no standard sizing for board-and-batten layouts which can give you the freedom to create whatever design you prefer, whether it be country charm, midcentury or sleek modern. They’re not found prefabricated, so you’ll have to create and build your own. You can also hire an interior designer and finish carpenter to assist you with a unique design layout and correctly measure the space you want to add board-and-batten paneling.

Raised Wood Panels

Traditional shapes of raised wall panels are square and rectangles. Historically, this classic intricate style of beveled paneling framed with additional moldings and rails, were custom built by craftsmen in expensive older homes, featured in the library, on ceilings, corridors, and the dining or sitting rooms.

Nowadays, raised panels can be easily installed and even come in packaged kits. Fiberboard (MDF) can be substituted for wood if you prefer to save some money, once painted it has the same overall look.

Raised panels can be as simple as one layer of panels or can be built up and surrounded with intricate moldings, stile, rails, and trims, creating a dramatic eye-catching look.

If you’re building a new home or remodeling, wood paneling is a guaranteed design detail that will elevate any room from bland to subtle or bold. Need materials? Walk into any of our multiple locations and we can assist you.PARR Lumber is the supplier of choice.

See some wall paneling install in action. Watch PARR Weekend Warriors, Redo with Q: How to Install Tongue and Groove as Cohosts, Corey Valdez and Tony Cookston teach homeowner Shannon Quimby how to match and install new tongue and groove paneling with the original panels of her 1911 bungalow remodel, fondly called Hoffs Homestead.

Shannon Quimby is an internationally acknowledged salvage designer.