Can You Use Wood Paneling Inside?

Wood paneling may have been popular in 19th and 20th century home design, and modern buildings limit the use of wood. Wood paneling is usually used outdoors to protect walls and give a contemporary look to houses. But can it be used indoors as well? 

You can use wood paneling inside to complement modern interior design. Wood paneling can add a different dimension to your interior design and can also improve your house’s insulation. You can use it to create sleek lines, segment different areas in an open plan home, or for contrast. 

In this article, I’ll discuss using wood paneling indoors to enhance your home’s interior design. I’ll also cover the benefits of wood paneling and other factors, such as how to install it, the insulation costs, and whether it needs maintenance.

How To Use Wood Paneling Indoors

Modern interior design has evolved to use more natural materials in building design. When used outdoors, wood paneling can protect walls, siding, and other structures from damage. Because wood is easy to repair and highly durable, it has been used in exterior design for centuries. 

Can You Use Wood Paneling Inside?

However, there are many ways to enhance your interior design with wood paneling. You can use wood paneling to blend in with home furniture, play with geometric lines or add dimension to a wall. You can also use it to create a rusty look or make your house interior blend in with nature. 

Some ways to use wood paneling indoors include: 

Use Wood Paneling To Complement Furniture

While many interior designers prefer contrasting furniture with the walls, floor, and ceiling, this can often give an unnatural feel to a room. Modern design is all about making space feel comfortable and relaxing, which is why it’s focused more on using complementary furniture to enhance a room’s visual appeal. 

Wood paneling will complement both wooden and cloth-covered furniture, improving the natural appeal of a room. What makes it unique in this regard is that you can get wood paneling in various color shades. If you prefer contrasting colors in your house, you can get light wood paneling for darker furniture and vice versa. 

So, whether you’re aiming for contrast or want the interior design to complement the furniture and decor, use wood paneling instead of repairing the room. 

Use Wood Paneling To Play With Geometric Lines

Have you ever wondered why some rooms seem more comfortable or bigger than other rooms of the same size? The difference may be in the geometric lines used in the room design. There isn’t any geometric contrast in rooms with plain walls, and the room may appear dull. 

You can use wood paneling to enhance the geometric contrast in a room. For example, using narrow-lined panels on the floor and wide-lined panels on the ceiling will make a room seem bigger. 

You can also experiment with different shapes and textures to enhance the room’s aesthetic appeal. If you aren’t sure how wood paneling can be used in contrasting designs, check a few sample designs to get a better idea of what will suit your home. 

Add 3D Dimensions to a Room

Most types of wood paneling are used in two-dimensional design styles. While this can enhance the room’s aesthetics, there’s much more you can do with 3D wood panel designs. By having 3D wood panels a few inches off the wall, you’ll be able to create contrast in the room’s design elements. 

This often has a profound effect on the room. The only downside is that such designs are more expensive and difficult to install. However, the design possibilities using 3D wood paneling are endless. 

Protect Your Drywall 

One benefit of interior wood paneling is that it’s highly durable. If your room’s walls are always getting damaged, you can install a layer of wood panels to protect them. Laminated wood is waterproof, and you can easily wipe off stains, unlike water paint, which gets damaged. 

Small scratches are also hardly noticeable on wood, but these are amplified on painted walls. So, if you’re tired of repainting walls and want a more permanent solution, use wood paneling over the walls. 

Create a Rustic or Natural Look 

While modern homes use a lot of glass, aluminum, and tiling, overuse of these materials can create an artificial look. Many people prefer a more natural home design that blends in with the environment. In fact, wood paneling is an important part of biomorphic architecture which creates buildings that seamlessly blend in with the natural environment. 

One advantage of using wood paneling to create a natural or rustic design is that the room will have a more calming effect. It’s also something that brings an element of uniqueness to your house. 

Types of Wood Paneling To Use Indoors

While most people are familiar with siding, there are many different types of wood paneling designs, including V-groove, shiplap, beadboard, and more. Let’s look at the most common types of wood paneling and their uses. 

V-Groove Paneling 

V-Groove panels are cut along an edge to create a groove shape and are popular in interior design. When the panels interlock, they create a groove shape that can be used in any room. While V-groove panels follow a simple design style, they can have a significant effect on a room’s aesthetics. 

Beadboard Paneling 

Beadboard panels have rounded edges that hide the joint and are one of the most common types of wooden panels. The panels are designed to be used on doors and walls and often give a warm effect to rooms. They are also one of the cheapest types of wooden panels and can be made from wooden boards or plywood

Shiplap Panels 

Shiplap panels are the oldest type of wooden panels and are more common in exterior design. However, they can also be used to great effect indoors. The boards are designed to fit together without leaving a big gap between the joint and the panels. 

While this design is one of the simplest ones, it can be used in homes with minimalist designs and other modern architecture. If you’re looking for a budget option, shiplap paneling is ideal. 

Drop Siding 

Siding has always been associated with the exterior design, but drop siding can be used indoors as well. The flat-backed design makes it ideal for interior design, and it can be used on walls or ceilings. 

Because of the wide panels, many people use drop siding on walls and another contrasting wood panel design on the ceiling. Drop siding is also more affordable than other interior wood paneling. 

Rustic Planking 

If you want to get a unique or rugged interior design, you can try installing rustic planking. Rustic planks have rough edges and are painted without sanding. While this can look out of place in certain areas, like the living room, it can enhance the aesthetics of a kid’s bedroom or patio. 

What Wood Paneling Is Made From

Wood paneling is often made from plywood, but some people use salvaged wood to make panels for siding and other types of wood panels. Plywood is often the first choice for wood panels since it is durable and can be used in most wood paneling designs. 

However, salvaged wood and recycled wooden planks are also ideal for indoor wood paneling. While they need to be freshened and prepared, they are much cheaper than other wood and require little maintenance once installed. 

Modern designers are embracing the use of fiberboard instead of wooden planks for interior paneling. Fiberboard comes in different designs, is easy to shape, and takes paint well. You can also get water-resistant boards that last longer than laminated wood.

If you’re looking to create 3D wood paneling designs, fiberboard will cost you less than wood planks or plywood. It’s also available in sheets, which makes installation much easier. 

How To Calculate the Cost of Indoor Wood Paneling

Indoor wood paneling is much cheaper than many types of interior renovation projects. How much the paneling job costs will depend on the area you want to cover, the material and design of the panels you’re using, and what type of finish you want to achieve. 

To calculate the cost of indoor wood paneling:

  1. First, measure the area you want to cover to estimate the cost of the panels. 
  2. Multiply this by the square foot cost of panels and consider different materials based on your budget. 
  3. Lastly, you’ll have to account for installation and finishing costs. 

The average cost to install panels in an area of 100 square feet (0.93 square meters) is $750-$925. This translates to $7.5-$9.25 per square foot of paneling. However, the cost of wooden paneling can be as high as $40 per square foot if you want to implement a unique architectural design. 

You can use this calculator to estimate your wood paneling job’s cost. Remember, this will only give you an estimate of the overall paneling costs, and it may be higher or lower depending on the design you choose. 

Some people try to get creative with their wood panels to save on costs. Find out how you may be able to reuse your wood paneling for other projects. [Can You Reuse Wood Paneling for Anything?]

Final Thoughts 

Interior wood paneling is becoming more popular in modern interior design. You can use wood paneling to enhance the aesthetics of a design space, create optical illusions or bring a natural or rustic feel to any room. 

Before choosing a design for your wood paneling job, always look at the costs and benefits of different materials and compare design styles before choosing one that suits your home. 

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