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For some homeowners, the mere mention of wood paneling conjures up images of the heavily paneled dens and rec rooms of the 1960s and 1970s. But like most home design trends, paneling has evolved to include more contemporary materials and installation techniques. Interpreted broadly, today’s wood panels encompass everything from reclaimed boards from old barns to self-adhesive vinyl films decorated with faux wood grain, giving homeowners lots of options. Our guide to the best wood paneling will help you sort through the many versions of this popular wall treatment.

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Product FAQ

Epic Artifactory Reclaimed Barn Wood Panels

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1. What Is Wood Paneling?

2. How Is Wood Paneling Mounted?

3. What Is Shiplap Paneling?

4. What Is Reclaimed Wood?

5. Is Wood Paneling Best Installed Horizontally or Vertically?

6. What Types of Wood Are Most Commonly Used in Paneling?

7. What Are the Advantages of Wood Panels Over Drywall?

How We Reviewed Wood Panels

Weekend Walls - Reclaimed Weathered Redwood

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We took a range of factors into consideration when evaluating wood paneling. We looked at the ability of each wall treatment option to create a visually appealing and authentic wooden look. We also considered the ease with which each type of wood paneling can be installed. Finally, we looked at the durabilty of each option and its ability to stay intact through the years.

Overall Price Range of Wood Paneling

Wood wall treatments vary greatly in price, with panels made of genuine wood generally the most expensive option. Adhesive vinyl films that simulate a wood-grain appearance are typically less expensive.

What We Reviewed

  • Weekend Walls – Reclaimed Weathered Redwood
  • DC Fix Adhesive Film
  • DC Fix Decorative Self-Adhesive Film
  • Smart Paneling Antique Wood Wall Planks
  • Accent Wall in a Box – Gray Rustic Boards
  • Epic Artifactory Reclaimed Barn Wood Wall Panels
  • Smart Paneling Old Barn Accent Wall Wood Planks
  • Smart Paneling Village Accent Wall Wood Planks
  • WoodyWalls Peel and Stick Wood Panels
  • Timberwall – Reclaimed Collection

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Features

Quickly and easily change the look of your walls with Reclaimed Weathered Redwood from Weekend Walls. These 5-inch-wide planks of real wood are easy hang. Simply peel off the backing to reveal a sticky surface and press the board into place. This paneling is durable and lightweight, and it can be easily cut or drilled through as part of the installation process. Weekend Walls panels are certified sustainable by both the Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council. They are available in packages of 10, 20, or 40 square feet.

Pros

  • Attractively aged natural wood
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • May tear up sheetrock as it is removed

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Features

This self-adhesive vinyl film is designed to mimic the look of walnut. It can be applied to most flat surfaces and is ideal for covering shelves and drawers. A quick and affordable way to freshen up a surface, this film comes on a roll that measures nearly 18 inches by nearly 79 inches. It is easy to reposition and move.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Great for covering large surfaces
  • Can be applied to most flat surfaces

Cons

  • Not ideal for floors

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Features

This decorative self-adhesive film simulates the look of rustic wood paneling, giving rooms a warm and inviting feel. This film can be safely and easily applied to walls, kitchen cupboards, furniture, and shelves. Simply peel off the back and press onto the surface. Trimming guides on the back make it easy to precisely cut this film. Constructed out of vinyl, this film is durable, water resistant, and easy to clean. It can also be removed without leaving a residue. This film comes on rolls that measure 17 inches by 78 inches.

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Durable and water resistant
  • Trimming guide makes it easy to cut
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as realistic as genuine wood

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Features

Antique Wood Wall Planks by Smart Paneling are made out of genuine wood that has been thermo-treated, which removes resins and moisture without using chemicals. This process insures that the planks won’t warp or twist. It also rapidly ages the wood to achieve a weathered look. These durable planks come with an installation kit that includes fasteners and pre-cut starter and end planks. These Antique Wood Wall Planks are guaranteed not to decay for 50 years.

Pros

  • Tool-free installation
  • Attractively aged wood
  • Won’t twist or warp once installed

Cons

  • Heavier than vinyl films
  • Expensive

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Features

Gray Rustic Boards from Accent Wall in a Box are genuine wood panels that can be nailed into place. They come as large planks that can be used as is or cut into smaller sizes, giving you lots of design options. These durable panels are assembled without the use of paints and stains, making them a chemical-free product that’s safe for use in residential environments.

Pros

  • Genuine aged wood
  • Durable
  • Planks can be cut to fit

Cons

  • Expensive

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Features

Epic Artifactory’s Reclaimed Barn Wood Wall Panels add an instant dose of rustic charm to any room. These are genuine reclaimed barn panels that have been outfitted with adhesive strips that make them easy to hang. These panels, which range from one foot to 4 feet in length, can be installed without tools. If you need to cut a panel down to fit your project, a simple utility knife will do the trick. Any knot holes on these panels have been covered from the rear, eliminating the need for you to first paint or prep the wall’s surface.

Pros

  • Tool-free installation
  • Authentic reclaimed barn wood
  • Customizable size

Cons

  • Expensive

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Features

These Old Barn Accent Wall Wood Planks are constructed out of genuine wood that has been thermally modified, which removes moisture from the wood and ensures that there are no insects in it. The same process rapidly ages the wood, giving it the look of an old barn. This set of durable planks, which comes with an installation kit including fasteners and pre-cut starter and end planks, is guaranteed not to decay for 50 years.

Pros

  • Guaranteed not to decay for 50 years
  • Durable
  • Attractively aged wood
  • Tool-free installation

Cons

  • Expensive

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Features

Village Accent Wall Wood Planks invoke the look of old wood that might be found in an old village or on a country barn. Smart Paneling selects each plank by hand to insure the perfect balance of black and white color. These planks, like others made by Smart Paneling, are made of out of genuine wood that has been thermally modified to remove moisture and resins. As a result, these planks will age gracefully in place without warping. They’re also guaranteed not to decay for 50 years.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Won’t twist or warp
  • Country wood look

Cons

  • Expensive

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Features

WoodyWalls Peel and Stick Wood Panels are constructed out of genuine pine that has been painted white. The adhesive backing on these panels make them easy to hang. These panels can be applied to flat surfaces that are dry and clear of dust and debris, including over tile. In spaces that reach high temperatures, such as around fireplaces, and in damp environments like bathrooms, additional adhesives may be needed to apply these panels. Each box of these wood panels covers roughly 20 square feet.

Pros

  • Simple to install
  • Genuine Pine
  • Can be applied over tile

Cons

  • Not suitable for exterior walls
  • Not easy to remove
  • Additional adhesive required for high-temperature and damp rooms

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Features

Timberwall’s Wood Wall Panels are made of recycled pine, spruce or fir wood pieces that have been assembled into panels that can be cut to fit and installed in a variety of interior settings. These panels can be combined in various ways for different patterns and designs. They are installed using a hammer and nails or a nail gun. Each package contains 7 pieces that cover a little over 8 square feet of space.

Pros

  • Endless pattern possibilities
  • Contemporary design
  • Genuine wood

Cons

  • Installation requires a hammer and nails, or a nail gun
  • Not recommended for use near intense heat, such as fireplaces

The Verdict

The wood paneling made by Smart Paneling is one of the best options on the market. Smart Paneling produces three different aesthetic styles of panels — Antique Wood, Old Barn, and Village Accent — each of which is made of genuine wood that has been aged and thermo-treated. These planks are highly durable and resist decay for up to 50 years. They’re also a breeze to install, thanks to an included installation kid that offers fasteners and starter and end planks. The wood panels sold by Smart Paneling can help you quickly and easily achieve an authentic rustic look in your home.

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