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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.

Product FAQ

Plank and Mill - Reclaimed Barn Wood Wall Panels - Simple Peel and Stick Planks for Accent Walls, Kitchens, and Other Projects - 10 Square Feet of 3' Wide: Classic Barn Wood

1. What Is Wood Paneling?

Much like pain and wallpaper, wood paneling is a way of finishing the interior walls of a residence or commercial structure. In many cases, the wood paneling today is not solid wood, but rather a sheet of hardwood veneer that has been mounted on fiberboard. Wood paneling was commonly used in home decor decades ago, but contemporary versions of wood paneling have recently made a comeback.

2. How Is Wood Paneling Mounted?

In the 1960s and 1970s, wood paneling was hung using finishing nails and construction glue. But tacking panels directly to the wall can be problematic if the wall isn’t perfectly flat. Today it is more common to use metal fasteners that attach to the rear of boards, allowing you to slide them onto metal rails that attach to the wall. When boards are installed this way, they hover roughly a quarter of an inch from the wall, minimizing the appearance of uneven surfaces. Some wood paneling can be installed using even easier methods, including peel-and-stick backing.

3. What Is Shiplap Paneling?

Shiplap is a type of wooden wall siding that features long planks that are mounted horizontally with a slight gap between them. Historically shiplap was used as an exterior siding on buildings in rugged climates, but it has become a trendy design feature and is now frequently used as a way of decorating interior spaces. Often painted white, shiplap has an informal look and is commonly used in cottage-inspired or country homes.

4. What Is Reclaimed Wood?

Reclaimed wood is wood that has already been used for another purpose, such as a barn wall or in another older structure. Recycling old wood for new uses can be both environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing, since older wood often develops a weathered look that fits in well with rustic decorative themes. Reclaimed wood is often more expensive because of the process needed to treat it and prepare it for its new life.

5. Is Wood Paneling Best Installed Horizontally or Vertically?

Paneling is most often installed horizontally, which helps give rooms a more spacious look. However, a vertical installation, particularly when shiplap is involved, may effectively emphasize a room’s high ceilings.

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

Today’s wood panels feature everything from mahogany to zebrawood and teak. Oak, maple, and birch are traditional woods that are still commonly used in residential paneling.

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

One benefit associated with wood panels is that they can generally be installed faster than drywall. Once they’re installed, panels can also be easier to maintain. Wiping down the panels with a damp cloth is usually all that they need. Panels can sometimes be a more expensive option than drywall, although it ultimately depends on the quality and cost of the panels you select.

How We Reviewed Wood Panels

Weekend Walls - Reclaimed Weathered Redwood - 10, 20 or 40 Sq. Ft. DIY Easy Peel and Stick Wood Wall Paneling (Sample Pack, All 5 Colors)

 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

Weekend Walls – Reclaimed Weathered Redwood

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

DC Fix Adhesive Film

d-c-fix self-adhesive film Medium Walnut Wood 17.7'' x 78.7"
  • This decorative self-adhesive film transforms the look of any flat clean surface and is safe to apply to walls, kitchen cupboards, furniture, shelves and more creating a unique, personalized look || High quality - Made in Germany
  • Quick and easy to install - simply cut to size, pull back backing, align, start at one end apply smooth out with applicator as you work to the other end
  • Durable decorative design flims made from Vinyl/PVC film making it easier to clean, is water resistant and more durable than traditional contact paper
  • Removable without leaving any residue - Simply lift corner and pull to remove, use warm water or heatgun/ hair dryer to soften film. Remove remaining adhesive by wiping clean with cloth and warm water
  • Films have gridlines on the peel away backing for precise measurements and cutting guidelines - repositionable during application as adhesive sets in 24 hours

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

DC Fix Decorative Self-Adhesive Film

d-c-fix self-Adhesive Film Rustic Wood 17.7'' x 78.7"
  • This decorative self-adhesive film transforms the look of any flat clean surface and is safe to apply to walls, kitchen cupboards, furniture, shelves and more creating a unique, personalized look
  • Quick and easy to install - simply cut to size, pull back backing, align, start at one end apply smooth out with applicator as you work to the other end
  • Durable decorative design flims made from Vinyl/PVC film making it easier to clean, is water resistant and more durable than traditional contact paper
  • Removable without leaving any residue - Simply lift corner and pull to remove, use warm water or heatgun/ hair dryer to soften film. Remove remaining adhesive by wiping clean with cloth and warm water
  • Films have gridlines on the peel away backing for precise measurements and cutting guidelines - repositionable during application as adhesive sets in 24 hours

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

Smart Paneling Antique Wood Wall Planks

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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

Accent Wall in a Box – Gray Rustic Boards

Coeur d Alene Accent Wall in a Box - Gray Rustic Boards - 25 Sq Ft
  • SAFE FOR YOUR FAMILY - Decorate your house in comfort knowing you're not introducing unwanted or unexpected chemicals and toxins into your home. We use a VOC Free Process and there are no paints, no stains - these panels are safe to use anywhere in your home
  • LARGE PLANKS - Our large boards allow you more options - use them as-is or cut some or all of them to a smaller size. 1/2" x 6" x 48" planks nominal size. Actual 3/8" x 5 7/16" x 48" - 14 Boards Included (25 sq. ft)
  • UNLIMITED DESIGN OPTIONS -Design your rustic home decor project the way you want it - use for siding, trim, accents, ceilings, doors, murals, kitchen or whatever else you can dream up. DOUBLE SIDED TEXTURE for increased flexibility - band saw cuts on one side, circular saw cuts on the other side
  • EASY TO INSTALL - This is REAL Wood, not peel & stick or wallpaper. These are real, quality wood planks. Simply design your favorite look, then nail them in and you're done. Get the shiplap look and effect without having to match grooves or sticker backing that can peel off your wall
  • MADE IN USA w/ Hand Crafted Quality. 100% 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

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

Epic Artifactory Reclaimed Barn Wood Wall Panels

Plank and Mill - Reclaimed Barn Wood Wall Panels - Simple Peel and Stick Planks for Accent Walls, Kitchens, and Other Projects - 10 Square Feet of 3" Wide: Classic Barn Wood
  • BEAUTIFUL GENUINE RECLAIMED WOOD: We use all real reclaimed barn wood. Every piece of our wood is unique with the knots and dents of actual use. Black backing is applied to any holes to ensure that the material below the wood never shows.
  • SIMPLE, EASY, FUN: The Plank and Mill installation process is a breeze. Unlike the tedious fitting process of a traditional shiplap wall Plank and Mill uses simple peel and stick adhesive strips on the back of ever plank to make your installation as simple as possible.
  • THE DETAILS: These barn wood pieces range from 1 foot to 4 feet long. Every piece is 3 inches wide and 0.15 inches thick. This package includes 10 square feet of planks. The colors of the classic panels will range from black to browns to grays. Our support is always available for questions on sizing and installation.
  • YOUR NEEDS, YOUR ART: These panels are perfect for any project you can imagine. Create a unique accent wall, trim, backsplash, countertop, door cover, mural, headboard, nook, or other DIY project. Our customers have used these in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and so many other places!
  • UNIQUELY AMERICAN: We treat, back the wood, and apply industrial grade peel off adhesive strips by hand in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the USA. Upcylcing reclaimed wood is not only good for the environment, but it means there's an impressive history with the newest piece of your home.

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

Smart Paneling Old Barn Accent Wall Wood Planks

Smart Paneling 11332 Thermally-Modified Barn Wood Wall Planks, Gray, 12 Piece
  • No chemicals, bacteria or insects in the wood - 100% Green, pure and safe: we’re the only in the USA to make our wall planks from thermally-modified wood
  • All planks are perfectly milled to match, plus our thermo-treated wood will make them stable with no moving on the wall
  • Bring a real 350-year old lumber in your house! (see the pictures under a microscope)
  • 20 SF in the box: for easy DIY installation we include fasteners in each box
  • Due to thermo-treatment and natural durability use our planks also in high moisture areas

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

Smart Paneling Village Accent Wall Wood Planks

Smart Paneling 11338 Village Accent Wall Wood Planks, 24", Whitewash, 12 Piece
  • Made in the USA from American wood
  • Wood is thermally-modified (100% Green)
  • Reduced movement
  • No chemicals, bugs, and insects in the wood
  • See the picture under microscope of the similar molecular structure of 350-year old lumber and thermo-treated wood

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

WoodyWalls Peel and Stick Wood Panels

WoodyWalls Peel and Stick Wood Panels (19.5 sq. ft. per box) White Washed
  • WoodyWalls White
  • Real Wood (Pine) + Easy to Install
  • 12 Planks / 19.5 sq. ft. per box
  • 46.45 in. x 5.04 in. x 0.18 in. planks
  • Every board comes with back adhesive strips (Peel and Stick Installation)

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

Timberwall Reclaimed Collection

Timberwall - Reclaimed Collection Cube - DIY Wood Wall Panels - Solid Salvaged and Upcycled Wood - Nails and Staples Application - 8.2 Sq Ft
  • REAL WOOD – Made of 100% recycled pine wood, spruce or fir wood pieces assembled in panels, sustainable option resulting of outstanding aesthetics for interior. Natural wood unfinished.
  • NAILS & STAPLES – Professional accent wall with natural looking design, ready to apply with hammer and nails or a nail gun, using your DIY skills to achieve your project.
  • DO IT YOURSELF – Create your very own DIY project! Endless possibilities of patterns and designs to adorn your walls with reclaimed wood.
  • PACKAGING – Each box contains 8.2 sq.ft. with 7 pieces of 19 3/4’’ (length), 8 1/2’’ (width) and 3/8’’ to 5/8’’ (thickness).
  • QUALITY – Our wood is salvaged and upcycled so a sustainable design. Made of solid wood it may react to humidity variation, this is inherent to the product. Refer to the installation manual for instructions. Multiple wood stain color arrangements in each box. Color may vary from screen representation.

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.

Last update on 2021-08-10 at 23:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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