What Is Bathroom Wainscoting and How To Use It

Wainscoting is a decorative wall treatment, primarily covering the lower part of walls. Comprising wooden panels or boards with molding, it originated in 16th-century England for insulation. In contemporary bathrooms, wainscoting offers protection against moisture and adds aesthetic value.

Are you contemplating a bathroom makeover? Whether you’re refreshing an old design or initiating a fresh one, integrating wainscoting can be both budget-friendly and stylish. Commonly recognized as beadboard, this decorative paneling delivers a classic appearance suitable for DIY projects or professional installation. In this guide, we’ll deep-dive into what wainscoting is and its optimal usage in bathrooms.

Wainscoting is a nuanced element in interior design, characterized by wooden paneling affixed to the lower parts of interior walls. Though it stems from traditional architectural styles, it seamlessly fits into contemporary bathroom aesthetics, bestowing a unique flair and personalized ambiance to the environment.

Bathroom wainscoting – what it is and how to use it?

Being the perfect method to spice up your bathroom walls, wainscoting is something that can improve the decor to another level.

What is Wainscoting?

Wainscoting is a decorative wall treatment that typically covers the lower part of an interior wall. It consists of a series of wooden panels, frames, or boards complemented by molding, and it serves both decorative and protective functions. Originating in England in the 16th century, wainscoting was initially used to insulate rooms. In modern times, it is commonly used in bathrooms to prevent moisture damage and to add aesthetic appeal. When incorporated into bathroom design, wainscoting provides a blend of elegance and functionality.

Bathroom wainscoting – what it is and how to use

Do you live in a place with harsh or long winters? If so, you should definitely go with wainscoting as an alternative to using basic tiles because tiles often become very cold as they cannot hold heat for long. The cold surface leads to a bathroom that is unwelcoming, not how we would want to feel when we step inside!

The moment you shift to wood, the walls remain warm for a long time, making the place more welcoming. Add in a rug and matching towels, and you have a washroom, your guests cannot forget!

Bathroom white wainscoting

Wood paneling is not only a significant decor element but also a form of insulation that will keep your walls in good condition. If you are living in a rain-prone area or if the weather conditions are not right and you face issues with damp walls, wainscoting would be a great option to shift to as it can be used at any height. You can also cover up pipelines, which may go around the walls in your bathroom, giving it a classy look while creating a cohesive and equalizing design linking with the other parts of the house. 

Beautiful bathroom design with wainscoting wall

With multiple design options, you can do up your bathroom in a traditional way, or you can go for the rustic look. Did you think of white paneling the moment we spoke about it? We would suggest you color coordinate the paneling with the color of the walls. If you have dark-colored walls, you can go with pastel or whiteboards while if you have lighter-shaded walls, team it up with darker shades of wooden planks. 

White wainscoting bathroom design

The best part about wainscoting is that you can color the planks according to the bathroom needs. Painting out patterns and designs on the wooden board is also a fun way to build the ambiance of the room. Start with deciding a theme for your bathroom. If you want it to have a nature-inspired look emanating a zen ambiance, go with colors like moss green, off-white, beige, grey, and the like.  

Red bathroom paint walls with wainscoting bathroom wall

Storage is something we cannot do without bathrooms, and the more storage space, the better. The wooden paneling can be made in such a way as to incorporate shelves, towel rings, toothbrush holders, and accessory holders. This makes it a plausible choice instead of trying to drill into walls. You would just need to make the paneling to a certain height so that the ledge can hold the accessory holders. 

There are two ways to place the boards. Mostly, people go for a vertical arrangement of boards, but according to us, the horizontal arrangement also has its charms. Also, you would not find it in too many houses, and this will make your washroom look unique.

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 There is a science behind the use of the two angles in which the panels are placed. Placing it horizontally will make the room look broader, and so if your washroom is not big, you can use these boards to give it a relatively more significant effect. If you are going to opt for vertical boards on the walls or furniture, it will make sure that your bathroom looks elongated. This is an excellent choice for washrooms with a lower ceiling or if you have a slanting roof design. 

Yellow wall bathroom with white beadboard

When individuals mostly opt for tiles in the bathroom, separating it from the rest of the house, wooden boards will bring in a sense of continuation with the rest of your home. If a lot of wood is used in furnishing your house, there is no point in separating the washroom. Make it feel like a place you want to go to! Build an atmosphere that makes you feel like taking a long shower or settling in a hot bath. 

If you are wondering if smooth walls are a necessity when it comes to installing wooden panels, you are absolutely wrong. Any cheap material can be used to cover up the broken or damaged part of the walls on which these panels will be attached.

How to create a beautiful bathroom with wainscoting

You can depend on wainscoting to beautify your washroom as you select textured panels as a part of your decor. If you have installed a statement sink cum dresser that catches the eye as soon as somebody enters the washroom, pair it up with French vintage-themed striped wooden planks and create a boutique washroom space. Create a smart-styled bathroom while you pair up different color shades and textures to create a multitude of combinations. 

Luxury bathroom with black vanity and wainscoting

Matching the wainscoting with bathroom cabinetry is also a great way to play with the interiors. You could mix and match the colors wherein the cabinetry and the wainscoting on the walls are of the same color. The flooring of the bathroom, on the other hand, is in a contrasting color tone. A turquoise color for the bathtubs and cabinets could be complemented with ivory-white flooring. 

Bathroom with no tiles on the wall

Now that you have a clear idea as to how to go about bathroom wainscoting, it is time to hit the stores and get your bathroom decked up. If you have the creative bone, choose your preferred colors and create a wonderworld of your own.

If you are in need of recommendations, this guide must have helped with the basics, and for more information, you can look up different designs and patterns on Pinterest.

Build your own aesthetic paradise with wainscoting!

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