August 15, 2022

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Best Materials for Wall Panels

Advancing technology and modern inventions have revolutionized everything, and wall treatments aren’t an exception. Wall panelling is a recent wall surfacing trend that has transformed the home improvement realm, taking over from conventional methods, such as painting, cladding, and wallpapering. Wall panelling provides a perfect option for those who want easy to fix and durable walls with some cheeky vibes.

Wall panelling has gained popularity because it enhances interior aesthetics, conceals uneven surfaces, is reusable, and is a healthy solution. Homeowners also get to choose from different panelling materials of different shades, shapes, sizes, and textures, enabling them to achieve endless possibilities. Below are the five best wall panelling materials for decorating your rooms.

1. Natural Wood Panelling

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Natural wood wall panelling is a popular choice for homeowners looking to add warmth, elegance, and richness to a space. Like other wood materials, wood wall panels can be sealed, sanded, and polished to retain their original appearance. Common natural wood options used to create wood panels include oak, mahogany, teak, and walnut. Wood panelling can be designed as blocks, planks, or standard panels of different shapes and sizes to fit your preferred pattern of choice.

Pros

  • Multiple options to choose from
  • It can be modified to give your space a new look
  • Easy to repair and replace
  • It offers a high degree of customization
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • They are not water and rot proof
  • Not fire resistant
  • Vulnerable to termites if not chemically treated
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2. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) Panels

Also called composite wood, MDF panels are budget-friendly wall panelling materials. They are made by combining multiple small wood pieces using resin under high temperatures and pressure. MDF highly replicates the natural wood appearance, making it a good choice for homeowners who can’t afford the cost of natural wood panels. Nonetheless, MDF is very flexible, and one can create endless interesting patterns, textures, designs, and finish options.

Pros

  • It takes stains and paints well
  • Budget-friendly
  • Available in varying thicknesses, finishes, and textures
  • Easy to produce 3D designs
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Not water or moisture resistant
  • It cannot hold heavyweights
  • Requires a thick plywood base

3. PVC Panels

As the name suggests, PVC panels are made from polyvinyl chloride. This makes them water-proof and perfect for spaces with a lot of moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Like other panelling materials, installing PVC panels is easy, doesn’t attract dust, and is very hygienic. These panels can be crafted into 3D panels and available in different colours, making it easy to add patterns, texture, and more to your space.

Pros

Waterproof and ideal for kitchens and bathrooms

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Easy to cut/work on
  • Lightweight with a smooth surface
  • Fire-resistant
  • Dust-resistant – can be used by those who are allergic to dust

Cons

  • It can easily get damaged
  • Difficult to treat scratches

4. Vinyl Panelling

Vinyl panels are another excellent alternative to PVC for those looking to install panels in areas with high moisture. Wood and wood-like panels can’t be installed in such places because of the irreparable damage water and moisture cause to these materials. However, vinyl panels are a great option for the bathroom, kitchen, and other areas with water or high moisture levels.

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Pros

  • Available in different patterns
  • Water and moisture-proof
  • Very durable

Cons

  • It doesn’t have the aesthetic appeal of wood
  • It looks overly processed in bright lights
Stunning window facade panel
Image by Reinhard Thrainer from Pixabay

5. Veneer Panelling

Veneer panels are slowly replacing wood in most interior designs. Veneers are typically made from a thin slice or layer of wood fixed on backing boards. As a result, it gives off the appearance of wood but is cheaper compared to natural wood. Veneer panels are also lightweight and easy to install.

Veneers typically measure 4 feet by 8 feet, providing a large area of wood-like panels without grooves. Due to this large surface area, veneers allow interior designers to explore multiple design options for these wall panels. Veneer panels are available in different widths, often ranging between 2 to 12 inches and lengths of up to 8 feet.

Pros

  • They are durable and not susceptible to cracking
  • It can be polished for a cleaner finish
  • Many options to choose from
  • Natural finish gives veneers the richness of solid wood

Cons

  • Delicate designs are prone to scratching and denting
  • Not water or moisture resistant

Other wall paneling materials include faux brick, cork wall tiles, gypsum boards, fabric, upholstered, and glass and mirror panels. Selecting the best wall panel that suits your interior design style may prove challenging with all these options. However, you should consider the available space, budget, and preferred design. Nonetheless, don’t choose natural wood, veneers, or MDF for your kitchen and bathrooms.