Why is raised panel wainscot the oldest and most respected of all wainscoting options? It’s just plain gorgeous. This look is considered “traditional” in wainscoting land. Who can resist the eye-catching shadow lines created as light washes across the profile of delicately beveled panels? If you’ve got your heart set on authentic raised panel wainscoting, why settle for anything less?
Raised panel wainscoting, the most traditional and formal wainscoting installation type, must be measured, cut, routed and beveled to very close tolerances. This type of construction helps prevent gaps in joinery as the wood expands and contracts after wainscoting installation. Raised-panel wainscoting is the most expensive to make and install.
Raised panel wainscoting first became popular in 17th century England as a means of insulation. It is the oldest and most common of the wainscoting styles. Although most at home in a Colonial or Queen Anne style home, installing raised panel wainscoting adds a sense of timelessness to any room or home. Raised paneling is considered the style of choice for the more important and formal gathering spaces of a building, often encompassing foyers, libraries, dining and living rooms. In today’s homes, it is also extensively used in home offices, entertainment centers, and anywhere the classic raised panel look is desired.
Raised panel wainscoting is easily distinguished from other style of wainscoting by a bevelled edge, created by simple moulding, around a center panel. The design is typically 30 in – 40 in high around the entire room, though it can be taller, with a raised center starting 3-5′ above floor and under the chair rails. The rail at the bottom of the design can either be used as a baseboard or overlaid with additional moulding to create a baseboard.
If there is a design or additional paneling within the center panel, the style is instead called overlay wainscoting.