According to the website of Wainscoting Long Island, the first application of wainscoting on walls and stairs was in the 16th century in England. The purpose of the wainscoting was to hide the lower portion of the wall, and it also served to protect the wall from the chairs backed up against it. Wainscoting can be added to any home, whether old or new construction. When installed in staircases, it will give them style and character that flat, painted walls cannot.
Beadboard use began in the Victorian era. It was considered fit for back halls or kitchens, not of formal rooms. Since the Victorian era, beadboard's status has raised to a popular style of wainscoting. Beadboard consists of narrow boards fitted together with a raised ridge along the seams. Beadboard will give any staircase a homey look.
Raised-panel wainscoting is an old style of wainscoting that, according to This Old House, dates back to the Colonial era. The edges of the individual panels are beveled so that the middle of the panels stand proud from the outside. Raised-panel wainscoting can work well in a staircase.
Overlay-panel wainscoting is a style of wainscoting that is similar to raised-panel wainscoting. However, instead of the inner panel being beveled to look raised, an additional layer was actually glued to the center of the panel. Overlay panels also work well in staircases.
Board and Batten
Board and batten is a style of wainscoting the consists of boards fitted together with a strip of wood covering the seams. It works well in staircases, especially in homes that are built in the Craftsman style.
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