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What is wainscoting?

What is wainscoting?

The term wainscot -originally applied to high quality riven oak boards. The Oxford English Dictionary states that it derives from the medieval German wagenschotas well as wageschot or 'wall-board'. Johnson's Dictionary defined it thus:


  • Wainscot (wageschot, Dutch), the inner wooden covering of a wall.
  • To wainscot(waegenschotten, Dutch), to line the walls with boards.

A 'wainscot' was therefore a board of riven (and laterquarter-sawn) oak, and wainscoting was the panelling made from it. The reason that wainscot was preferred to home-grown oak for this role, especially in Holland and Great Britain, was that it was a far superior product. Wainscot oak came from large, slow-grown forest trees, and produced boards that were knot-free, low intannin, light in weight, and easy to work with. They were also dimensionally stable. During the 18th century, oak wainscot was almost entirely superseded for panelling in Europe by softwoods (mainly Scots pine and Norway spruce), but the name stuck:

'The term wainscoting, as applied to the lining of walls, originated in a species of foreign oak of the same name, used for that purpose; and although that has long been superseded by the introduction of fir timber, the term has been continued notwithstanding the change of material'.

What is wainscoting?

Also in the 18th century, the style of panelling changed from a floor-to-ceiling covering to one in which only the lower part of the wall was covered. Hence wainscot or wainscoting became a panelling style applied to the lower 90 to 150cm (3 to 5ft) of an interiorwall, below thedado railor chair rail, and above thebaseboardor skirting board.It is traditionally constructed fromtongue-and-grooveboards, though bead-board or decorative panels, such as a woodendoormight have, are also common. New manufacturing techniques are capable of milling large panels from one sheet, reducing seams, caulking, and expansion/contraction cracks that have plagued traditional construction. Wainscoting may also refer to other materials used in a similar fashion.


The original purpose of wainscoting was to cover the lower part of walls, which, in houses constructed with poor or non-existentdamp-proof courses, are often affected by rising dampness.Its purpose is now decorative.

31-03-2016, 05:41
Autor: kastiel
Views: 1 561

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