What is Wainscoting ?

Definition of Wainscoting in Construction

Term for the lower portion of a wall that is different from the remaining surface of the wall. Interior wainscoting can be wood paneling, ceramic tile, masonry of any sort of durable material that forms a dissimilar band starting at the floor level and extending approximately 36″ high above the finished floor. The term wainscoting, is used to refer to any material that is different from the remaining wall surface on both the exterior or the interior of a wall. However, normally the term is used mostly for the interior woodwork such as raised panels, bead board, etc. The use of wainscoting was originally to protect the portion of the wall that was taking the most abuse. The lower portion of an interior or exterior wall is the obvious subject of more abuse than the upper surface. Therefore the use of a material that would absorb the abuse was installed on the lower portion of the walls. This technique, like many others, became a decorating technique that has lost its original purpose, and fallen into the hands of the decorators.   The use of wainscoting has all but lost its practicality, and is now something that everyone just enjoys the look of. Function has been replaced by vanity.