By Netanel Buta of Element Wood
The walls of a home serve a central role in the aesthetics and atmosphere of a room. There are many options for decorating and protecting walls, from paint to wallpaper to ceramic tiling. Wood paneling is one of the most popular choices among architects and interior designers because of its warm, welcoming look and its natural qualities.
You can install wood paneling on private homes, public buildings, and vacation properties. You may choose to panel the whole building with wood, or just part of it, such as the façade or the backyard, or even just part of an interior wall for aesthetic or practical reasons (such as creating a visual divider between spaces).
Here are some common types of wood paneling:
Ipê: This is a type of hardwood produced from one of seven species of tree in the Tabebuia genus, all of which grow in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Its high density makes it resistant to harsh weather conditions, pests, and wear and tear. Its color is generally dark brown with a mahogany-reddish tint. It can run quite expensive, and its installation tends to take a long time and require particularly strong equipment. It’s considered a very high-quality wood.
Teak: Teak is also a hardwood tree, native to south and southeast Asia. It is naturally oily and its color ranges from light brown to dark blackish-brown. It is easy to work with, as it is softer than most other hardwood trees, but despite its flexibility it is considered a high-quality wood that holds up very well against moisture and harsh weather conditions, and contains a natural oil that repels insects and other pests. This is the most expensive type of wood for wood paneling.
Cedar: Cedar is a coniferous tree, soft but strong and with an interesting texture and a wonderful fragrance. It has long, dense fibers with few knots. It is reddish-brown in color and is resistant to damage by weather and pests.
Mashrabiyas: A mashrabiya is a decorative wooden lattice screen that can be used indoors or outdoors. You can place a mashrabiya in a garden as a separator that has a decorative element. In the home, you can use it as a beautiful and practical barrier that allows air and light to flow through.
Wood tiles: You can incorporate wood tiles of varying types and designs, from rustic to eclectic to modern.
Why choose wood paneling?
Beauty: Wood adds natural warmth to a room while incorporating a vintage, elegant look.
Functionality: Wood is a durable material, and you can choose a type of wood that is resistant to damage by weather and insects.
Sustainability: Wood is a natural, toxin-free substance.
Low maintenance: As described below.
Maintaining wood paneling:
One of the advantages of wood paneling is that it requires only minimal maintenance: cleaning, painting, and oiling or lacquering. Outdoor wood paneling should be treated once a year to protect it from weather damage, but indoor wood paneling can be treated as little as once every five to ten years.