Our Word of the Week: Wainscot


Wainscot – This is the architectural word that is possibly the most often mispronounced. It is not pronounced as it is spelled. The proper way to say this word is “wainscoat.” A Wainscot is not the jacket belonging to a guy named Wayne, even though that’s what it sounds like. It refers to any type of wall paneling put on the walls of a room. It’s usually installed from the baseboard to a point midway up the wall, and often at chair rail height. It’s commonly made of wood in tongue-and-groove or raised panel construction.

There were practical reasons for the installation of wainscoting in the past. It added protection to the wall so the plaster would not get banged up and chipped. These days, it is mainly a decorative feature. A less expensive way to create a wainscot is to use bead-board type plywood instead of individual boards. Wainscots usually are painted with the same paint as the baseboards, door trim and window trim in the house

I hope this information is helpful to you. You might want to get yourself a copy of my best-seller, Designing Your Perfect House. It is chockfull of valuable tips and advice that will save you many times the cost of the book on your house building or remodeling project. You might also like The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live. It will show you how to make your home a happy place.

Bill Hirsch | Architect

Bill Hirsch

Leave a Comment