Before drywall became popular, wood paneling was used to both protect and decorate walls. Historically, the lower walls of homes were dressed in decorative paneling. This has continued today, with wood paneling being used to add extra style and design to homes. If you’re considering adding wall details to your custom home, here are some of the most popular types of wood paneling to consider.



Shiplap has become massively popular in recent years thanks to HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Since it’s a favorite of Chip and Joanna Gaines, it’s made its way into tons of homes across North America. Shiplap is grooved boards laid horizontally that fit together to form a waterproof seal. It’s an informal style of wood paneling that works great in coastal or farmhouse style homes. Traditionally, shiplap was used on home exteriors or within interior walls, but these days it’s more for décor. Most people that put in shiplap don’t use the real stuff as it’s expensive, but the look is the same!


Tongue and Groove

Tongue and groove often get confused with shiplap. In fact, many people that put “shiplap” into their home are really putting in tongue and groove. They look similar but the difference is in the way the boards connect. Shiplap boards connect with a rabbet joint at the top and bottom of each panel. Tongue and groove boards connect by the “tongue” of one board fitting into the “groove” of another. Simply put, shiplap boards overlap a bit but tongue and groove fit on top of one another. They look almost identical though, and since tongue and groove is often cheaper many people opt for this style.


Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood has become popular thanks to the rise of the modern farmhouse style. As the name implies, reclaimed wood is wood “reclaimed” from old barns or homes. Most reclaimed wood walls aren’t actually reclaimed wood, as it can be quite expensive. Typically people get new wood boards and distress them to look like reclaimed wood. A reclaimed wood wall can add a ton of warmth and texture to a room, and they come in tons of stains to fit with any style of custom home.


Board and Batten

Board and batten wood paneling is a classic type of wall detail that works in almost any type of home from modern to traditional. It’s commonly used in abthrooms, studies, and dining rooms. This style of paneling is formed with solid wood stripes (battens) and planks (boards). True board and batten is created on top of real wood panels, while imitation board and batten is on top of plywood or drywall. Both true and imitation have similar looks and most people cannot tell the difference between the two.



Beadboard creates such a cozy look. It’s the perfect wood paneling style of people that want a country, cottage, beachy, or farmhouse style. It’s another style of tongue and groove but due to it’s popularity, it has stood out on it’s own throughout the years. Beadboard connects like regular tongue and groove, but typically has smaller boards. This style of paneling works well for ceilings as well as walls!


Flat Panels

Flat panels are more of a broad category versus a single style. A bunch of popular styles fall under this. Wainscoting is considered flat panels. Flat panels are very classic and elegant. They’re often used in more formal areas of the home such as dining rooms, offices, or entryways. Flat panel styles are the most commonly used ones in custom homes in Toronto.