Deciding on the best types of wood to use for bead board panels will often depend on what decorating outcome is desired, what room is to be decorated, and most importantly, the furniture theme or style of the room. Wooden bead board paneling, an extremely versatile decorating motif, can be utilized in any room, it can be stained and varnished, or painted and custom finished in natural wood tones, and is a very economical decorating option. Many of the natural woods used in bead board panels include the rich reddish tones of Cedar and oak, natural light woods such as rustic knotty pine and Douglas fir, or the customized and expensive-looking Walnut and Cherry panels.
Bead Board Origins
Although originally used as utilitarian paneling to protect heavy traffic in halls and walk ways, spills and splatters in kitchens and to protect walls in bathrooms, bead board panels still serve these same purposes; however, they are can also be used now as decorating options for many homes. Bead boards, especially if correctly treated with modern finishes, can make cleaning hallway, kitchens and bathroom walls much easier.
Solid Wood Bead Board Panels
Adding pine or fir bead board panels to any room, especially when finished with a natural stain and several coats of varnish, will add a rustic, natural woodsy feeling to the room. For a touch of class, there is not much that can compare to the rich, elegant tones of Cherry or Mahogany, especially when finished with a satin gloss varnish, and a hard wax polish. Walnut and Maple woods bring a formality and grace to any room finished with these woods that is hard to beat. Any of these woods, either finished professionally or by a homeowner, will require very little maintenance and will stand up to much abuse.
Although pine and fir are actually soft woods, they are often treated at the factory to resist dents, scratches and heavy usage. The harder woods are also treated to resist marring, but even in their natural state will often hold up well to high traffic, resisting abuse and, can be brought back to their lustrous finishes with minimum polishing and care.
Pre-fabricated Wood Bead Board Paneling
Bead board paneling is also fabricated from man-made materials with a thin veneer of the more exotic hardwoods. An excellent example of this is the highly popular and very affordable bamboo paneling. Made from ½ wide strips glued to a backing material, these panels are exotic, very durable and made to look very fashionable. Panels of this variety are also less expensive.
To significantly lower the cost of decorative wooden bead board paneling, consider purchasing what is called “lower grade” paneling. This paneling is well constructed, professional in appearance, and can be painted to match a room’s décor. Although termed as lower grade, this paneling is made from a combination of wood and synthetic fabrics, resists abuse and comes pre-painted in several colors, including plain white. The unpainted panels come finished with a primer coat which will easily accept an added coat of your choice.