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Wall Paneling – Engineered Wood Types Used in Interiors

Wood Panels – Pieces of wood are laminated to a backing. These are generally 12-inch tiles and are applied to the substrate with adhesive. The properties and characteristics depend on the types of wood species. However, now these panels are of various sizes and shapes.


  • Acts as a decorative finishing material.
  • Feature walls in residential and commercial projects.
  • Articulate the joints of floors and walls.
  • Protect and conceal any material joints.

There are different types of wood boards used for wall paneling. Below are the most commonly used for wall paneling:

  • Chipboard
  • Fiberboard
  • Blockboard
  • Plywood
  • Reclaimed wood.
Image credit: designcafe.com/pinterest

1. Chipboard

Chipboards are made with wood chips and sawdust with the addition of glue and compressed under high heat and pressure to form a panel

Thickness available: 9mm,12mm,15mm,16mm,18mm,25mm (may vary as per supplier)

wood types
Image credit: dgheath.co.uk


  • Cheap and economical option
  • Available in various surfaces and finishes
  • Environmental benefit: made from recycled materials


  • Prone to cracking
  • The ability to withstand screws or nails is not great
  • Not resistant to moisture
Image credit : dezeen.com

2. Fibreboard


MDF is an engineered wood made of residues/fibers of hardwood and softwood combined with wax and resin binder by applying high temperature and pressure



  • An economical and inexpensive option
  • Environmental benefit: made from recycled materials
  • The surface is smooth with the absence of knots unlike solid wood
  • Depiction like ceramic looks like stone looks like tile on MDF is easier than on solid wood.


  • Weaker than wood
  • Crack or split under stress or pressure
  • Not resistant to moisture absorbs water more quickly than wood
  • Few varieties contain VOC, containing urea-formaldehyde which is harmful to the lungs.


HDF is similar to MDF but is harder and denser than MDF


  • Higher grade off MDF, harder and denser
  • Easily cut for various designs
  • Sustainable


  • Not as strong as solid wood or plywood
  • Absorb water it not treated properly.

3. Blockboard

Blockboard consists of core -battens which are placed edge to edge (usually made of softwood blocks). Glued under high temperature and pressure.

The thickness of battens varies from 12mm to 25mm

Edges – Thin veneer panels placed on top and bottom. The direction of the grains of the core is perpendicular to that of the edges.

Size – Most common size 8’x4′

Thickness: Range from 12mm to 50mm

Image credit : tradeindia.com


  • Lightweight as the core is of softwood
  • High strength and durability
  • The holding capacity of nails is good
  • Stiffer than plywood so, less prone to bending
  • Highly resistant to warps and cracks than plywood
  • Preferred for places/furniture where lengthy pieces are used


  • Has minor gaps between blocks inside which cannot be seen from the outside -nails can enter deep into gaps instead of battens.
  • Prone to moisture damage
  • Prone to termites because of gaps

Surface Finish: laminated, veneered, melamine paper/finish, polish

Image source : modakply.com

4. Plywood

The commonly used wood type and durable is Plywood. Manufactured from sheets/layers (3-10) of cross-laminated veneer bonded with moisture-resistant adhesives under high heat and pressure.

The layers are placed alternatively at 90 degrees to each other.

Plywood is used in many applications from shuttering to furniture.

Core is made up of hardwood veneer.

Image source : tradeindia.com

Types of Plywood :

Based on the type of Solid Wood

  • Softwood plywood (from Douglas fir, pine, cedar, etc.)
  • Hardwood plywood (made from teak, birch, oak, mahogany, etc.)

Based on Function

  • Marine Plywood
  • Flexible Plywood
  • Structural Plywood
  • Termite Resistant
  • Mr. Grade-Moisture Resistant-commercial Plywood
  • BWP-Grade-water Proof Plywood
  • Firewall Plywood

Surface Finish: Painted, Veneered, Lacquered, Laminated

Thickness: Thickness ranges from 12mm to 25 mm.

Size: Most common size 8’x4′


  • High strength and durability
  • The holding capacity of nails is very high
  • Uniform throughout its length and breadth
  • Less susceptible to damage by moisture
  • Resistant to warps and cracks


  • Expensive when compared to other boards-block board/particleboard.
  • Tend to bend from the center when long pieces are used
  • Difficult to cut as it is heavy and has high strength
  • Prone to split from edges while cutting.

5. Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood types are the wood that comes from dismantled old buildings.

Used as a second purpose regardless of the initial purpose. It can be used both unaltered or alternating with machines. Also used for various purposes: flooring, ceilings, beams, paneling, furniture, etc.

It is a green option to save the planet.


Pros of Reclaimed wood:

  • Unique and Beauty: As it is aged and weathered, adding character to the wood
  • Environmentally-Friendly: Eligible for LEED building credits.
  • Durable: Possess strength even though it is reclaimed
  • Historical and Valuable: Has history and story related to where it has come from
  • Stable than new Hardwood

Cons of Reclaimed Wood:

  • Difficult to find trusted dealers
  • Expensive: As it is sorted and prepared for the next end-use
  • Presence of Toxins/Chemicals: Previous wood finish may be of chemicals and paint
  • Termites/Bugs: the presence of holes, and bugs, might be present if not inspected properly.
  • Thickness: May vary from 15mm to 30 mm depending upon species, pattern, and supplier.

Barn Wood Cladding

Wood comes from dismantling old barns with unique textures and colors. Mostly suitable for rustic style interior design.

Installation Methods

Wood paneling can be installed in various ways.

  • Tongue and groove edge joints.
  • Panels mounted to substrates are installed with z-clips that are directly mounted on the wall.

Sustainable Considerations:

  • Using wood panels that have been certified by verified sources.
  • Reusing wood especially Reclaimed wood for interior purposes reduces the waste in landfills.
  • Wood that is free from formaldehyde reduces off-gassing.

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