How to choose the right material for the wall panels?

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
Impressive contemporary style, Premdas Krishna Premdas Krishna Modern living room
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Wall paneling is a popular and trendy type of wall finish that has recently been taking over other types of wall finish such as wallpapering, painting, and cladding with tiles. There are many reasons for this, ranging from durability to hygiene and cost. Wall panels can be cheaper than wallpaper, and high quality paint or tiles. Another advantage of wall paneling is being able to conceal flaws and unsightly features such as cables and exposed wiring, while this is not possible with wallpapering, painting, or cladding with tiles. 

This idea guide is here to help you choose the right material for your wall panels by informing you of the pros and cons of different types of material. The wall panel materials we will discuss here are wood panels, chipboard panels, medium-density fiberboard, fabric panels, PVC panels, and vinyl-covered gypsum boards. Let's have a look at these tips shall we? 

Chipboard panels

Chipboard panels are made by bonding chips of wood and adhesive together under pressure and heat until it forms a stiff board. Other than being relatively cheap, it is also widely available and easy to find. 

There are three types of chipboard panel varieties you can work with—normal, medium, and high density. The normal variety is cheap and easy to work with, but it is also rather fragile and thin. The high density version is thicker and more solid. 

Browse through wall panel designs here on homify for more new ideas and refreshing inspiration. 

Panels made of natural wood

Panels made of natural wood are not only beautiful but also offer good thermal and acoustic insulation. Unlike tile cladding, there are no grouting lines which collect dirt or discolour. In fact, one of the perks of wooden panels is that it is easy to repair and replace. Wooden panels can be sanded down and resealed to renew its appearance if its surface is damaged. Even if the damage is extensive, the panel can be replaced without much disturbance to the remaining wall. 

As for the disadvantages of using wood panels, well, they are not waterproof and will start rotting if they come into contact with water. Once you notice rotting, you should immediately sand down the panel or consider replacing it if it can't be renewed. Keep in mind that there will be lots of maintenance work with wood panels. Wood can lose its natural moisture, especially in air-conditioned rooms, so you need to have a seal applied every now and then to keep the moisture in. 

Medium-density fiberboard

Medium-density fiberboard or MDF is a type of composite wood product made by binding small wood fibers together with resin under extreme heat and pressure. The main advantage of using MDF is that it is cheap, and it can be made to look like wood by staining it. Hence, you can get natural woody look you've been dreaming about for a fraction of the price you would pay for real wood panels. However, medium-density wood is weak compared to wood, so it can crack or split when under pressure. This is why you need to be very careful when you're installing it. 

Another disadvantage of MDF is that it requires lots of nails to be installed, but at the same time, it does not take nails very well. If you do not put enough nails, the board can droop in the middle. However, when you nail into MDF, it produces a bump which you need to sand down to make sure it holds the nail well. Hence, the installation process for MDF takes more time and effort compared to other materials such as wood or chipboard panels. 

Fabric panels

If you prefer something on the softer side, there are a myriad of wonderful fabric wall panels to choose from. Fabric panels are ideal to be installed onto smooth and hard walls. They make a room more cozy, and have a casual feel. However if you're looking for acoustic insulation, then opt for upholstered walls, which give you the same soft effect, but with good insulating properties. Upholstered walls are more pricey though, but can be worth the investment if you're going to maximize its use. 

The elegant velvety fabric panel pictured here is designed by Designer Vision and Sound, based in Surrey, United Kingdom. 

PVC panels

According to professionals, PVC panels are long-lasting, durable, fire-resistant, hygienic, and easy to maintain. They are ideal to be used in bathrooms, shower rooms, and kitchens as they are waterproof and easy to clean. 

Panels made with PVC are sealed with a protective lacquer that can be glossy or matte. The surface does not attract dust, so it's a good idea for a children's bedroom, or for anyone who is allergic to dust. 

One more advantage is that the installation process for PVC panels is relatively quick and easy. This is mostly because the material is easy to cut according to your desired size and shape. 

Vinyl-covered gypsum boards

Vinyl-covered gypsum boards are extremely fire-resistant and durable, and are often used in public buildings where fire resistance classification is required.They also have good sound insulation properties and are easy to install. Last but not least, gypsum boards are highly versatile, and satisfy a wide range of architectural design requirements.  

We hope this idea guide has been informative and interesting to you. For more home tips and ideas, have a look at Fed up? This is how you avoid bad odour from the trash can

Some more wall panelling materials

When it comes choosing a stylish and suitable material for wall panelling, glass is another widely preferred option. Glass panels are designed to produce photographic images and hence, require a durable base. Although this material demands utmost care, when selected carefully it can serve you for a long period of time. Usually, the manufacturers apply modern technology to treat these glasses so that they can gain the necessary strength and protection. Whether you wish to use them for your kitchen walls, bathroom or any other part of the house, glass wall panels can lend an unmatched sophistication.

A 3D wall panel is another trendy design solution that can be used to hide your ugly walls and to reflect your individual style. Made from materials such as bamboo and plywood, these sculptured, textured wall paneling options have gained immense popularity with their smart appeal and pocket-friendly prices. Painted in different colours with acrylic paints in glossy or matte finish, these wall panels offer a stunning effect and transform plain interiors into spectacular creations.

Which type of wall panel material do you like best? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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