Unique Wall Alternatives

February 14, 2018
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Changing the walls is an effective means of giving a space a completely new look, whether it is a private residence or a public building. There are many creative ways of achieving unique wall designs, some of which completely discard the idea of traditional drywall. Typically these options, such as foam walls or basement wall finishing systems, are fairly expensive and require a serious renovation to effectively install.

If the existing walls are structurally sound and stable, consider alternatives that merely clad the wall in a new material. Many wall panels can be installed directly over unfinished drywall or finished walls relatively easily, which offers a number of advantages. Two especially beautiful options are natural wood and bamboo panels.

The use of real wood is timeless, making reclaimed wood wall panels an enticing choice when clients wish for a more rustic or "warm" look to the space. These reclaimed wood wall panels are often derived from old, fallen barns or even sourced from real boatwood. The vintage aesthetic of this wood is highly sought off and a valuable addition to your client's building or home. Better yet, thanks to advances in installation systems you can add these reclaimed wood panels directly over existing walls rather than having to remove drywall to access studs. You get the same look of a real wood wall without extensive work having to be done. Clients may also appreciate the ability to remove the paneling in the event of future remodels.

When real wood isn't quite what is required of the project, another choice would be bamboo wall panels. Despite being an organic material just like wood, bamboo panels have a different appearance as well as some individual advantages. Bamboo is lighter in tone (though you can purchase dark-stained panels) and has very clean, straight lines. It typically has a more modern feel to it, while wood errs more on the rustic side. Bamboo wall panels are typically a bit more flexible and thinner, without sacrificing strength. Finally, bamboo wall panels are generally more appropriate for rooms with high humidity, such as restrooms, as bamboo is naturally water-resistant.

Similarly to real wood wall panels, bamboo panels may also be placed directly over existing walls without issue. Keep in mind that wall panels can easily cover up cosmetic blemishes on a wall, but should never be applied in an effort to add stability or structure to a weak wall.

While experimenting with real wood and bamboo wall panels, consider how creative you can get. Though they are most often used to cover entire walls, you can also use this paneling in recessed built-ins, as part of floating shelf design, as a backsplash, or as a wainscott.


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