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Common NEC Paneling Questions


Can the Panel System® be used on stairs?  The New England Classic Stair PanelSet® provides specially-designed panels and components to follow the slope of most stairs.  Print, complete and submit our Wainscot Stairway and Landing Design Request Form.


Is it Wainscot or Wainscoting?  Wainscot and wainscoting both refer to the same paneling style - typically meaning wall paneling installed between the baseboard and a chair rail 30 to 60" above the floor.  Our paneling is sometimes referred to as Judge's paneling, Library paneling & McIntosh paneling.


Is it beadboard, beaded board, or bead board?  Like wainscot and wainscoting, each of these terms describes the same paneling style.  Beadboard is simply paneling with 'twin' vertical grooves evenly spaced over the full height of the panels. Between the twin grooves, is what is called a 'bead.'


Can I estimate the cost of a paneling job?  Sure! Most of our paneling systems are available in 8-foot kits.   1.  Determine how many linear feet you have to cover, then divide that by 8 to estimate the number of 8-foot linear length kits you'll need.  2.  Find the Products pages (in the left margin of our website) to review and select your desired paneling system type.  Once you are at the specific page describing your paneling system type, you'll see that wainscot paneling systems are available with product options from which you can choose.   3.  As you make option selections, notice that the price at the top of the option list changes to reflect the cost of an 8-foot kit with the options you have chosen.  4.  To determine an estimated project cost, let's say you need five 8-foot kits (for about 40-feet or less linear feet along your walls).  5.  Take the price of the 8-foot kit that you've come up with based upon the option selections you've made and multiply this by the number of 8-foot kits you estimate you'll need to arrive at a ballpark cost.  We offer 4-foot kits of many of our paneling as a 'finishing kit' if you don't need an entire additional 8-foot kit.   For help with your design, please note that all orders (other than beadboard kit orders) and estimate requests should print, complete and submit our Design Request Form  or feel free to contact New England Classic.


Can the Panel System® be used to create full-height walls?  Yes, by stacking panels and rails in various arrangements, most ceiling heights can be accommodated.  Contact New England Classic for a quote for full wall wainscoting!


How high should wainscoting be?  For years, the most common finished height has been 36" but there is no right or wrong answer here and you should feel free to express yourself and be creative.  Many use a rule of thumb that said the chair rail should be at about 1/3 of the ceiling height and rooms with ceilings over 9-foot tall can nearly always accept wainscoting or beadboard taller than 36" for good aesthetic proportion.  Many kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and utility rooms have tall beadboard from 44" to 58" height up to full wall height beadboard and look fantastic. 


Is the CasingPak® available separately, and can it be used with 8' high doors?  Yes, the CasingPak® contains three 8' pieces of casing and backband. New England Classic suggests using a standard plinth block to use the CasingPak® around 8' high doors.


Does New England Classic offer other moldings to complement the Panel System?  In addition to the CasingPak® for doors and windows, the FramePak® can be used without panels to create a base molding and chair rail application. The Panel System can also easily integrate standard and custom moldings from other sources.


What is MDF? MDF, or medium density fiberboard, is made of refined wood fibers combined with a binding agent and hot pressed to create a composite wood product that is free of knots, voids, and other defects commonly found in wood. MDF has a density of 48 lb/cubic foot.


Is MDF more difficult to work with than wood? As a wood product, its usage is quite similar to solid wood. A list of suggested tools and techniques are included in the product installation guide.


Since the shoe is in direct contact with the floor, won't water or cleaning solutions damage it? No, the shoe was designed for this type of use. It is made using a special water-resistant MDF and waterproof adhesive to protect it from damage. However, the paintable surface and wood veneers should be painted or finished to protect them.


Can the Panel System® be used on ceilings? The Panel System® is not designed for use on ceilings. Please contact New England Classic if you have a special need.


Can it be used below grade and in bathrooms?  As with solid wood, the Panel System® should not be used in humid areas where condensation regularly forms on wall surfaces. Sealing the back and edges of all the components would help, but ideally, excessive humidity should be controlled in living spaces.


Can the Panel System be used in high-heat areas such as next to a fireplace or woodstove?  The product cannot be installed in any area where its temperature could exceed 120°F. Solid wood moldings or trim may be used to buffer the product in these areas.