How Tall Should Board And Batten Be? - Home Decor Bliss (2023)

Board and batten has been a popular style for a long time, and although it was originally designed for function, it is now mainly used for its personality. Board and batten is traditionally an exterior feature, but you may be wondering how tall it should be when used inside too. It can be considered a form of wainscoting. We have thoroughly researched how tall your board and batten should be for both exterior and interior applications.

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Board and batten is an exterior feature of wide boards and thin batten strips, which would traditionally cover the entire house face. It has also been used inside as wainscoting. It should generally measure either one-third or two-thirds the height of the ceiling. But it should never settle at half the height of a room.

Using board and batten can completely alter the face of a home or the style of a room because it adds detail onto an otherwise flat surface. Keep reading to learn what board and batten actually is, how tall it should be to avoid proportion issues, if the look is still in style, and more.

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Is board and batten farmhouse style?

The name board and batten is literal because it combines wide boards with vertical battens that help cover the seams in between. The board and batten exterior design was originally a popular addition to old-fashioned barns, making the building unusually airtight for the time.

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As such, the board and batten feature is frequently considered a farmhouse style.It is now popularly used for modern farmhouses. But board and batten may be found in other rustic interior designs, too, with similar country or cottage style scenes.

You can read the post "10 Types Of Board-And-Batten Siding" if you intend to use board and batten on the exterior.

Can board and batten look modern?

It is also possible to make board and batten appear more modern by increasing the spacing between the battens so that the pattern of the battens is less noticeable. Modern designs are characterized by minimalist features, such as simple surfaces with less detail.

Adding space to the battens is an effective way to make the style appear less detailed and coordinate with other characteristics. However, it is important to remember that board and batten on an exterior wall should always be secured to the wall studs.

When board and batten is used inside the home instead of outside, you can also use the surrounding décor to make it feel more modern. This will soften the impact of its natural rustic look.

You might also paint the board and batten a cool neutral like gray, which will remove the focus from the pattern and hide the appearance of natural wood. Similarly, a glossy finish would make the surface look shiny, which is also closer to a modern style.

How tall should board and batten be in a hallway?

Board and batten was first moved into the house itself for purely decorative purposes. As such, this practice is now considered a form of wainscoting when it covers the lower part of the walls. Wainscoting refers to many other interior wall coverings such as panels and beadboards.

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So, the height of your board and batten should mainly satisfy your personal preferences. However, certain heights can be more naturally appealing, and they can also affect the apparent proportions of the room. As a general rule, it is ideal for a board and batten cap to reach a third of the ceiling height.

This should include trim, such as the baseboards or crown moldings. Baseboards are the long, thin pieces of wood that guard the feet of your walls. Crown moldings are fitted where the top of the wall meets your ceiling.

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Sometimes, the board and batten can line up with the height of the window sills to create even lines along the walls. Unfortunately, this can make the rest of the room appear to sit on a foundation of board and batten.

It can drastically change the room and should only be used for personal preference. This may not align with the rule of thirds, which could potentially adjust the room's proportions so that it looks uneven.

Does board and batten make a room look smaller?

In some circumstances, it is possible to use a board and batten that sits as high as two-thirds of the ceiling height. This usually makes the room appear smaller. That’s because the pattern of the board and batten will make the ceiling appear lower than it actually is.

If the feature has a dark color, this will also make the room appear smaller. Darker colors tend to absorb light and can appear to recede. This will make the walls look shorter than they truly are.

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Meanwhile, shorter board and batten designs with brighter colors can make the room feel larger. White is commonly used for board and batten because it is neutral; it blends with the scene while still brightening the room. And because white reflects all colors, it will also make the lower part of the walls appear larger.

How tall should board and batten be for an 8-foot ceiling?

Most ceilings are 9 feet tall, which would mean that a room with 8-foot ceilings is unusually short. As such, it would be ideal for the board and batten to sit slightly lower, 32 inches or slightly over 2.5 feet.

It is best to avoid using the two -hirds option here because the ceiling is already too low. Meanwhile, a one-third board and batten could potentially make the room feel taller.

You can read the post "What's The Standard Ceiling Height? [Answers by House Floor]" for more details, which can help determine your ideal board and batten.

Is board and batten still in style?

It’s important to consider that the board and batten look has been commonly used for generations. So, featuring board and batten certainly continues to be a popular trend.

That’s because the design is both stylish and practical. The wall covering can potentially help protect the lower part of your walls from everyday damage, such as furniture scrapes. Anything that can serve a useful function will never lose its popularity.

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Also, the board and batten feature has the unique ability to decorate any bare wall. And because it can also reach up to two-thirds the height of the ceiling, it is unlike other wainscoting styles.

The taller board and batten can make a larger room feel cozy. This is especially useful for most rustic interior designs. For example, a board and batten that highlights natural wood can reinforce the feel of a homemade cabin. There are many rustic and vintage interior designs, so there are always more chances of feeling in style.

Is board and batten the same as shiplap?

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No, these two are not the same feature, although they share several characteristics. Both were originally designed for exterior use but eventually moved inside for purely stylistic purposes. They even provide the same rustic appearance since shiplap is also commonly used for barns and sheds.

However, the primary difference is that shiplap is defined by its overlapping boards, whereas board and batten is joined by its seams using separate pieces of wood. There is a signature shadowy gap between shiplap boards, which is often the reason it is used instead.

And although shiplap can sometimes be designed in various directions, it is traditionally used horizontally to recreate the classic exterior designs. This tends to make the room look longer, while vertical shiplap will make the room look taller.


Board and batten is a unique and powerful addition to your home for both the exterior and interior. Although it can be grouped in with other wainscoting styles, it can also reach much higher on the wall. But if this freedom is used incorrectly, the proportions of the room will become completely unbalanced.

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It should now be clear when board and batten is appropriate for your home. It is an effective way to transform your bare walls into a detailed and eye-catching room when properly applied.


How tall should interior board and batten be? ›

While some homeowners choose to install a floor-to-ceiling board and batten accent wall, the most popular interior application is its original, practical one: Board and batten is usually installed about 32 inches up from the floor, at just the right height to protect walls from chairs' dents and dings.

How tall should board and batten wainscoting be? ›

A good general rule for the height of a wainscot is that it be a third of the way up the wall. In a room that's nine feet tall, for example, this would put the height of the wainscoting at three feet.

How thick should the batten be for board and batten? ›

A true batten is 2-inches in width or smaller, but you can use larger widths by installing trim in place of a batten if you want a thicker appearance. They're installed directly over the vertical panels to get the traditional look.

How high should board and batten be 8 foot ceilings? ›

On 8-ft walls, I would go with a 6-inch baseboard or taller. On 9-ft walls, I would go with an 8-inch baseboard.

Does board and batten make room look bigger? ›

Use things like board and batten to make a small entryway or bathroom look larger. We had a very small entryway with a dropped ceiling in our last house, but when we installed extra tall board and batten, it made the space feel WAY bigger, and more open!

How high should board and batten be 9 foot ceilings? ›

Most ceilings are 9 feet tall, which would mean that a room with 8-foot ceilings is unusually short. As such, it would be ideal for the board and batten to sit slightly lower, 32 inches or slightly over 2.5 feet.

How high should wainscotting go on the wall? ›

Traditional wainscoting is decorative wood panelling along the lower wall that protects the wall from scuffs. The height of traditional wainscoting is usually 36 to 42 inches. The chair rail goes at the top and baseboard is at the bottom.

What is the normal height for wainscoting in a house? ›

What is the proper height for wainscoting? Generally, the cap sits about one-third the way up the wall. So if the ceiling is 9 feet, go for 3-foot wainscoting. For taller wainscoting, such as one with a plate rail, cap it two-thirds the way up the wall.

How tall should wainscoting be on an 8 foot wall? ›

The standard height to install wainscoting is about 1/3 of the wall height, so if you have 9 foot ceilings that would be 36 inches. If you have 8 foot ceilings then that would be 32 inches.

What is the standard batten size? ›

Board and batten siding is a vertical design created using wide clear or knotty cedar boards spaced apart with narrower boards (battens) covering the joins. There are no set board or batten widths with this cedar siding, but a common combination is 1″x2″ or 1″x3″ battens laid over 1″x10″ or 1″x12″ boards.

Can you overdo board and batten? ›

Board and batten is a really nice way to add visual interest to otherwise blank walls. I don't think you can go wrong with it in any of the areas mentioned above. I would just advise that you not overdo it. There is such a thing as too much board and batten so if you love wall treatments, try to mix it up.

How thick should a batten be? ›

Generally plasterboard battens are 25mm thick and made of treated timber.

What is the perfect ceiling height? ›

The standard ceiling height is about nine-foot, give or take. However, eight-foot ceilings are common because most boards and materials come in eight-foot pieces. This may change to nine-foot soon but it won't be right away, so eight-foot ceilings are still relevant.

What decorating style is board and batten? ›

Board and batten is a major design characteristic of the modern farmhouse, which has grown increasingly popular over the past few years.

What is considered tall ceiling height? ›

Ceilings can go beyond the industry standard, to 10 and 12 feet high. Higher ceilings, up to 12 feet, are not uncommon, especially in renovated loft apartments and pre-war style architecture (between 1890 and 1940). A new house can also be designed with varying ceiling heights.

Does board and batten increase home value? ›

Board and batten siding not only adds a unique appearance to your home but also helps increase its value.

What makes a room look higher? ›

Choose a lighter ceiling color.

Paint your ceiling a color lighter than the walls, preferably white. Some believe high-gloss paint is best because it reflects light and makes the ceiling look somehow less fixed and static, while others say a matte finish will help the ceiling to blend in more.

Is board and batten trendy or timeless? ›

"Board and batten is a timeless siding technique that can be [enjoyed] in various architectural styles—from vernacular and Victorian to modern and contemporary," notes Neubert.

What is the distance between ceiling battens? ›

Ceiling Battens shall be spaced at either 600mm maximum centres or the maximum permissible span as specified in the load span table to the right.

How do you space your board and batten? ›

Add 1 to your number of spaces to get the number of battens on the wall. Now multiply your batten width by the number of battens. Subtract that number from your total wall length. Divide that number by the number of spaces you calculated earlier, and THAT number will be your exact spacing between each batten.

Is wainscoting out of style 2022? ›

Wainscoting is often seen on the bottom half of walls in rooms like dining and living rooms. And according to Wood, it's become popular again, but in dark hues. "Dark wainscoting is a trend that has blown up in the design world in 2021 and will continue to rule 2022," she said.

How high should wainscoting be with 8 foot ceilings bathroom? ›

The traditional rule of thumb is that wainscoting height should be a third of the wall's height, including the cap or any moldings. So if you have 9-foot walls, then 3-foot (or 36-inch) wainscoting will look great. Scale down to about 32 inches for rooms with 8-foot walls.

What is the difference between wainscoting and board and batten? ›

Wainscoting is like a skirt for your wall. Usually, wainscoting covers the lower third of the wall. Board and batten is a style. Board and batten is usually categorized by rectangle patterns (boards) separated by strips of wood (battens).

Does wainscotting make a room look bigger or smaller? ›

It is known that wainscoting makes a room, look smaller rather than larger, but it does depend on the color you use to paint the panels and the height of those panels. Wainscoting is mainly used to protect the lower part of a wall and to make a room look more elegant, instead of using it for sizing purposes.

Is wainscotting outdated? ›

Wainscoting is a decorative wall trim that's centuries old and has never gone out of style, likely due to its versatility—there's a type of panel that suits just about every design style.

Should wainscoting be higher than vanity? ›

It is easier to install it if the height doesn't go over the sink and vanity. If you decide to make it higher, it can serve as a backsplash, although you will need to put in more effort during installation. Even though you choose high bathroom wainscoting, avoid heights over 48 to 54 inches (1.2 to 1.4 m).

How high should wainscotting be in a bathroom? ›

In the bathroom, wainscoting can add a chic alternative to tile or wallpaper. For a bathroom wall, aim to keep wainscoting height to one-third of the entire wall height.

Does baseboard go on top of wainscoting? ›

The top and the bottom of the wainscoting are held in place by a cap rail and a baseboard nailed into the studs. Locate the stud with a nail or stud finder. Mark the studs at both floor level and just above the level line.

What is the average height of wainscoting in a bathroom? ›

Wainscoting in the bathroom is decorative, but it also helps protect the walls from splashes of water, especially near the sink. While there is no single standard height for wainscoting in a bathroom, the typical height range is from 38-to-42 inches off the ground, or ...

What is the minimum size for battens? ›

Ensure battens are a minimum size of 38mm x 25mm. For longer spans than those given here, or for other loading conditions, battens should be designed in accordance with Annex E of BS 5534. The tolerances for battens are: +/- 3mm on width.

What size are batten boards? ›

Board & Batten Features:

Two lengths: 12'6" (8" profile) or 10' (7" or 8" profile) Ideal for whole house or accent applications. 5 1/2" or 6-1/2" boards create a 7" or 8" wide panel.

How far should battens be apart? ›

Battens should be fixed to rafters set at centres not more than 600mm apart. They should span at least three rafters and be at least 1.2m long. No more than one in four battens should be joined over one truss for gauges over 200mm.

Should I use Liquid Nails on board and batten? ›

Using Liquid Nails (the kind applied with a caulking gun) is honestly not much different than using a hot glue gun. So easy! Avoid applying too much of the adhesive close to the edge of your batten pieces so that none of the glue oozes out from behind the pieces once they are hung.

Is Liquid Nails necessary for board and batten? ›

Definitely not necessary though. Instead you'll use use liquid nails on the back of the backboard. Press it against the wall, then use the nail gun where the battens will go to secure it to the wall while the liquid nails cures.

What time period is board and batten? ›

Barns and houses with board and batten siding were inspired by Nordic European buildings and gained popularity in America sometime around the middle of the 19th century.

What is the best material for board and batten? ›

1 – Choose the right material for the room

If you are planning to do board and batten in a wet area such as a bathroom or a kitchen, you will want to purchase PVC or Primed Pine trim. PVC is the superior choice as it is 100% waterproof, but pine is a great alternative.

Is a 7 foot ceiling too low? ›

Lots of people think 8 feet is the minimum ceiling height because that's a common height in most homes, but it's actually 7 feet according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z765). Technically ANSI says it's okay to have a ceiling height at 6'4″ under beams though.

What is the lowest acceptable ceiling height? ›

1208.2 Minimum Ceiling Heights

Occupiable spaces, habitable spaces and corridors shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet 6 inches (2286 mm) above the finished floor.

What style does Joanna Gaines decorate in? ›

Joanna, who is known for her contemporary industrial style, revealed her interior design tips, where she shared the story behind all her home remodels. The memory, Joanna shares, dates back to New Mexico, where she found her signature style whilst traveling with her husband Chip.

Is board and batten interior trendy? ›

Board and Batten Bedroom Walls. Recently, board and batten walls in the bedroom have become very popular. Dark walls add a modern element to the room but the traditional white walls have a great impact too.

Can board and batten look modern? ›

Board and batten siding is so popular for modern farmhouse exteriors because it provides a satisfying texture without going over the top. The vertical lines of board and batten siding are typical to traditional barn buildings, bringing an authentic farmhouse look to modern homes.

Are 8 ft ceilings too low? ›

Are 8-foot ceilings too low? Yes, 8 Feet Ceiling is low height. Even for low-income housing, the code requirement is 8.51feet(2.6m) height for any habitable room.

Why tall ceilings are better? ›

Your home feels more spacious: High ceilings can instantly make your home feel more spacious and luxurious. In fact, the extra height even makes very small rooms feel bigger! Rooms with high ceilings also have the advantage of being able to accommodate beautiful feature lighting, such as a chandelier.

What size wood do you use for board and batten wall? ›

Use a level and mark 48″ up from the top of the baseboard on each side of the wall. Then, cut a 1×4 board to size for the length of the wall and install it at those marks with 2″ brad nails into the wall studs.

What wood is best for board and batten? ›

You can use any kind of wood strips for interior board and batten, and even MDF. Exterior siding board and batten pieces are generally made of cedar furring strips.

What decor style is board and batten? ›

Board and batten is a major design characteristic of the modern farmhouse, which has grown increasingly popular over the past few years.

What era is board and batten? ›

BOARD AND BATTEN was popular as a wooden siding for houses in America between 1845 and about 865.

How do you space out board and batten? ›

Add 1 to your number of spaces to get the number of battens on the wall. Now multiply your batten width by the number of battens. Subtract that number from your total wall length. Divide that number by the number of spaces you calculated earlier, and THAT number will be your exact spacing between each batten.


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