Sometimes, a simple coat of paint is all you need to satisfy a home owner’s decorative wants. A lot of times though they want to decorate with something that has texture and is interesting such as a beadboard ceiling.

This will provide an enhanced artistic look.  Beadboard provides a versatile distinguishing set of decorative choices for walls and ceilings. This is a good do it yourself project that is inexpensive.

Beadboard ceilings panels are made of wood that has a tongue-and-groove design. They are beads appearing to be long, 6-inch boards across the surface. They are usually made of pine.

With the advancements in beadboards, it is accepted to use MDF to make them instead of wood, which will save money for the homeowner and preserve trees for the environment.

They are sold in home improvement stores or lumberyards. They are 8 feet in size. Most people install them in white on their surfaces. Installing them on the ceiling is a fantastic focal point for any room.

Wm-Ohs-Hampton-Classics-by-Wm-Ohs-Inc. Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Wm Ohs Inc.

A modest amount of home improvement knowledge is necessary to get the best end result when installing them.With some research and a little elbow grease, this is something anyone could do. Beadboard ceilings provide an artistic detail for any home themes

Beadboard ceilings is an excellent idea for traditional, rustic or country styles. The wood notably adds to the ambiance of the home. It is made from a natural material.

You can either leave the look of the wood or paint it to match any other color that you may have in your home. Beadboard is relatively inexpensive and you will save on labor cost by doing it yourself. Many beadboards have a system that consists of concealed metal tracks and clips that hold the beadboard ceiling planks in place.

Beadboard panels

Brorson-Cottage-by-Virge-Temme-Architecture-Inc Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Virge Temme Architecture Inc

Homeowners often overlook the ceiling when it comes to design. Most will simply grab a can of paint and paint it.  While this is okay to do, it adds no creativity to the area. The ceiling is the largest bare surface of a room. Decorating this surface with texture will improve the appearance of the room.

Beadboard either comes in small pieces of wood that fit together or it will be in panels that can be nailed to the ceiling. It is the homeowner’s choice on which to use. You will have to decide which one would be the easiest for you to install. This will also depend on how much ceiling that you need to cover. The shipping cost is another thing to take into consideration.

To apply beadboard paneling, it will require more than one person or a special device used to hold the panels in place and keep them from shifting against the ceiling during installation. If you don’t have the help to install a beadboard paneling ceiling, the tongue and groove boards would be ideal for you to install.

Vinyl beadboard

Robinsons-Bay-Residence-by-Murphy-Co.-Design Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Murphy & Co. Design

The majority of beadboards are made of MDF. However, beadboard is also made of vinyl.  There are advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when choosing which to use. One thing that needs to be considered is where will the beadboard be installed.

A vinyl beadboard ceiling can be installed on a porch. This way you do not have to worry about the beadboard getting wet or weather-beaten. Vinyl will not warp or rot if it gets wet like wood would. This also is a great choice for an area that does not have a lot of ventilation but has a lot of moisture such as a bathroom or a kitchen.

A problem with using vinyl beadboard is that you may have to special order it, most places do not carry it. Problems with this are that you will have to spend extra time searching for it and spend extra money on the special order and having it shipped.

The minimal upkeep for a vinyl beadboard ceiling, however, can often completely outweigh any inconvenience in price or availability.

It’s worth knowing that wood beadboard is just as applicable as vinyl even though vinyl will have a less upkeep if price is your only concern. There is a large selection to choose from at Elite. This eliminates almost all of the setbacks essentially that use to keep homeowners from obtaining vinyl Beadboard.

Ceiling ideas

Wetmore-by-Frederick-Frederick-Architects Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Frederick + Frederick Architects

Beadboard for ceilings have a common appearance and are usually white in color. There, however, are several options that exist to make any certain ceiling look different and add your personal style to it.

For example, a small room such as a laundry room or a bathroom would benefit with long beadboard planks that are not divided or angled.This will make the small room appear larger.

On the other hand, a large room such as a living room or a long porch, then it may be worth dividing the beadboard planks into sections where each beadboard plank is divided by a long, thick beam. By doing this you can add depth and texture to the appearance of the ceiling. This works well for large places.

A beadboard pattern that is a fantastic design idea is to use a set of thicker wood dividers or solid panels that are set in between the beadboard planks. By creating these different textures, you can certainly intensify the design style of the ceiling.

You also have the classic design of a beadboard ceiling where the lines flow in one direction from one side of the room to the other side of the room. This will create a lengthening effect, which will make the space look bigger. This type of installation is ideal for different beadboard projects.

Beadboard pictures

Westport-Island-House-by-Shelter-Interiors-LLC Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Shelter Interiors LLC

A beadboard ceiling is a terrific design element in any room inside or outside. An interesting installation of a beadboard ceiling is in a room with vaulted ceilings.

Another beautiful installation of beadboard ceiling is inside a room that is connected to the outside such as a porch or covered deck. The natural surroundings of the outdoors will be a great complement to a classic beadboard ceiling design.

A white beadboard ceiling isn’t the only color they have. Even though white is popular you can create a contrast to a room by using some color or natural wood hues.

Summit-Hillsborough-by-HOME-Stagers-Inc.-2 Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: HOME Stagers, Inc.

A stylish method is to install a beadboard ceiling inside the framework of larger planks or frames that surround square or rectangular beadboard sections on the ceiling.

Another beadboard ceiling design is to install the beadboard going in various directions.  By installing a beadboard ceiling this way the beadboard ceiling will create a different look from the normal one direction installation of beadboard ceilings.

A natural looking bare wood beadboard ceiling might be a better fit for some beadboard designs, instead of the traditional white color.

Beadboard ceiling in the bathroom

Luxurious-Residence-Wildridge-by-Martin-Manley-Architects- Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Martin Manley Architects

The bathroom can be a difficult space to design, especially if it is a small space. If the design is done incorrectly it can make a small space seem crowded.  To enhance the area with an updated design look up and work on the ceiling.

Installing a beadboard ceiling is a great idea to consider updating an outdated bathroom. The ceiling is a large space with the only adornment being a lighting fixture. The texture that will be provided by the beadboard ceiling can intensify the room.

Barrington-Estate-by-Bickerstaff-Builders-Inc.-2 Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Bickerstaff Builders, Inc.

Other design choices are to put beadboard planks on the wall, as well as the ceiling. This will create a stylish look by having more than one area done with beadboard.

By installing a beadboard ceiling in a bathroom it takes away the need for several decorative pieces around the room and takes up no space.

A beadboard ceiling has a great texture and is beautiful looking. With a beadboard ceiling, you will not have to worry about bumping into things and knocking them over.

Beadboard ceiling in the kitchen

Family-house-on-the-beach-in-Protaras-Cyprus-by-Johnny-Grey-Studios. Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Johnny Grey Studios.

Beadboard is a great design choice for the kitchen area. A beadboard ceiling will add a great amount of charm to a kitchen area. This is important since the kitchen is a gathering area for the modern family.

A beadboard ceiling will give a kitchen a warm and inviting feeling which is something many homeowners strive to achieve. Beadboard was first placed in the kitchens of old cottages and even farmhouses. In modern homes, this interesting surface can magnify just about any style of home.

Kitchen-looking-into-the-great-room-by-At-Home-Design-LLC Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: At Home Design LLC

By adding beadboard to a flat ceiling in a kitchen will be a great enhancement and give the space a finished look. It will also add a homey comfort feeling to the area for visitors that come to your house.You can enhance a beadboard ceiling by adding molding or beam work to it.

Beadboard ceilings are also great in kitchens that have recessed ceiling “tray ceilings ” or exposed beam ceilings that create squares or rectangles across the room.

PVC beadboard

Finkelstein-Family-Room-and-Bedroom-Addition-by-K-Squared-Builders-Dale-Kramer Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: K Squared Builders – Dale Kramer

We have talked about wood and vinyl beadboards, now let’s talk about PVC beadboard. PVC beadboard is considered to be the best waterproof option for installation in a home. This can be important for areas which are prone to water damage or wear and tear.

A benefit of PVC beadboard planks is that they are reversible and give the classic double lined appearance on one side and the single line appearance on the other side.

If you would like to have this type of beadboard make sure to tell the person what you want when ordering it to ensure that you get the right ones. PVC beadboards are not all reversible. This is so you can make the final decision on this design feature before you purchase it.

Another reason to choose a PVC beadboard for your ceiling is that it is the best way to reduce the chance that mold, or mildew will start growing.

Anyone living in a humid or non-ventilated area should use PVC beadboard since it will reduce maintenance and create a low possibility of mildew and mold forming behind the boards and out of the view of the homeowner.

PVC beadboard looks like wood beadboards. Therefore, the final appearance will be the same no matter which material that you choose.

Hide the imperfections

Vista-Home-by-RR-Chandler-Design-Build-Renovate Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: RR Chandler Design Build Renovate

Imperfections of your ceiling can be covered by beadboard. To get rid of a popcorn ceiling fast cover it with beadboard. You will get a seamless and upgraded look for your home.

To add character to your traditional, rustic, or modern décor use beadboard. Beadboard has many colors and textures such as pine, weathered driftwood, sophisticated red cherry, or classic cherry. With this many color choices, you will surely find what matches your décor.

Another great reason to install beadboard is that it is a good insulator, which is good in cold and warm climates. You can install beadboard ceilings in any room or porch of the house.  Make sure you know the cons of the material that you choose to keep up with the maintenance and avoid damage to your beadboard.

Avoiding the cons

Ranch-Territorial-Home-by-Platinum-Companies Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Platinum Companies

Beadboard ceilings can be extremely damaged by water, this is the biggest con of it.  Especially wood beadboard can be severely damaged by water leaks. Make sure you make the right location choice when installing your beadboard ceiling.

Consider the different materials, wood, vinyl, and PVC if you plan to have a beadboard ceiling in your bathroom. Wood can rot from excessive moisture and water. Choose how you want to finish your ceiling. Also, look at the ceiling molding ideas.

Basic Beadboard

Kitchens-by-Futral-Construction Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Futral Construction

Accommodate the wooden panels to being indoors when decorating your home. To minimize possible warping check the moisture level in your home.You can use a moisture meter to detect the moisture level, it should read around 8 percent.

Before you paint wainscoting, seal the exposed surfaces by applying an oil-based primer to it. This will protect the wood from moisture and keep it from shrinking or swelling.  In areas that are exposed to water, you need to use vinyl beadboard panels.

Avoid using wood panels in areas that are prone to water leaks such as screened-in porches, bathrooms, and behind kitchen sinks. Artistically place the beadboard horizontally on a wall to make it appear wider. To make the wall seem taller then hang the beadboard vertically.

Wide beadboard planks should be used to make to make a large room seem not so busy. You can get beadboard in styles such as casual, V-board, and random width V-board.

For at traditional farmhouse look you will want to use V-board with either a 2 ½ inch width or a 1 5/8-inch width. Choose beadboard that is at least a ¼ inch thick with clean cuts and beads for a great natural look and durability.


Costa-Rica-by-Patdo-Light-Studio Beadboard ceiling panels: What you need to knowImage source: Patdo Light Studio

While wood bead board is strong and durable, it can get scratched. To fix wood small scratches in wood beadboard, sand the area. You will want to fill larger ones with a polyester based filler. This will sand easy and smooth.


An easy way to add some great design detail is to use beadboard. A great way to liven up boring ceilings is to use decorative beadboard paneling.White beadboard can enhance a cozy cottage or country farmhouse décor.

You can also pair it up with black paint to achieve a modern look.  To meet your needs and personal preferences decide between wooden or synthetic beadboard.