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Wall Slats: everything you need to know about them

Wooden wall slats are a hot trend for interior designers and DIY homeowners everywhere right now. These wall slats are a great way to add an extra dimension or create a unique accent in any room. To top that off, they are also easy to install on your own. If you’re new to DIY home decorating, composite or wooden wall slats are a great beginner project. They do not require a ton of work or supplies, and the finished product looks stunning. Follow this guide to learn everything you need to know about slatted wood wall panels.

Advantages of Installing Wall Slats

Whether you want to go big or small with your slat wall panels, there are several reasons to install them. In addition to ease of installation, wooden slat walls can offer several design benefits in your home.

composite wall slats
There are several reasons to install wall slats.

Unique Aesthetics

There’s nothing wrong with having a bare wall in your home. But for many homeowners, an empty space is an opportunity to add a creative flourish. Slatted wood wall panels are a very unique and impressive feature that can enhance just about any space. You can use wood slat wall panels to complement the rest of the decor in your home or create something new. Wall slats are versatile, simple, and unobtrusive. The result is often a very subtle, but very pleasant, visual appeal.

Low Maintenance

In addition to being easy to install, wood slat wall panels are also easy to maintain. Provided you use high-quality lumber, they will last for years without damage. Many of the best wall slats use durable tropical hardwoods or Norx composite materials. Most wood panels are also very easy to clean in the rare event that cleaning is required. At most, you may need to occasionally dust your wood slat panels, which is simple enough.

They are also “low maintenance” in the sense that they pair well with just about any other design style. So if you want to do a bit of redecorating down the road, your wood wall panels should still fit right in.

Enhanced Acoustics

A lesser-known advantage offered by wood wall panels is that they offer enhanced acoustics. This likely is not the reason most people consider installing them in their homes. But once they are installed, you may notice improved acoustics in your room. This is because wooden wall slats have sound-absorbing qualities. When sound waves hit the wooden panels, they are slightly deadened. This results in a quieter space with better acoustics. Not only will your wood wall slats create a pleasant visual appeal, but they also enhance the overall vibe of your space. They can also provide a more relaxed, calming atmosphere.

How to Install Slatted Wood Wall Panels

Picture showing a space before and after wall slats installation.
An empty space is an opportunity to add a creative flourish.

What Materials Are Needed?

To install slatted wood panels in your home, you need a few pieces of equipment. First and foremost, you’ll of course need your lumber. Many DIY homeowners like to use plywood because it is more affordable and accessible. However, more durable woods can also be used for a great effect in any room. They are also more cost effective over time, as they’ll maintain their pristine condition for longer.

In addition to lumber, you will also need a nail gun, nails, and a wood filler. This will prove useful if you want to fill in nail holes. A leveler can also be extremely helpful to ensure that your slats are all leveled properly during installation.

You may need to saw or sand your wood slats before installing them as well. Many DIY designers prefer to buy separated pieces of lumber that they can assemble to make their wood slats. But some find this too time consuming, and the results may not be as good as pre-assembled lumber.  For those who want pre-assembled wall slats, Lumber Plus offers several different wood profiles and composite materials for purchase. Whether you want to build from scratch, or buy pre-made slats, we have you covered.

If your wood is unfinished, you will also need to seal your wood. A polyurethane or polyacrylic finish can protect your wood slats from water and corrosion.

Installing Wood Wall Slats

Before you start installing, you may want to take a moment to measure the height of your walls. Your wall slats do not need to reach all the way from floor to ceiling. However, the finished product will look nicer if you know exactly how much space you have to work with. If your wall slats are too tall, you’ll need to trim them down. In case they’re too short, you could be left feeling underwhelmed.

If you buy pre-assembled wood, the installation process is very simple. You simply need to install one board at a time, and you can get your work done quickly. This makes it easier to cover a greater area with more wood slats, and the end results often look like they were done by a professional.

Whether you’ve used pre-made wood or assembled them on your own, the first panel is often the most important. Make sure this initial panel is level and in the right position. From there, the rest of the panels should be easy enough to align.

It’s really as simple as that! You may want to fill the holes left by the nails in your slats. In that case, a wood filler that matches your wood finish will do the trick. Beyond that, there is little work required for the aftermath. Many DIY home decorators can install their wood slat wall panels in an hour or less.

Wall Slats: How to Choose the Right Material

composite wall slats
If you’re looking for more durable and better-looking alternatives, hardwoods or composites are the way to go.

As we’ve said, the great thing about wood slats for your walls is that they’re affordable and easy to install. For some people, the hardest part of the process is choosing the right material. Softwoods like pine and plywood are great if you are on a budget. But if you’re looking for more durable and better-looking alternatives, hardwoods or composites are the way to go. There are many high-quality kinds of wood that are also affordable. 

Sucupira, for instance, is a highly durable and visually appealing wood that is great for wall slats. But you have many hardwood and composite options to choose from. Other great materials include ipe and cumaru hardwood. Composite materials like Norx’s London and Rome composites also combine tremendous quality and aesthetics. When deciding what type of wood to use, you should consider a couple of different factors. Color and finish are important aesthetic considerations. Durability and texture are also important factors to consider. While wood slat panels are easy to maintain, some lumber will hold up better than others in the long run.

For more ideas, browse our inventory of hardwoods for wall and ceiling finishes. LumberPlus carries many premium hardwoods, including ipe, sucupira, jatoba, and much more. Whether you’re starting a DIY wood wall slat project, or are an experienced contractor, LumberPlus can help!



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