Reclaimed Wood Wall in Rustic Home Office

8 Just as Good Alternatives to Shiplap Walls

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If you’re looking to enhance the style of your wall, you can take your pick between many décor solutions. Shiplap is a popular choice when it comes to wall coverings focused on a calming neutral aesthetic. Although shiplap walls are extremely versatile and simple to incorporate in many rustic interiors, there are other decorating options that can achieve a similar aesthetic. Anyone searching for a fresh alternative to shiplap walls should consider the following inspirational ideas that bring similar warmth and texture.

1. Board and Batten

Board and Batten Paneling in Gray Dining Room

Board and batten wainscoting represents a great alternative to shiplap walls. Although it features similar versatility, this type of wall covering is more straightforward to install. In some cases, it might even be renter-friendly. Board and batten designs can work like a charm for decorating both indoor and outdoor walls. The paneling relies on repeating rectangles or squares of vertical boards. As it is a type of wainscoting, board and batten makeovers tend to leave the upper part of the wall empty. However, some modern designs might extend the look to reach the ceiling.

2. Reclaimed Wood Paneling

Reclaimed Wood Wall in Bedroom

If you’re searching for a similar rustic vibe to shiplap walls, it’s safe to say that reclaimed wood paneling can be used effectively as a substitute. These planks are typically sourced from old barns or warehouses which means that their rustic charm remains intact. The main highlight of reclaimed wood wall paneling is the natural design variation. Walls decorated like this benefit from a mix of different wood shades and distinctive textures that add a weathered distressing effect. It’s an ideal choice for a traditional bedroom with rustic appeal.

3. Cane Wall

Cane Wall in Bedroom

Vintage lovers will be pleased by this stunning DIY cane wall that can cover wall imperfections and turn up the warmth of the room. Thanks to their characteristic woven construction, cane panels bring a new dimension of texture that works as a flawless alternative to shiplap walls. This type of design is compatible with multiple home décor styles. The patterned honeycomb style adds some welcomed visual interest to any plain empty wall. Cane motifs also work well for headboards in bedrooms to create a similar accent wall look.

4. Wood Look Tiles

Fake Wood Tiles in Bathroom

When you first see this bathroom, you might feel that it’s a terribly impractical idea to use wood planks for the flooring and walls of this high-moisture environment. This would be true assuming real wood was used for this makeover. However, these are simply ceramic tiles that feature a wood-like design. The result is quite attractive because you can enjoy the beauty of wood without the disadvantages of the material. It’s a modern décor choice because you will essentially put a unique twist to classic tiles through this faux wood design.

5. Plaster

Rustic Bathroom With Plaster Walls

Textural interest is probably the main reason why homeowners use shiplap to decorate walls. Plaster could be a great alternative that offers similar textural appeal. Although it’s often used as insulation and to isolate the room from exterior sounds, a plaster coating can also fulfill a decorative role. Depending on your aesthetic preferences, you can make plaster-covered walls appear very attractive, especially when used in more unexpected locations. For example, plaster on the bathroom walls can add a subtle yet artful textural effect that pairs beautifully with rustic elements such as natural wood.

6. Wood Herringbone Wall

Herringbone Patterned Wall in Bedroom

Herringbone patterns are able to provide a sense of timeless beauty when used to decorate hardwood flooring. Another way to use the zig-zagging effect of herringbone is by making a wood accent wall. Arranging planks in this style might feel a little too different from a classic shiplap design. That being said, a herringbone wall can bring distinctive charm to any room thanks to its playful patterns. Depending on the materials used, it’s often possible to create a stunning accent wall with herringbone patterns at a lower cost compared to a shiplap makeover.

7. Vertical Fluted Panels

Fluted Vertical Panels in Bathroom

Looking for a modern alternative to shiplap walls? The solution comes from using fluted panels positioned vertically. They stand in clear contrast to rustic shiplap walls that show off horizontal orientation. These panels feature a similar textural vibe thanks to the thin strips of material incorporated in their characteristic fluted finish. Although this vertical panel style is a solid visual alternative to shiplap, the same can’t be said when it comes to other aspects. For example, the durability of fluted panels can be significantly lower which means that additional maintenance could be necessary.

8. Textured Wallpaper

Blue Textured Wallpaper in Bathroom

Installing shiplap isn’t particularly difficult compared to other wall coverings. However, there’s still a lot of effort involved to cut and set up each wood plank correctly. A simpler alternative is to decorate the wall with wallpaper sheets designed specifically to provide similar textural appeal. Aside from much easier installation, you can also choose from a wide range of patterns and colors when you opt for wallpaper. You might be able to completely change the vibe of the room by introducing a colorful wallpaper with a distinctive pattern that mimics the texture of wood, plaster, or another material.


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