There’s nothing like the look of real wood, which may be why so many commercial buildings use wood not only for flooring and accents, but for wall panels and cladding as well. In a fast-paced, high traffic area, however, natural wood can begin to show its age as well as the wear and tear of the area within just a few years. Solid wood wall panels and cladding can also be expensive, heavy, and difficult to work with, taking time to miter and edge properly before installation.

Architects, builders, and business owners alike can therefore benefit from the use of engineered wood wall panels which are lighter, easier to use, and longer lasting than traditional wall cladding.

Engineered Wood vs. Solid Wood

Solid wood may be beautiful, but it often lacks the strength and durability necessary to be used in high traffic commercial settings. Solid wood cladding is heavy, difficult and time consuming to install, and will eventually begin showing wear in a commercial setting.

Wood cladding used in high traffic areas is subject to scratches and dents from high traffic area use, as well as bumps and gouges from furniture, displays, racks, signs, and other decorative elements that may be used in commercial settings. Wood may also shrink or expand with the humidity levels or moisture in the room, which can cause the cladding to eventually warp if not given the right amount of expansion space. This means that more attention needs to be paid to tolerances, as well as to the ongoing maintenance and care of the cladding – something that no establishment wants to consider when selecting material for their design. Solid wood may also require additional finishing on site, which can slow down installation, while raising final costs.

Engineered wood that has been infused with acrylic works differently. The multi-ply base made from marine-grade Baltic birch and adhesives has a 1/10-inch thick layer of acrylic infused wood on top. The multiple plies in the marine-grade wood mean that the cladding is far more stable, and easier to work with than solid wood. The acrylic infused veneer also resists a lot of the splintering, gouging, and scratching that can occur in a high traffic environment. In fact, tests have shown that engineered wood panels are 300% stronger than solid wood panels, making them significantly more durable and easier to maintain in the long term.

Engineered wood cladding is also lighter weight and easier to work with than solid wood. The thinner planks and panels make the cladding ideal for use on walls and ceilings, where tolerances might be tighter or bracing may be required for heavier materials.

The cladding can also be beveled, edged, and mitered easily despite the thinness of the boards to expose more of the wood grain. Unlike some wood products, engineered wood has the color infused through the entire board, rather than simply applied to the surface. This ensures that the color will stay truer longer, regardless of beveling, edging, or use.

The lighter weight and easily obtained edging of the panels mean that they can be installed in a fraction of the time of solid wood panels as well, saving on installation costs and time. The panels are ready for installation without needing to be finished onsite, which can dramatically speed up installation time, while keeping costs down. These benefits combine to ensure that the walls will pay for themselves in lower maintenance and ease of installation and care over their lifetime.

Engineered Wood in Retail Settings


High end retail establishments need to reflect their client’s ideals at all times. This means that top quality materials need to go into their design, including the walls and ceilings.

Engineered wood wall panels can give you the rich, luxurious look you want in your retail setting, while withstanding a high traffic customer base. The walls can be customized to meet your needs with a wire-brushed or smooth finish, and both will hold up well to shelving, racks, hangers, furniture, as well as the everyday bumps, bangs, and scrapes that can occur in this type of setting. The panels are also available in a wide range of colors and finishes, easily complementing the décor of the establishment, regardless of palette or style.

For quiet retail atmospheres, engineered wood panels can also help improve the acoustics of the room as well, dampening sound from outside the rooms. The result is a cozy, intimate retail establishment that focuses your client’s attention, and that doesn’t require a great deal of care or maintenance to keep it looking at its best.

Engineered Wood in Hotel Settings

Hotels today need to do more than simply give guests a place to sleep; they need to cater to their every need, while making them feel as though they are in a home away from home. For that reason, many hotels are not going out of their way to improve their décor on several levels.

Engineered wood cladding helps to insulate the area they’re installed on, improving acoustics and dampening outside sound. So, whether you’re paneling a bedroom, a boardroom, or an elevator, you can be sure that your guests are getting the ultimate in privacy, as well as sound control.

The lightweight panels are also ideal for using in both full wall coverings, as well as in accent settings in lobbies, stairwells, and hallways. The rich wood colors and texture of the panels helps add a luxurious touch to anywhere it’s installed, and because the panels and boards can be beveled or mitered to the application, you can enhance the natural wood grain in a way that also enhances the style and atmosphere of the hotel. The thinner nature of the engineered wood cladding means that they can be installed in areas where solid wood may not be able to go due to its thickness, such as desk fronts, room dividers, or other areas that need a finishing element.

Engineered wood panels are also lower maintenance and longer lasting than solid wood, thanks to the acrylic infused top layer. No matter how many guests pass through the hallways and rooms clad with the panels, they’ll keep their good looks for longer, eventually paying for themselves over their lifetime in lower maintenance costs and repairs.

Make a Better Choice of Wall Paneling

Regardless of the type of commercial establishment you need wall paneling for, engineered wood cladding outperforms solid wood every time. It won’t scratch or dent the way that solid wood will, and it holds its beauty longer no matter how high traffic the establishment is. With many colors, widths, and styles to choose from, it’s easy to find an engineered wood wall panel that can match the project you’re working on.

No other wood product holds up as well as acrylic infused panels. And no other wood product or tile is as lightweight and ready to be used on walls or ceilings. If you want to get the look, feel, and style of real wood for your next commercial project, consider using engineered wood cladding or wall panels to get the style, performance, and durability that you’re after.

Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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