But let’s be honest: some rooms call for wall coverings that are inexpensive and easy to slap up, though not necessarily ugly. Photo laminate and tongue and groove paneling, admittedly, are a tough sell. Just like laminate flooring, it is a tough to try to convince people that what they're looking at is actual wood.
Yet not all wood paneling--the industry term is decorative wall panels--needs to be unattractive. Both tile board and beadboard are easy to install and look pretty good.
Tile BoardTile board is a nice paneling option for some areas such as basements, laundry rooms, and extra bathrooms. It is moisture resistant hardboard with a melamine layer on top. At a quick glance, it does look remarkably like ceramic tile, though a sharp rap with your knuckles will say otherwise. Tile board paneling, unfortunately, tends to come only in white grout on white tile combinations.
But since tile board paneling comes in 4 x 8 sheets--and sometimes even larger--you can slap up (this is becoming a common word, isn't it?) 32 square feet of "white ceramic tile" in about one-tenth of the time it would take you to put it up as real ceramic tile.