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6 Tips to Choose the Best Quality Faux Panels

6 Tips to Choose the Best Quality Faux Panels

Faux panels are extremely versatile. You can use them to create a stunning accent wall, as a decorative headboard, or to transform a simple bookshelf into a work of art.

When looking at various faux panel options, pay close attention to the product specifications to ensure that you are purchasing a high-quality panel. Although quality faux panels may come with a higher price tag, their superior appearance and durability can increase the value of your property in the long run.

Today, there are hundreds of different faux panels to choose from, so it can be tough to know which ones are good quality. This guide provides tips on choosing faux panels that will not only transform your home but will stand the test of time!

Why Use Faux Wall Panels Over Natural Materials?

Carolina Chiseled Faux Stone Wall Panels in Mist Carolina Chiseled Faux Stone Wall Panels in Mist

Why do so many homeowners choose to install faux panels instead of natural brick, stone, rock, or wood?

Quality faux panels compared to natural materials are:

  • More cost-effective to purchase, install, and maintain
  • Lighter in weight and easier to install
  • Lower maintenance
  • Available in a wider variety of colors and styles
  • More consistent in color

Overall, faux panels offer a lot of advantages over real materials. However, not all faux panels are created equal.

High-quality faux panels will closely mimic the appearance and texture of real materials and are significantly more durable. Low-quality faux panels can leave you with an accent wall that looks fake, fades over time, and damages easily.

So how do you know you’re getting a quality product? Let’s take a look at what you should be looking for when shopping for faux panels.

How to Choose Faux Panels: 6 Tips From the Pros

Colorado Dry Stack Faux Stone Wall Panels in MistColorado Dry Stack Faux Stone Wall Panels in Mist

Whether you’re shopping for faux panels online, or visiting stores in person, keep these helpful tips in mind.

1. Look Into the Company and Manufacturer's Reputation

Researching the company you’re buying from is just as important as researching the product. Generally, the longer a company has been making faux panels, the more trustworthy their products are.

Take it a step further by reading customer reviews and testimonies. You want to purchase faux panels from a company that gets consistently positive reviews. Do former customers have complaints about the quality or lack of customer service? This could be a red flag. Choose to buy from a company with accessible customer service.

2. Make Sure Faux Panels Look and Feel Natural

Unless you’re going for a painted look, natural materials like stacked stone, for example, will have color variations.

Look for faux panels that have multiple base colors in addition to a wash coat. Washing is a painting technique that creates realistic highlights and lowlights. Panels without a wash will lack definition and appear less natural.

Natural stone, brick, and wood aren’t shiny, so faux materials shouldn’t be either. Faux panels with a matte finish are best, as they will absorb light instead of reflecting it.

3. Pay Attention to the Overall Quality

The quality of the faux panels plays a role in how easy they are to install, how realistic the finished product looks, and how long they’ll last.

Look through all of the product images, and zoom in if you can. How does the panel look up close? If you’re shopping in person, touch the product. Is the texture realistic?

The best faux panels, including Barron Designs’ faux panels, are cast from molds of real stone, brick, wood, and rock for the most authentic look and feel possible. Some lower-quality panels don’t have any texture at all, and may only have a single coat of paint that doesn’t look authentic.

To last over time, faux panels should be at least one to two inches thick. The denser the panel, the more resistant it is to warping and shrinking. For lasting durability regardless of the installation location, look for panels you can install inside or outside.

4. Determine How Easy Panels Are to Install

Ease of installation also factors into the total cost of your project. Faux panels that are DIY-friendly can save you the cost of hiring a professional to install them. Panels that are more complicated to install may require a contractor.

A smooth back is a sign of a quality panel. Some faux panels are ribbed on the back, making them less desirable, brittle, and more prone to damage during installation. Panels with a smooth back ensure the slots and fingers join perfectly. This makes installation easier and gives you a more realistic look.

5. Find Out What Faux Panels Look Like After Installation

Next, check out photo galleries to see how the panels look after installation.

Look closely at the seams where the panels meet. Are the seams visible, or are there gaps between them? If so, this is a sign of a low-quality faux panel. A quality panel will have invisible seams, no gaps, and no repeats in pattern from one panel to the next.

Quality panel manufacturers, like Barron Designs, avoid a visible repeat in the pattern by using multiple molds for most styles.

6. Take Panel Size and Price Into Consideration

Sometimes a particular faux panel might seem like the cheaper option until you compare sizes. The smaller the panel, the more you’ll need to complete your project.

If you’ve narrowed your search down to two panels, compare what you’d pay per square foot.

What a Quality Faux Panel Installation Looks Like

Curious to see what DIY faux panels could do for your home? Featured below are before and after photos of projects from real customers! Notice that these high-quality faux panels look completely natural, with subtle color variations, and are void of any visible gaps or seams between them.

Accent Wall Surrounding a Fireplace: Before and After

Old Chicago Faux Brick Wall Panels in Glacier give this wall a new look!

These faux brick panels are cast from molds of authentic bricks, so they have the same texture and character as real brick.

Homeowner before photo of fireplace 

Homeowner after photo using Old Chicago Faux Brick Wall Panels 

Faux Panels Spruce Up a Doorway: Before and After

Somerset Dry Stack Faux Stone Wall Panels in Saddle Beige turn this flat doorway into a visual masterpiece!

Before & after homeowner photos of a doorway using Somerset Dry Stack Faux Stone Wall Panels 

Entertainment Nook: Before and After

This TV nook comes to life with Colorado Dry Stack Faux Stone Wall Panels.

The subtle color and pattern variations from panel to panel make this accent wall look completely natural.

Before & after homeowner photos of a living room using Colorado Dry Stack Faux Stone Wall Panels 

Quality Faux Panels Are Versatile

Panels made with quality materials can be used in a variety of ways, sometimes indoors and outdoors.

This creative decor idea uses Chevron Faux Wood Panels in Biscotti Java as a modern headboard.

Chevron Faux Wood Wall Panels in Biscotti Java Chevron Faux Wood Wall Panels in Biscotti Java

Faux Barnwood Panels With All the Right Features

A quality faux barnwood panel should have nicks, grooves, and wood grain patterns of real, reclaimed barnwood.

These Reclaimed Shiplap Faux Barn Wood Wall Panels are the perfect example of what a high-quality faux wood panel looks like.

Reclaimed Shiplap Faux Barn Wood Wall Panels in Rustic Reclaimed Shiplap Faux Barn Wood Wall Panels in Rustic

Get a High-End Look For a Fraction of the Cost

Now that you know how to choose faux panels, you can begin narrowing down your search to ensure you’re purchasing the highest quality faux panels.

Barron Designs' faux wall panels meet all the criteria for a top-notch panel, are easy to install yourself, and offer a cost-effective alternative to real stone, brick, wood, or rock. Whether you’re looking to add rustic charm or modern flair to your home, we have a panel style and color to suit your design!

Ready to transform the look of your home? Check out our trendsetting collection of faux wall panels.

View Our Faux Panels