wainscoting
any panelling on the interior side of a wall, starting from the floor and typically ending at around 36" AFF. Traditionally, it was used to cover up (although not protect against, or prevent) rising damp from walls that lacked proper moisture protection. However, with the advent of various flashing and protection techniques, wainscoting no longer became necessary, and is now used as an aesthetic effect.

also known as wainscot (n.)
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