The origins of wainscoting can be traced back to 16th-century England where it was applied in homes to the lower interior sections of stone walls to counteract coldness and dampness. Throughout the 18th and 19th century, wainscot was commonly found in casual settings, such as informally decorated homes, cottages and retreats. Historically, traditional wainscot was made of wood and consisted of tongue-and-groove boards nailed vertically up the wall and measuring anywhere from 42 to 58 inches high. During the 1900s, wainscot as high as 60 to 72 inches became popular, especially in dining rooms. The preferred type of building material for wainscoting of this height was cloth, including burlap, grass cloth and linen.