Interior Wall Structure & Treatments

I’ve been racking my brain at to what I’d use for the interior paneling in the TinyGiant. There are many options out there. It really comes down to two main questions; what is the aesthetic look I want to create while helping me achieve the functional rigidity demanded of travel?

First, let’s deal with function.

Functionality: This may all be obvious, but you’re building a home on a trailer that can bend and twist in transit and on-site prior to dropping your footers. That said, the home will be moving with the trailer and movement equals racking.

You want to choose an interior material that will move with the home without cracking, or buckling. Needless to say, gypsum (drywall) is definitely out of the question.pine wood interior - tongue and groove

One popular material is 1/2 pine tongue and groove board. If you happen to like the look of tongue and groove board this may be an option for you. I particularly do not, plus the idea of having this cover  my entire house, walls and all, is a bit aesthetically distracting and it’s a crap ton of wood everywhere.


Another route would be to use 1/2 plywood. Plywood comes in many different finish grades and veneers, which can be great if you’re particular like me about wood grains and coloring (tonality).

One thing to keep in mind is how the boards line up. You should be staggering the boards as they go up, so you will have noticeable seem transitions. Now, you could stay raw with the seams (keeping in mind that you want to leave 1/8″ gap between them for expansion/contraction/movement), but you could also borrow techniques like board and batten to cover seams. While this technique can be seen dominantly on exteriors it can create nice eye movement from low to high making the home feel a bit more spacious.

24"x24" alternating plywood interiorMy particular choice for interior finishing will be a 24″x24″ cut 1/2 ply arranged perpendicular to each adjacent piece. To me, it breaks the monotony of single large boards and doesn’t make the space as busy as tongue and groove board would.

Another option is reclaimed boards from old barn and shed structures. Forewarned, however, these will require a lot of rework to arrange them properly in the space.

Aesthetics: Creating a space you want to live in is paramount to your living experience. We spend a lot of time in our homes and creating the look and feel that fits your personality and lifestyle should be addressed. After all, this space IS tiny and you’ll never be further 4ft from any wall. 😉

There are numerous finishing applications for your tiny interior. There are innumerable stains, varnishes, paints, and everything in between on the market. Choosing a final application can be daunting. Below are a few thoughts…

Color: In my personal opinion I have seen many dark finishing treatments in tiny homes and I’m not a fan. A small space accented with a dark color will make the space feel even smaller. I guess if you are going for a cozy hibernation vibe this might work.

white interior with plyFor me, the brighter the better. Tiny homes have the advantage of having an exponentially higher square foot to window size ratio than any standard home. This lends itself well to having a ton of natural daylight. Why would you want to stifle such photonic relief with dark woods on the walls and ceiling.

So, you can probably guess where I’m going with this – White. White. White. White. There’s nothing more liberating than stepping in to a space that is slathered in white treatments. It not only makes the space feel, well, more spacious, it also reflects light around the home in much greater efficiencies. A splash of color here and there is great, but to me 70%-90% of white in your tiny home is where you want to be. Arguments for keeping white clean is a moot point me…keep your place nice, keep it clean and you will fall in love with your tiny every day you live in it.


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