My house was built in 1959. The basement has a pseudo-finished area with walls made of wood paneling. I've started removing some of it to address issues behind the wall and to provide easier electrical access for electricians who will be adding some circuits. I was planning on hanging up the same paneling after all the work is done, but I'm starting to wonder if the paneling is quite old and possibly contains materials now known to be hazardous.

The backsides of the panels have a logo stenciled on them in paint which calls the product "Masonite Royalcote." Does anyone know how long this product was manufactured? The only references I find online suggest it was a popular wall paneling in the 1960s. If it's that old, and especially if it had any kind of hazardous material in it, I should probably go ahead and pay for some new paneling.

1 Answer 1


Masonite was made out of wood fibers. The contractor I work with had some tested because Masonite cement board has asbestos. What we found out was it is only wood. Many composite wood products use formalgahid in the glue. Masonite is steam bonded with high pressure. With that said the insulation behind the Masonite was asbestos.

  • Ah. So would you say this paneling is unlikely to have asbestos?
    – bubbleking
    Feb 21, 2016 at 18:05
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    @bubbleking - If it's brown I wouldn't be concerned but if there are any specs of white I might be, as I associate the term Masonite with the cement board that does have it.
    – Mazura
    Feb 21, 2016 at 18:24
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    The wood paneling was all wood fiber brown to almost black in color. The cement shingles/ board doesn't look like wood and is usually exterior covering grey/ white in color where not painted on the back side.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 21, 2016 at 18:58

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