What Is Shiplap Cladding?

Shiplap cladding has emerged as a timeless design trend. Its unique overlapping profile continues to capture the attention of homeowners and architects. But what exactly is shiplap cladding?

In this blog, we embark on a journey to uncover the essence of shiplap cladding and explore its:

  • Rich history
  • Durable applications
  • Installation methods

Read on to unlock its secrets and be inspired by its timeless beauty!

Understanding Shiplap Cladding

Shiplap boards are a popular form of exterior timber cladding. It exudes a timeless appeal and distinctive character. Unlike other types of cladding, shiplap features a unique overlapping profile. Each plank fits neatly into the one below. This creates a watertight seal and gives Shiplap its iconic visual appeal.

Delving into its history, shiplap cladding owes its origins to the maritime world. Initially used in shipbuilding, this technique found its way into architectural design.

It has a place in many applications, from accent walls to exterior facades. Its versatility allows it to complement both contemporary and traditional design schemes effortlessly.

Beyond its aesthetic charm, shiplap cladding boasts several benefits. Its durable nature ensures long-lasting performance, even in challenging weather conditions – especially conventionally made from softwood timber. Furthermore, the ease of installation and maintenance is a big plus!

Uses of Shiplap Cladding

The overlapping nature of shiplap cladding makes it ideal for use in outdoor garden buildings. When treated and maintained properly, it can make for an excellent, long-lasting exterior cladding material.

In particular, Shiplap boards are a great choice of exterior shed cladding. They provide a safe, reliable exterior shell with a refined aesthetic – but they don’t break the bank.

Installation and Maintenance

Here are some valuable tips to guide you through the installation process:


  1. Start by thoroughly cleaning the surface where the shiplap cladding will be installed. Remove any existing paint, wallpaper, or debris and ensure a smooth, dry, and level surface.
  2. Measure the area accurately to determine the quantity of shiplap material needed. Consider the overlap required for each plank and make necessary adjustments.
  3. Plan the installation layout, considering any corners, windows, or doors. Consider starting from the bottom and working your way up for optimal stability.

Installation process

  1. Begin by installing a starter or furring strip along the bottom of the wall. Doing so will provide a level base for the first row of the shiplap.
  2. Align the first shiplap plank vertically or horizontally, depending on your desired design. Use a level to ensure it is straight. Secure it with nails or screws, placing them at the top edge to allow for expansion.
  3. Continue installing subsequent planks, overlapping each one slightly over the previous piece. Use a rubber mallet or wood block to tap the planks into place securely.
  4. For exterior applications, leave a small gap between the bottom plank and the surface. This technique will allow for drainage and ventilation.

Maintenance guidelines

  1. Regularly clean the shiplap cladding. Ideally, use a mild detergent and water solution to remove dirt and grime. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.
  2. Inspect the cladding periodically for any signs of damage, e.g., rot, warping, or loose planks. Replace any damaged pieces promptly to prevent further deterioration.
  3. Depending on the material used, consider applying a protective sealant or paint. This will help enhance durability and protect against moisture or UV damage. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific products.
  4. In areas prone to high humidity or moisture, ensure proper ventilation. This is to prevent mould or mildew growth behind the shiplap cladding.

With these tips, you can achieve a professional and long-lasting shiplap cladding installation.


Shiplap cladding bridges the gap between the past and the present. Its historical roots in shipbuilding have evolved into a beloved architectural feature. Moreover, shiplap cladding offers a range of options to suit any design vision. You can keep its beauty and charm with proper installation and maintenance for years!

Looking for weather-resistance and durable shiplap cladding options? Look no further than TimberX’s range of timber cladding and shed material, or look deeper into our timber for sheds service.