What Is Shiplap? Uncover the Pros, Cons & Popular Applications

Often associated with rustic, country-style decor, shiplap is a type of wood paneling that’s exploded in popularity due to its stylish yet functional look. Whether you’re looking to add an accent wall or completely overhaul your ceiling, shiplap is the perfect choice. Various colors, textures, and installation techniques open up a sea of possibilities.

Fun fact: Shiplap has only recently been used to enhance a room’s visual appeal. In the past, shiplapped walls were installed for functional reasons and were rarely left exposed!

In this post we’ll explore the shiplap’s history, discuss a few common misconceptions, cover popular applications and give tips on installation and maintenance. By the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to make an informed decision before transforming your living space.

What is Shiplap?

Shiplap is a stylish and functional way of applying wooden planks to your living space. It’s often constructed from pine or cedar wood but composite materials like vinyl and fiberboard can be used too.

Shiplap is an old-fashioned building material made up of wooden planks that are fitted together by overlapping one another.

Definition of Shiplap

The term shiplap is a design style that refers to the way wooden boards are installed, with each overlapping its neighbor slightly to create a tight seal.

Shiplap is a type of wooden board with an overlapping joint design that creates a tight seal when installed on walls and ceilings. Shiplap can be crafted from a range of materials, for example, pine and cedar wood as well as composite varieties like vinyl or fiber cement.

History of Shiplap

The use of shiplap dates back hundreds of years when it was commonly used for shipbuilding due to its durability and water-resistant properties. In more recent times, shiplap has become popular for interior wall cladding due to its aesthetic appeal and cost efficiency compared to traditional drywall installation methods. Different variations of shiplap can be acquired, depending on your specifications and financial plan.

Pine shiplaps offer good strength at an affordable price point but may require additional sealing if exposed to moisture regularly over time.

Cedar offers superior resistance against rot and decay making it ideal for outdoor applications where exposure to moisture is more likely.

Composite options including vinyl planks or faux wood panels provide excellent durability while still maintaining an attractive appearance, and don’t require any maintenance beyond occasional cleaning.

Finally, reclaimed wood paneling provides unique character while still offering good strength at an affordable price point – perfect for accent walls.

Shiplap is a great way to add style and character to any wall or ceiling, and its benefits are numerous. With its durability, versatility, cost efficiency, and easy installation process, no wonder shiplap has become so popular in home design. But why choose shiplap? Let’s delve into some of the biggest benefits.

Key Takeaway: Shiplap is a cost-effective and long-lasting design that comes in various materials such as wood, vinyl, fiber cement or reclaimed wood. It boosts aesthetic appeal while also being a practical home improvement solution.

Benefits of Using Shiplap

Shiplap is a popular choice for dwellings and workspaces due to its toughness, malleability, and attractive look. It’s also favored for walls and ceilings because it can often be installed with minimal effort or cost.

The boards are made from interlocking pieces of wood that fit together snugly without the need for nails for screws. This makes them strong enough to withstand wear and tear while still adding appeal to any living space.

Durability and Strength

Shiplap boards are a great investment in your home or office space. They’re designed to last for years, are resistant to warping and cracking, and can support up to 200 pounds per square foot when properly installed.

Fun fact: Shiplap was originally used to waterproof ships. Even after it started to gain traction in homes, shiplap was chosen mainly for its practicality instead of visual appeal.

Versatility and Aesthetic Appeal

Shiplap offers endless possibilities when it comes to design options since it can be painted any color. We recommend choosing subtle, darker tones to warm up a room. And if you’re looking to brighten up a space, a pop of color can make all the difference.

You can also opt for natural wood tones if you prefer a more rustic look, blending seamlessly with other elements in your space. This works particularly well with wooden furniture pieces and hardwood floors.

Cost Efficiency & Easy Installation

Installing shiplap doesn’t require special tools. Anyone who’s handy around the house should have no problem tackling this project themselves, which can save a ton of money on labor costs. Plus, since the boards come pre-cut, all you need is some glue and a few hand tools. Installation couldn’t be easier.

To keep your shiplap looking its best, make sure to clean it regularly. Choosing a mild soap is important to prevent discoloration and wear. Simply dampen a washcloth with warm water and brush the surface lightly to remove any dirt or stains.

Pro tip: Allowing water to evaporate on its own is usually fine, but thoroughly drying the area with a cloth can extend the life of your shiplap.

If possible, avoid hanging heavy items directly on the planks. This has been known to cause sagging and might damage your shiplap over time. Instead, use anchors rated specifically for drywall/wood applications.

Key Takeaway: Shiplap is an economical and sturdy material that can be effortlessly set up, making it a great selection for walls and ceilings. It also offers aesthetic appeal with a range of colors or natural wood tones.

Shiplap can be a stylish and budget-friendly way to upgrade any wall or ceiling, but there are a few misconceptions that should be clarified before making an investment. We explore the truth behind these myths in the next section.

Common Misconceptions About Shiplap

Misunderstandings about shiplap have caused some homeowners to avoid using it entirely. It’s important to understand shiplap’s limitations before making an investment, and also to learn about its properties so you can make an informed decision.

Shiplap is Not Waterproof or Moisture Resistant

Shiplap made from natural wood isn’t waterproof and areas where moisture could cause damage should be avoided. The wood planks are usually sealed with paint or stain, but this doesn’t fully protect against water.

If you need water-resistant material for an area prone to high humidity or dampness, consider using vinyl planks or other moisture-resistant shiplap.

Shiplap is Not Fireproof or Resistant to Insects

Fire-rated MDF shiplap can be used in areas near potential sources of heat, but natural shiplap should be avoided in these instances. Shiplap’s natural composition is similar to softwood species such as pine or cedar, and can be quite flammable.

To protect against fires, always use flame retardant materials when installing wall coverings near sources of heat – like stoves and fireplaces.

Unfortunately, shiplap also offers little protection against insects since they can easily chew through the thin layers of wood. Once they make their way inside walls where they can nest and reproduce, homeowners are forced to deal with an infestation. To prevent damage from insects, opt for thicker hardwoods like oak that offer more resistance to pests looking for shelter.

Despite common misconceptions, shiplap can be used in a variety of ways to create beautiful and unique spaces. From interior walls and ceilings to exterior siding and cladding, there are plenty of applications for this versatile product. Choosing the right shiplap material will help you transform any space into something special.

Key Takeaway: Shiplap has a ton of unique characteristics that make it a popular choice for homeowners, but it’s not flameproof or waterproof. It’s important to choose the right materials when installing in spaces with abundant humidity, hot spots or vermin issues.

Popular Applications for Shiplap

Shiplap is characterized by its overlapping boards that create a tight seal. It can be used to add texture and character to virtually any living space, as well as provide practical benefits.

Did you know? Shiplap can be used to add extra insulation from the elements, so it’s not just beautiful; it’s functional, too!

Interior Walls and Ceilings

Shiplap is often used on interior walls and ceilings to give them an updated look while still providing protection from moisture or temperature changes. It can be an ideal choice for places with potential water exposure such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Just make sure to choose a water-resistant material before installing!

The overlapping boards also make it easy to install wallpaper over shiplap without having to worry about visible seams showing through. Additionally, shiplap can be painted or stained in order to match the existing décor in your home or office space.

Exterior Siding and Cladding

When selecting a material for the exterior of your home, shiplap can also be a great choice. It’s particularly popular for siding or cladding applications like sheds, garages, decks, porches and patios. Moisture-resistant shiplap has excellent durability against weathering conditions like rain and snowfall, and can protect your building’s exterior from damage caused by extreme elements. Additionally, shiplap adds a unique aesthetic appeal with its rustic charm that helps your home stand out among others in the neighborhood.

Accent Walls & Feature Areas

Shiplap can also be utilized indoors when crafting accent walls within living spaces such as bedrooms and living rooms. This does a great job of adding depth and dimension while creating a focal point within the room itself. You could also use fire-resistant shiplap around fireplace mantles to give off a cozy cabin vibe throughout your entire house.

Overall, using shiplap gives you endless possibilities when trying to spruce up any area of your home – whether inside or outside. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking for something different than traditional wall paneling.

We’ve talked about the unique characteristics of shiplap, but what are the pros and cons of using it in your home?

Key Takeaway: Shiplap can offer protection from the elements and provide additional insulation when properly installed. This makes it an ever-trendy choice when you want to make an eye-catching statement.

Pros & Cons of Using Shiplap in Your Home or Office Space

Pros of Using Shiplap

  • Shiplap design is a great way to add character and charm to your living space. When the right color and installation method is chosen, it brings an individualized and captivating look to any area. Walls, ceilings, and accent walls are perfect options.
  • The wood planks are easy to install and require minimal upkeep.
  • Shiplap is very durable and strong so it’s perfect for high traffic areas like hallways or living rooms, too.
  • Compared to other types of wall treatments like wallpaper or tile, shiplap has the added benefit of being cost efficient.

Cons of Using Shiplap

  • Though shiplap offers numerous advantages, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of as well.
  • One potential issue is that the wood planks may not be waterproof or moisture resistant so additional protection might be needed. This can be accomplished by using water-resistant stain or paint if installing shiplap near sinks or showers. Additionally, most shiplap materials aren’t fireproof so extra caution should be taken when installing near heat sources.
  • While some species (like cedar) may offer insect resistance due to their natural oils, this isn’t the case with all varieties. Special attention should be paid when selecting which type will work best for the needs of your project.

Key Takeaway: Shiplap can be a stylish choice to lend an individualistic flair to your residence or workspace, but it’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making an investment.

Now that we’ve discussed a few more features of shiplap and some of its best uses, it’s important to know what kind of upkeep is required to keep it looking fresh. Here are a few suggestions.

Tips for Installing & Maintaining Your Shiplap Wall or Ceiling

Installing shiplap on your walls or ceilings can be a great way to add character and functionality to any space. But before you start, it’s important to understand the basics of installing and maintaining it. You want your shiplap to last for years, and thankfully there isn’t much upkeep to worry about.

Here are some tips for preparing, installing, and caring for your new shiplapped wall or ceiling.

Preparing the Surface for Installation:

Before beginning installation, make sure the surface is clean and free from dust, dirt, grease, paint ships or other debris. This ensures an easy and uniform application. If necessary use a damp cloth to wipe down the area prior to starting. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to look for any uneven surfaces that might need sanding.

Installing the Planks:

Installing wood plank shiplaps is a straightforward process that most homeowners should be able to handle. Begin by measuring out where each aboard should go, then cut them accordingly using a saw or miter box. Choosing which tool to use will depend on the type of plank you’ve chosen.

Once all pieces have been cut to size, place them onto the wall or ceiling with grooves facing inward towards one another. Secure them into place with nails 8 inches apart and you’re good to go! For more stability, consider adding adhesive between each piece as well as at all four corners of the board during installation.

Maintaining Your Shiplap:

To keep your newly installed shiplap looking its best over time, it’s important to properly care for it regularly. Simply wipe away dust using a soft, dry cloth and occasionally add a mild detergent. This can help prevent moisture damage and fading over time due to sun exposure. Your shiplap will look its best for longer and extend its overall lifespan.

Key Takeaway: Installing shiplap is a great way to add character and charm to any space, but it's important to prepare the surface beforehand and maintain it regularly by cleaning.

Installing and maintaining your shiplapped wall or ceiling is an easy way to transform the look of any space. In just a few easy steps, you can give your home an eye-catching new look. But what if natural wood plank shiplaps aren’t what you’re looking for?

Alternatives to Traditional Wood Plank Shiplaps

Sometimes traditional wood plan shiplaps don’t quite meet the needs of your project. And while shiplap has many benefits like its durability and aesthetic appeal, there are some drawbacks that are worth considering. Fortunately, alternatives to traditional wood plank shiplaps exist – and they can be just as beautiful without keeping the same disadvantages.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is one of the most popular alternatives to traditional wood plank shiplaps. It provides a realistic wood-like appearance with virtually none of the maintenance required by natural wood boards. Vinyl planks come in a range of sizes and hues, so any homeowner can find something that suits their design vision. Vinyl planks are also waterproof and easy to clean, so they’re a perfect choice for areas like kitchens or bathrooms.

Faux Wood Paneling

Faux wood paneling is another great option if you want an alternative to traditional wood planks. Faux panels have all the beauty of real wood without any of the hassle associated with its upkeep. There’s no sanding, staining, or sealing required. These panels come in a variety of styles from rustic barnwood to more modern designs so you can find something perfect for your project regardless of size or scope.

Reclaimed Wood Paneling

Reclaimed wood paneling has become increasingly popular due to its unique character and charm created by years spent outdoors. Salvaging this material into usable pieces means you’ll get a product that has been naturally weathered over time, resulting in a distinct patina. And when installed correctly, reclaimed wood paneling provides plenty of strength and stability just like natural wood.

No matter what kind of project you’re working on, these three alternatives give you plenty of options to consider when choosing a shiplap material. Proper installation techniques and regular maintenance ensures each one will add style and sophistication wherever you apply it.

Key Takeaway:There are several alternatives to traditional wood plank shiplaps. Vinyl plank flooring, faux wood paneling and reclaimed wood paneling each has its own unique advantages and benefits.

Shiplap FAQs

What’s so special about shiplap?

Shiplap design is unique because it features overlapping grooves, creating an interlocking pattern that gives your space texture and depth. It also provides superior insulation compared to traditional drywall, making it ideal for areas where temperature control is important. The boards are easy to install and can be painted any color to match your home’s décor.

With shiplap, you can transform any room into something special – without breaking the bank.

Why do they call it shiplap?

The name shiplap originates from its original use: waterproofing ships. Boards are cut with a rabbet joint on either side which creates an overlapping effect when installed. This allows the boards to fit tightly together to provide extra strength and a cozy rustic look.

What does it mean to shiplap a wall?

Shiplapping a wall is the process of installing wooden planks in a way that creates an overlapping pattern. This technique adds texture and character while also creating the rustic, farmhouse-style look that’s become so desirable in recent years. The planks are typically installed horizontally and overlap each other slightly, allowing for gaps between them that can be filled with caulk or wood filler.

Shiplapping walls is an easy and effective way to give your home or office a unique touch without relying on more traditional options.

Is shiplap real wood?

Shiplap comes in a variety of materials including natural wood, vinyl wood panels, and reclaimed wood panels. In general, it’s a type of board that’s been milled to create an interlocking system that allows it to fit together precisely. Shiplap is usually crafted from softwood timber such as pine, cedar, spruce or fir and can be cut to size to fit any project. The natural beauty of shiplap makes it a nice choice for creating stunning ceilings, walls, and accent walls.

Shiplap Wrap Up

Shiplap is a great way to add texture and character to your living space. It can be used in a variety of ways to transform walls and ceilings into a sophisticated focal point. Natural wood, vinyl wood panels, and reclaimed wood panels are all great options for installing shiplap in your home. And with the right installation and maintenance techniques, you’ll be enjoying your shiplap for years.

Shiplap is a cost-effective way to give your space an individualized touch. With numerous colors, finishes, textures, and sizes to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your space.

Stikwood makes it easy to install this beautiful solution without having to hire professionals or take on complex projects alone. Try out our peel-and-stick application process today and see how simple transforming your home can be!