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Simple and affordable cladding: Shiplap timber

Choosing the right cladding for your home is very important. Not only is it one of the most noticeable features of your home’s exterior, but the right cladding will protect your house from damage for years to come.

Simple and affordable cladding: Shiplap timber

Juliet Taylor


March 25th, 2022

What is shiplap?

Shiplap refers to a few different things. Genuine shiplap is a material used to weatherproof the exterior of old-fashioned houses as well as barns or sheds. It is a wooden plank generally used for exterior siding.

However, shiplap also refers to the method of installation for certain types of cladding. Cladding is the installation of a protective outer ‘skin’ around the exterior of a building (generally made from timber, aluminum, brick etc.) primarily to defend against weather and wear. Shiplap cladding is a style of cladding where the planks are grooved in such a way that they overlap to form a uniform wall with almost no gaps.

Shiplap cladding is very popular because is easy to install and can usually be painted or stained as desired. It can also be less expensive than traditional styles of cladding, depending on the wood from which it is made. (Pine being among the cheapest).

However, shiplap is very likely to warp if installed incorrectly, so for the inexperienced DIYer this is likely the wrong project to attempt. Warped shiplap timber cladding can cause long-term damage to your home by leaving it exposed to the elements, making structural and water damage much more likely. If you are unsure of your ability to install shiplap cladding, this is probably where to hire professionals for installation.

There are a few different types of shiplap, both in the grooved edge and the wood from which it is made. Common types of groove include the Square Edge, Nickel Gap, V-joint (aka Eased Edge), and the Tongue and Groove.

Each has its own specifications and prices may vary depending on the complexity of the groove (generally – the smoother/stronger the fit, the more expensive the planks will be to manufacture). Shiplap cladding is generally made from hardwood timber. The most common shiplap cladding materials are Eucalyptus, Spotted Gum, Blackbutt, Treated Pine, Silvertop Ash, and Cedar.

The average price of shiplap cladding varies greatly depending on which material is chosen for the project. Generally, the overall cost of a shiplap cladding installation will cost somewhere between $110-350 per square metre.

More expensive materials like eucalyptus and other high quality hardwoods will be towards the top of the spectrum in terms of price. Cheap materials like pine are likely to be around the $110/SQM mark.

However, timber in general is one of the cheapest forms of exterior cladding available today and will cost significantly less than UPVC or Aluminium. The average timber boards alone will usually cost around $40 per square metre (again, dependent on the type), making them a very viable option for those looking to renovate on a budget.

Shiplap cladding is a great opportunity for a quick and easy revamp of your home’s exterior, because it can be painted or stained however you want and the expense is relatively minimal. To help you get started on the planning stage, here is a profile of some of the available types of shiplap timber cladding.

5 Best Options for Shiplap Australia: Shiplap Cladding Australia

5. Blackbutt

Blackback is a hardwood tree species native to coastal NSW and Southern Queensland. It is a straight grained timber with a somber sophistication due to the darkness of its hue, which is where Blackbutt timber gets its name. Blackbutt timber is renowned for its strength and favoured by designers across the world for its warm, dark composition.

Blackbutt shiplap cladding is an excellent accentuating feature for the vast majority of design styles, but looks best when used in tandem with industrial materials or colour schemes (such as steel) and in contemporary settings. Blackbutt timber is one of the more expensive styles. You can place an order with the high quality supplier Nationwide Timber here and enquire for a quote.

4. Silvertop Ash

Silvertop ash is a lighter style hardwood which has a softer effect than Blackbutt, making it more suitable for less dramatic styles. The calming neutrality of Silvertop shiplap cladding will complement the building’s design without drawing too much attention away from the architecture.

Silvertop Ash is a popular choice across Australia and you can request a quote from Timber and Rose here. Common dimensions are 85mm x 19mm, though there are greater width options. A reasonable price range for Silvertop Ash is anywhere from $8.42-$99.11 depending on the style, thickness, and width.

3. Pine

Pine is one of the best options for shiplap cladding given its widespread availability and overall pricing. As one of the cheapest materials on the market, treated pine weatherboard cladding is available in most major hardware stores.

You can buy similar white pine shiplap lining boards to the ones pictured above here from Bunnings. Average prices should hit somewhere around $8 for a 133 x 13mm plank of shiplap cladding in pine. Pine is also the best choice for those hoping to paint over the natural wood colour.

2. Cedar

Cedar is a stylish choice with a timeless elegance. It is one of the more expensive timber materials, with standard quality cedar shiplap planks averaging about $38 per linear metre.

There are a few different types of cedar cladding, but Western Red Cedar is widely considered the best. Naturally termite resistant, durable and lightweight cedar cladding can be purchased here, also from Bunnings, in multiple widths.

1. Spotted Gum

Spotted Gum is another very popular choice for shiplap cladding because it has a distinctive style and colour variations which give it a natural yet stylish look. Spotted Gum works well as exterior shiplap cladding but is also popular for interior feature walls due to its beauty.

Spotted Gum is also one of the toughest and most durable choices of timber cladding, and the cost averages out at approximately $10 per linear metre.

Unlike the majority of other types of wood, Spotted gum is particularly popular for vertical shiplap cladding and doors, as the mixed colours look equally good when installed horizontally or vertically. Browse Nationwide Timber’s collection of Spotted Gum timber shiplap cladding here.

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