Interior Wall Cladding FAQ

wall claddingOne of today’s more popular interior design trends is decorating the home with wooden wall cladding. Turn on any reality TV home show like Fixer Upper and you’ll most likely find someone doing a renovation with shiplap (although in Fixer Upper’s case it sometimes is another type of wall cladding that’s being incorrectly identified).

This trend has started a new wave of recycling and created an interest in a type of home makeover that is often simple enough to perform as a do-it-yourself project.

For those of you who may be considering adding this feature to a room in your own home, we put together a FAQ to help you learn more about working with shiplap and other wooden wall cladding.

1. What is shiplap?

Shiplap is actually a type of joint that resembles an elongated “Z” in cross-sectional view. Shiplap boards are rabbeted (notched) on the edges so they space themselves perfectly and fit together to create a tight seal. When you install shiplap, the rabbets disappear, and it creates a wall that looks just like regular sheathing boards.

2. Are there other types of wooden wall cladding?

There are many different types of cladding. You’ll want to decide what type of look you want, the finish that fits your space, and the budget available to you. Some other popular types of wood cladding include beadboard, board-and-batten, drop siding, rustic planking, and v-groove.

3. Can we install shiplap or wooden wall cladding ourselves?

This question boils down to just how handy you are with home projects. If you’ve completed several do-it-yourself projects in the home, then most likely you will be able to perform a wall cladding installation as well.

The most important step of the project is starting off level. Windows, doors and corners can prove to be a challenge as well, so make sure you have a plan for these common obstacles. Ceilings are much more challenging, and we would likely recommend hiring a professional for those.

A few tips on installation:

  • Not only must the first board must be level, but it must also be flush against the wall. Plaster or masonry often provides a less-than flat surface, so you may need to do some shimming.
  • Leave a gap so the wood can move. Wood will expand, so you’ll want to leave at least a 3/8 inch gap along all edges of your completed project.
  • Don’t forget the adhesive!
  • You can buy off-the-shelf options to help make the project simpler. These include packs, kits, prefab panels, and preprimed cladding.

4. Is wood cladding all just reclaimed wood?

There are several different materials you can find for wall cladding. The most popular options are wood/plywood, salvaged wood, and fiberboard. Each has its own set of advantages, including durability, price, and look.

5. How long will wood cladding last?

When installed properly with enough room for expansion, wood cladding should last for the life of the house.

6. Where can we buy it and how much does it cost?

You can find wooden wall cladding at most home centers and lumberyards. Depending on the style you pick, it can range from about $1 per linear foot on up.

We hope this answers any questions you may have on wooden interior wall cladding. If you’d like to explore this option as part of a custom home build or home renovation project with us, give Norman Graham builders a call at 717-656-7336 or send an email to, and we’ll be happy to help!