Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (2022)

I have been very excited to do a post on shiplap (for awhile now) since we will be adding it to our fireplace wall in our living room- very soon!! So, like all good pinterest junkies do…..I started filling up my pinterest board with all things shiplap.

But after scrolling and saving pictures/ideas, I was beginning to feel a little confused of what shiplap really is. There are like a million posts on shiplap: diy this way, diy that way, and other helpful tips/advice, etc…. but I just wasn’t getting the information I needed.

So, what does every crazy obsessed home decor blogger do…..they do a little research. And the more I dug, the more I found…..and let me tell you – there is a ton of information!!! There is so much information, that I decided to break up the shiplap post into 2 posts.

***Update. 41 SHIPLAP Ideas: NOT Just For Walls (Part 2) is completed.***

THE SHIPLAP GUIDE:SHIPLAP, TONGUE & GROOVE, AND PLANK WALLS (PART 1)

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (1)

***Disclaimer- I am not a professional on wood milling – LOL!! This post contains information that I have gathered through personal research so that I can help you understand all of this shiplap mania – thnx ***

THE SHIPLAP GUIDE:SHIPLAP, TONGUE & GROOVE, AND PLANK WALLS (PART 1)

For the purpose of this post, and to keep things simple, we will focus on 3 methods to add “shiplap” to your house. I will not go over applications, supplies needed, cost, etc. (there will be links to help you with that).

This is an informative post on wood types used. And I’m assuming all of us want to learn what it is, so we can make an educated decision when adding it to our home- right??!!

So, what did my results show?

The THREE most popular ways to shiplap walls use one of these methods:

1) Shiplap method

2) Tongue & Groove method

3) Plank wall methodShiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (2)

The methods may vary from: square edge to beveled edge boards, width or length of boards used, or thickness of plywood/MDF variations to solid planks, but the concept is the same.

The one thing that changes is how they look on the wall…..just not every single time. And that is why the shiplap and the “shiplap look” has gotten a little confusing.

WHAT IS SHIPLAP……

What is shiplap?

Shiplap is a beautiful marriage where old meets new, smooth meets texture, and clean lines meet graceful movement……and that is why it is popping up in the majority of remodels and new builds everywhere.

(Video) DIY SHIPLAP TUTORIAL: How to plank your walls the easy & inexpensive way!

First Method:WHAT IS SHIPLAP REALLY???

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (3)

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary – Shiplap is defined as “wooden sheathing in which the boards are rabbeted so that the edges of each board lap over the edges of adjacent boards to make a flush joint.”

OK…now in English. Each board has two rabbeted (CUT) edges —one on top, one on bottom (see picture to left). The top edge of one board will LAP over the bottom edge of the 2nd board to make a flush joint (picture below – right).

These Shiplap boards were originally designed as a type of siding for exterior structures like barns, woods, and sheds. They kept the water out, and were attached at different angles to let water run off the structure it covered.

FUN FACT: wooden boards (all types) were used for siding until plywood was invented.

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (4)

The boards are cut with either 1/2″-3/4″ “edge” (size of edge) …….depending on the width of the board ……(6″, 8″, 10″) to create a tight seal to keep water out and allow the wood to breath –Buffalo-Lumber.com.

This website has a lot of information on all types of sidings (if you are interested to learn more).

NOTE: There are several types of cuts made for shiplap boards, but to make things easier for this post I will focus more on the square edge.

Two of the cuts used for SHIPLAP boards are:

1- square edge (1st picture below) and2- beveled edge (2nd picture below).

In the first picture, the “E” is the LAP. ….you know like ship-LAP? 😉 This is where that cut will be either 1/2″ – 3/4″ long .In the second picture “F” is the beveled (angled) part.Can you see the difference in the look of the edges – straight vs. angled?

(Video) HOW TO INSTALL SHIPLAP WALL: TIPS & TRICKS

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (5)
Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (6)
Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (7)

SQUARE EDGE SHIPLAP ON WALL

This gives you a better idea of what the square edge shiplap looks like when attached to the wall, and how the boards LAP over each other.

The picture comes from an awesome DIY job by The Harper House!!! I Love how it turned out. If you want to see more of this shiplap update, click on the link below the picture. This is a great post with lots of information!

NICKEL (SHADOW) GAP SHIPLAP

Now, just when you thought you were catching on to shiplap, things begin to get a little trickier. Stay with me here….. There is a popular trend happening within the shiplap method itself.

It is called the nickel gap pattern – attaching shiplap without the flush joint. There is a GAP in the LAP!!! LOL!! The “G” on the picture below shows the GAP- (there is a space on this pattern, where the original shiplap pattern has no space.

FUN FACT: The most common space between the board is 3/16″ – 3/8″ long…..the size of….drum roll please….a NICKEL.Buffalo-Lumber.com. You will see that nickel pop up again in the plank wall method 🙂

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (8)
Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (9)

Below are some pictures of shiplap (square edge) with complete “flush joints”- no gaps, and then with the 3 other noted gaps.

The gaps give it a different kind of look- can you see it? There is space between each board ontop, and on the bottom.

I just wanted to let you know it exists so you are informed of it, but will not go into it any farther. Just food for thought.

Second method:WHAT IS TONGUE AND GROOVE ???

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (10)

The tongue and groove board has a nitch (tongue) on one side and an opening (groove) on the other side so that they join together tightly. On the picture to the left you can see how the tongue and groove board has openings that look more like a puzzle piece.

The tongue side of this board would fit into the groove side of the adjoining board. This is different than the shiplap…..where those boards overLAP each other, and here they “FIT OR JOIN” together.

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (11)

In the profile pics below, you can see the square edge and beveled (eased edge) tongue and groove patterns and what they look like. This gets technical very quickly on all the measurements, cuts. etc….and definitely over my pay grade.

I just wanted you to see that the tongue and groove boards also have the different edges (like the shiplap).

(Video) 🔨 How to Install Shiplap on a Wall - DIY

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (12)

This picture gives you a better idea of comparing the shiplap to the tongue and groove (rainscreen won’t be discussed- it was just a great pic)!

You can see the square edge on both of the board profiles side by side. It also shows the difference in how they are attached to the wall- look at the nail placement.

The shiplap is attached with straight nails, and the tongue and groove is attached with angled nails. Just a FYI.

The picture to the LEFT below shows the tongue and groove and how it joins together. This beveled (angled) edge on the board is very small like the micro eased bevel edge on the profile picture above (pic #3).

On the picture to the RIGHT below you can see this beveled edge is more pronounced than the picture to the left. The angle creates a “v” look, which is like profile picture above (pic #1).

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (13)

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (14)

In both pictures you can tell how the tongue and groove joint looks more like puzzle pieces fitting together; they have tighter joints which provide stronger joints.

Third Method: WHAT IS A PLANKED WALL???

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (15)

The plank wall is made with boards that havenot been rabbeted, nor have tongue and groove. This type of “shiplap look” seems to be the most popular for the diy’ers – since you have less cuts and easier cuts per board (compared to shiplap or tongue and groove boards).

DIY’ers can also achieve the “shiplap look” for less money using plywood or MDF (medium density fiber board) sheets. They use large sheets that are 1/4″ or 1/2″ thick, and then cut them down to the specific widths (6″, 8″, 10″ boards) they desire.

The thinner boards are easier to attach to the wall since they aren’t as heavy, and the skill level needed is less than it would be for the other 2 methods.

PLYWOOD PLANKS VS. TONGUE & GROOVE

Here are pictures so you can the plywood planks and tongue and groove side by side.

(Video) How To Make Shiplap Wall Panels

This is an awesome post withgreat advice from someone who has experience using both plank and tongue and groove methods in her home. Click under the picture to read her full story- she has a ton of important info to share.

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (16)
Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (17)

NICKEL GAP PLANK

Through my digging, I have noticed that the plank wall can be installed flush (board to board), or with a gap (similar to the nickel gap mentioned above with shiplap).

DIY’ers are actually putting nickels (or coins) in between the planks to mimic the shiplap look. See pictures below and click on links for more information, tips & advice.

Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (18)
Shiplap Guide: Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank Walls (Part 1) (19)

Hope you are feeling like a Shiplap, Tongue & Groove, and Plank EXPERT!! Sorry it was sooooo long….I just didn’t want to leave anything out that might be important in helping you make your SHIPLAP DREAMS COME TRUE!!

***UPDATE…… Part 2 is completed!*** 41 SHIPLAP ideas: NOT Just For Walls (Part 2)

Have A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018!!!

Love & Hugs 🙂

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FAQs

When installing shiplap do you start at top or bottom of wall? ›

The first key to installing shiplap is to always, always, always start at the bottom of your wall! This little piece of advice is actually good for two very important reasons. First, by starting at the bottom, it allows gravity to be a helpful aid as you work your way up the walls.

Do you fill nail holes in shiplap? ›

If you are affixing shiplap using nails, simply place the board in position, and drive nails through the flange, and the face of the board. Afterwards, you'll need to fill the nail holes on the face of each board with wood filler to create a seamless appearance.

What adhesive do you use for shiplap? ›

Tip: You can attach your shiplap boards with construction adhesive or nails or both.

What is the most popular width of shiplap? ›

1x6 shiplap boards are the most commonly used width of shiplap. Smaller than the 1x8 inch width, this 6-inch shiplap size provides the most classic, versatile look.

Do you put anything behind shiplap? ›

If don't already have drywall installed, you do not need it as a base for affixing shiplap. You can install shiplap directly to your studs to save on time, money, and mess.

Do you screw or nail shiplap? ›

Nails are the best options when installing shiplap cladding. Trim nails are faster to install than screws since you do not need to predrill the material and won't be risking causing unsightly splits. They can also be easily covered or touched up if needed.

Do you leave a gap when installing shiplap? ›

Leave ¼-inch expansion gap between the floor and first row of boards (leave ¼-inch expansion between wall and ceiling if covering a ceiling) and a ¼-inch gap between board and corner. This space allows the wood to expand and contract and can be covered by trim.

How do you hide nails when installing shiplap? ›

To make sure boards are evenly spaced, place a nickel or quarter between the boards as a spacer. Some people like the look of visible nail heads on shiplap. To avoid visible nail holes, nail boards through the rabbet or tongue. Don't feel that you have to apply shiplap to an entire wall.

Should I use brad nails or finish nails for shiplap? ›

We recommend using 16- or 18-gauge finish or brad nails. 1-½” to 2” in length should be sufficient. Both gauges are strong enough to hold the lumber securely, but small enough to not leave a large hole on the face of the board.

Do you caulk the gaps in shiplap? ›

Fill Shiplap Seams With Caulk

To create a seamless look, you'll want to make sure any gaps and edges are filled in with caulk, just like you would fill in nail holes with wood filler when affixing shiplap. Caulking the edges will create clean lines and a finished look.

Is Liquid Nails good for shiplap? ›

Shiplap can be installed directly to sheet rock/drywall. Simply mark the stud locations for nailing the shiplap or you can apply a construction adhesive such as liquid nails.

Does shiplap need to be sealed? ›

You can also apply a clear coat sealer to the boards to give them an additional layer of moisture protection. This is not necessary if you are using our prepainted shiplap boards, but we do recommend applying wood sealant on any exposed edges or seams to ensure moisture resistance.

What is replacing shiplap in 2022? ›

Custom Arches Are the Shiplap Trend of 2022 - PureWow.

Is shiplap popular for 2022? ›

So back to the long answer – yes, overall, shiplap will be done a lot less in 2022 and is no longer “trending”. It will continue to be used in coastal or period style homes when appropriate. There are so many other types of trim that can add beauty to your walls!

Which is better tongue and groove or shiplap? ›

As a general rule, shiplap is the better choice for a very rainy climate, as its overlapping planks shed water quite well. Tongue and groove, on the other hand, can deteriorate in wet climates due to trapped water inside the interlocking connections.

What should I not do with shiplap? ›

15 Shiplap Don'ts | What NOT to do When Installing Shiplap - YouTube

Do you brush or roll shiplap? ›

Using a brush and roller:

Begin by cutting in with your paint brush along the perimeter of your shiplap area. Next, paint your shiplap nickel gaps since your roller will not reach inside those gaps. You'll finish painting by using your paint roller, rolling from top to bottom of your wall.

Can you install shiplap directly to drywall? ›

Good news—you don't have to! You can install shiplap right over the drywall. However—and this part is crucial—you must first take the time to find all the studs within your walls and mark them carefully before you place a single board.

Can you hammer nails into shiplap? ›

Step 3) Recommended installation for shiplap is to be nailed with a brad/nail gun or a hammer and finishing nails. Recom- mended brad/nail length is 2 1/2”. Apply brads/nails approximately 1/2” from outside edges of boards and into studs when possible (see above diagram).

Should you paint shiplap before installing? ›

If you're installing new shiplap, paint it prior to installation. It will be far easier to paint the edges before the shiplap is up on the wall.

Which way should shiplap run on a wall? ›

Shiplap is commonly installed horizontally, but it can also be installed vertically or in a unique pattern. When weighing the pros and cons, you'll want to consider the size of the space, ceiling height, and your interior design style.

What size nails should I use for shiplap? ›

Fasten shiplap using standard or painted trim nails (15 or 16 gauge). Fastener length should be long enough for 1 1/4”-1 1/2” of penetration into solid wood.

What Sheen is best for shiplap? ›

The Best Paint Sheen for Shiplap

If your shiplap is in a high-traffic or moisture-filled room (like an entryway or bathroom) then semi-gloss is the way to go. What is this? For a place where it won't get much contact and you don't want it to have any shine, choose eggshell or flat.

How do you blind out tongue and groove nails? ›

How to Do Blind Nailing - YouTube

Do you remove baseboards when installing shiplap? ›

Remove the baseboards, install your shiplap, reinstall your baseboards, or. Keep your baseboards, and install shiplap boards that are equal to or have a shallower depth. This way, your shiplap can rest atop your baseboards and won't stick out.

How do I get a smooth finish on shiplap? ›

Give Shiplap Two Coats for Best Results

This will give it a nice finish and is how you achieve the best results for your project. Should you roll or brush shiplap? You can use a roller or a brush, but I do recommend a foam roller if you want a smooth finish without much texture.

What is the standard gap between shiplap? ›

Spacing the Boards: Enlist spacers to create uniform gaps (typically 1/8 inch) between each board. You can use any type of spacer you'd like, such as the edge of a carpenter's square or tile spacers. Make sure that you position each board using the same spacer so the boards appear evenly spaced.

What paint does Joanna Gaines use on shiplap? ›

Joanna Gaines used Sherwin Williams "Alabaster" for her white shiplap walls | Farmhouse paint colors interior, White paint colors, White shiplap wall.

Do you paint the wall behind shiplap? ›

Paint the wall first.

this is probably a no-brainer. But, unless you have a paint gun and can spray both the wall and the shiplap once it's installed, you'll need to paint the wall behind where you are installing this.

What happens if shiplap gets wet? ›

Because shiplap is a type of wood paneling, avoid placing it in areas that are frequently exposed to water, such as a shower wall or ceiling. When wood gets wet, it can swell, warp, and sag. It can also develop mold and mildew.

What is the decorating trend for 2022? ›

"Darker, more saturated colors are going to be everywhere in 2022," shares designer Hope Austin. "Think wallcoverings and fabrics in bold blues and bright citrines paired with rich espresso and slate finishes."

What is the design trend for 2022? ›

3D illustrations are the biggest design trend for 2022. Whether you use it for character design or adding depth to your hero image, they prove to be liked by many users and creative directors.

What is in style for homes in 2022? ›

Bold primary colors are big in home design trends for 2022. An accent wall in the living room in a deep green (have we mentioned green is good?) adds depth and accentuates highlights in your throw pillows or a plush area rug. Even ceilings are getting the color treatment.

Is gray out of style in 2022? ›

Navy and gray are on the way out

The report also highlighted a declining interest in navy (down 43%), mustard yellow (down 27%), and light gray (down 25%). Yes, while gray has seen an uninterrupted reign over recent paint trends, its reign may conclude in 2022.

Is farmhouse style out for 2022? ›

If you're wondering if farmhouse is out of style, the answer is no. Just because it's everywhere doesn't mean that if you like the style, you're totally dated, or that if your home is currently decorated in a farmhouse look or has shiplap walls that you have to go out an completely redecorate.

What looks like shiplap but is cheaper? ›

If you are trying to stick to a budget, plywood is a great choice. I was personally looking for the most inexpensive route and plywood was it. Secondly, some Lowes and Home Depot stores will cut the plywood into planks of shiplap boards for you.

What is cheaper shiplap or drywall? ›

Drywall panels are cheaper than shiplap per sq. ft., but once you factor in the cost of installation, shiplap usually comes out ahead as the more budget-friendly option.

› posts › shiplap-pros-cons-... ›

Here at Remodelista we've been nursing a healthy obsession with shiplap for the last few years. But there are a surprising amount of misconceptions about sh...
Shiplap is a form of wood paneling that was originally used to insulate ships from harsh weather and cold temperatures. Unlike regular, rectangular wooden board...
Shiplap, those horizontal planks that seem to be popping up in interiors everywhere, are simply boards with two opposing rabbet joints that overlap each other.

Can you start at the top with shiplap? ›

You can start applying shiplap either at the top or at the bottom of your wall. If you start at the bottom, gravity will work for you. If you start at the top, you'll have to prevent each board from falling before you nail it in place.

How do you start a shiplap wall? ›

Shiplap planks can be fastened to walls either vertically or horizontally. Simply nail through the drywall directly into wall studs. You can use construction adhesive when installing on ceilings or over other surfaces, as long as they're in good condition.

Which way should shiplap run on a wall? ›

Shiplap is commonly installed horizontally, but it can also be installed vertically or in a unique pattern. When weighing the pros and cons, you'll want to consider the size of the space, ceiling height, and your interior design style.

Do you leave a gap when installing shiplap? ›

Leave ¼-inch expansion gap between the floor and first row of boards (leave ¼-inch expansion between wall and ceiling if covering a ceiling) and a ¼-inch gap between board and corner. This space allows the wood to expand and contract and can be covered by trim.

What should I not do with shiplap? ›

15 Shiplap Don'ts | What NOT to do When Installing Shiplap - YouTube

Do you put baseboards on shiplap? ›

Keep your baseboards, and install shiplap boards that are equal to or have a shallower depth. This way, your shiplap can rest atop your baseboards and won't stick out. Use whatever shiplap you want and ignore differences in depth where the planks meet the baseboard.

Is shiplap still popular 2022? ›

So back to the long answer – yes, overall, shiplap will be done a lot less in 2022 and is no longer “trending”. It will continue to be used in coastal or period style homes when appropriate. There are so many other types of trim that can add beauty to your walls!

Can you install shiplap directly to drywall? ›

Good news—you don't have to! You can install shiplap right over the drywall. However—and this part is crucial—you must first take the time to find all the studs within your walls and mark them carefully before you place a single board.

Do you face nail shiplap? ›

After the board is level, you can go ahead and attach it to the studs. We always recommend face nailing shiplap when installing it on your walls, ceiling, and as exterior siding. Face nailing means that you shoot your nail at a 90 degree angle to the board through the flat (or face) of the board.

How do you hide seams in shiplap? ›

Fill Shiplap Seams With Caulk

To create a seamless look, you'll want to make sure any gaps and edges are filled in with caulk, just like you would fill in nail holes with wood filler when affixing shiplap. Caulking the edges will create clean lines and a finished look.

Should I roll or brush shiplap? ›

If you painted the shiplap prior to installation, fill in holes and gaps after the shiplap is in place and then touch up these areas with paint. If the shiplap was already installed, paint it like wall (with a roller and cut in with a brush), taking extra time to paint the gaps and shiplap grooves with a small brush.

Where do you nail in shiplap? ›

How to Install Shiplap | The Home Depot - YouTube

Should shiplap walls have seams? ›

Ideally, you'll want as few seams and as little waste as possible. Depending on your board and wall or ceiling length, try to minimize the number of boards you use per row and use the extra cut boards in other rows. If possible, try to use the cut-off piece from one row to start the next row.

Does shiplap need to be sealed? ›

You can also apply a clear coat sealer to the boards to give them an additional layer of moisture protection. This is not necessary if you are using our prepainted shiplap boards, but we do recommend applying wood sealant on any exposed edges or seams to ensure moisture resistance.

How deep is the gap in shiplap? ›

Spacing the Boards: Enlist spacers to create uniform gaps (typically 1/8 inch) between each board. You can use any type of spacer you'd like, such as the edge of a carpenter's square or tile spacers. Make sure that you position each board using the same spacer so the boards appear evenly spaced.

Videos

1. Tongue and Groove Accent Wall - Part 1
(DIY Dads)
2. Shiplap VS Nickel Gap | Nickel Gap is Better!!!
(Insider Carpentry - Spencer Lewis)
3. Cladding The Shed With Shiplap (PART 4 SHED BUILD PROJECT)
(Rag 'n' Bone Brown)
4. How to Make Your Own Shiplap
(Finish Carpentry TV)
5. How to install tongue & groove MDF paneling
(Justin Bailly JBTV)
6. American Planking Shiplap Installation Instructions
(American Planking)

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