What is Shiplap and Is it a Good Home Upgrade?

[fa icon="calendar"] February 22, 2019 / by Home Services Expert

If you’re familiar with the show Fixer Upper, then you’ve probably heard of shiplap. Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of Fixer Upper, have become household names and Joanna’s love of decorating with shiplap has made the material skyrocket in popularity.

Discover what shiplap is, if it’s a good upgrade, and whether or not it would fit the style of your home.

shiplap in bathroom


What is shiplap?


Shiplap is a type of wooden board most often used as exterior siding in the construction of houses, barns, sheds, and rustic buildings. It’s also become a popular choice for interiors too.

Traditional shiplap has a groove cut into the top and bottom, which allows the pieces to snugly fit together and form a tight seal.

Shiplap may have gotten its name from early shipbuilding methods that used the material to construct the hull of a ship. The boards overlapping each other formed a watertight surface, which would make the vessel seaworthy.


Is shiplap a good upgrade to your home?


Shiplap can be a good home upgrade because it’s an easy way to add interest to a wall or room. It’s easy to install and can be stained or painted. Shiplap can be used just about anywhere in your home – from around your fireplace to a bathroom wall to a kitchen backsplash. When it comes to building materials, shiplap is also on the inexpensive side.

The downside of adding shiplap to your home is if it's not installed correctly dust can easily settle in the gaps and grooves, making it a magnet for dirt. It can also warp or even rot, especially when it’s installed in rooms that have a lot of moisture, such as a bathroom or basement.

While shiplap is a great way to add interest to a room and try something different, if it doesn’t fit with the rest of your home décor, you may not end up getting the “fixer upper” look you have in mind.


Tips for using shiplap in your home


You don’t have to go full farmhouse to use shiplap around your home. The beauty of shiplap is that it’s such a versatile material to use. Because it can be painted and it can also be found in many different colors and textures at your local home improvement store, it can be incorporated into almost any design style.

If you decide to install shiplap in your home, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Pull off a contemporary look by installing uniformly-spaced shiplap. Trying using a nickel as a spacer between boards to get an uniformed, modern look.
  • Paint shiplap to match the look and feel of your home. For example, painting it white will give it a clean, fresh look while painting it dark or a bright color is more dramatic and great for giving small space interest.
  • Keep the boards horizontal to extend your space and make it feel larger.
  • Try shiplap in a small space first before committing to a large area.
  • Mix the width of the boards to get a relaxed look and feel.


>> Check out: 10 Fresh Ways to Use Shiplap Around the House


If you’re wondering if shiplap is just a trend or here to stay, go confidently forward with a home shiplap project knowing that it really doesn’t matter – because it’s such a versatile material and can be incorporated into just about any home décor style. And for that reason, it would be a good upgrade to your home.

If you’d rather not take the DIY approach to installing shiplap, contact the Experts – we do more than you think!

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