Timber cladding has become extremely popular in recent years. It's been a material of choice for many home build and extension projects for a while but its popularity for more commercial construction has been increasingly noticeable.
Consumers are making more natural and sustainable choices for building projects and it’s easy to see why timber cladding is so desirable for a wide range of projects. It produces an aesthetically appealing finish, is beneficial to insulation and is often a cost effective solution.
Cladding is the term used to create an external layer fixed to a structure and can be bought in pre-cut panels or boards. Cladding provides a durable, external wall covering, protection from the elements as well as insulation and it offers an attractive and decorative feature.
Here at KPT Timber we stock a range of different types of timber cladding. Here are the main styles:
Tongue and groove cladding is a common choice for vertical cladding. Each cladding board has a recess (groove) down one length and the other side features a ridge known as a tongue. When pushed together, it forms a strong joint without the need for adhesives or tacking. This simple construction is appealing because it can be assembled without professional assistance or extra materials.
Constructed similarly to standard Tongue and Groove boards, but with a chamfered (curved) edge on the top and bottom. This highlights the edges of the boards, resulting in a 'V' shaped recess along the length of the join. This provides a rustic appearance and provides flexibility because the boards can be used either side up.
Often chosen as a step up from standard tongue and groove cladding, Shiplap boards clip together similarly but with an additional overlap at the top of the joint. The underlying board will have a curved (chamfered) edge under the overlap. Whilst this looks great, it is also functional in the way that the chamfered edge prevents water collecting in the recess and encourages it to runoff. It provides a high level of protection from the weather, water resistance and is this type is originally thought to be used in ship building - hence the name.
Loglap cladding is designed so that when assembled, it looks like traditional log chalets. It has a machine created, curved face rather than a flat face and often features standard tongue and groove joints. Often produced from treated Redwood, it’s a fantastic choice for external cladding.
Waney edge timber refers to timber that has been cut with a layer of tree bark along one edge. Waney edge cladding offers a rustic style and natural look. Larch is the most common wood type for waney edge boards and it must be regularly maintained in order to remain weather proof. It’s one of the most affordable options due to being cut into thinner boards that require no machining. This type of cladding does not interlock so it’s worth considering this when you make your choice.
With people becoming more and more aware of their impact on the environment, the sustainability of timber cladding is most likely its most distinguishing feature. Wood is derived directly from trees in forests, which are sustainably managed through replanting. Many suppliers these days will also provide evidence of the materials' origin. Timber cladding panels can also be repurposed or recycled when they reach the end of their useful life. As a result, you can rest assured that you are helping to make the world a greener place.
When cladding is produced from high quality timber, it should offer a reliable and long lasting performance for many years. The moisture content is key when it comes to the longevity of the timber. If the moisture content is at the correct level then this will prevent the cladding from expanding or contracting too much in changeable weather conditions. Ventilation should be a priority to help prevent this from happening and leaving a small gap between boards so that air can circulate will aid the boards to adapt naturally.
Using good quality fixings are also vital to ensure a durable cladding project. They will help to minimise movement and prevent the timber from twisting and cracking, keeping it looking newer for longer.
Timber cladding will change over time, as will any type of wooden structure. Sme timbers fade in colour and others will continue to hold their original colour. Whilst timber cladding is fairly low maintenance, it will require some upkeep in order to stay looking its best, particularly if you decided to paint it with a colour or stain.
If you’d like more information about the types of timber cladding available at KPT Timber, our friendly team will be happy to help. You can explore the full range of cladding here.