Shiplap Addiction? 5 Ways to Use Shiplap in Your Home

We can’t blame anyone for loving this gorgeous material and having a slight — or possibly more than slight — shiplap addiction. For our clients, this versatile building material has been more popular than ever for Modern Craftsman and Modern Farmhouse style homes this year.

Let’s say you are looking for a place to showcase shiplap, but you just aren’t sure what you want to do?

Not to worry. We’ve got the shiplap inspiration you crave — and even some beautiful shiplap images to tuck away in your dream home folder. And the great thing is, this beautiful wood works with many types of architectural styles.

What Is Shiplap Anyway?

Originally, shiplap was used to waterproof boats. Hence the name.

Shiplap is a type of paneling, usually made of wood, that can be used as exterior or interior siding with overlapping joints. This joint provides a good seal from cold weather and has an informal appearance that was originally often used for barns.

Historically, shiplap was used primarily for the exterior of a home or barn. But now, it is used — and dearly loved — inside, as well. Yes, it may be a bit nostalgic but modern shiplap also looks contemporary and welcoming in a timeless way.

Shiplap Wall Ideas for Your Dream Home

Most of the luxury homes we build incorporate shiplap boards of some type. While the most popular applications are around the fireplace and as a range hood cover, those aren’t your only options.

Shiplap image: shiplap above fireplace and behind built-in shelves

1. Shiplap Interior Walls Are a Given

A shiplap wall is one of the most common applications for this building material. We’ve seen it used in bedrooms, kitchens, powder rooms, mudrooms, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.

Shiplap Accent Wall

Shiplap paneling makes a beautiful option for dressing up one wall in a room. The most common color is white, but you can choose any color you like to create a bold or subtle statement.

Shiplap Fireplace/Shiplap TV Wall

For our clients, shiplap above the fireplace is one of the most common areas people want to use shiplap. It creates a certain ambiance that painted drywall just can’t match.

It’s also a beautiful backdrop for a wall-mounted TV above the fireplace.

Shiplap fireplace ideas we recommend:

  • Above the fireplace.
  • Around and above the fireplace.
  • Around the fireplace and behind the built-in shelves.

Shiplap Living Room

For a shiplap room, it can be a bit much to do all the walls. But one wall or two opposing walls can be very interesting when dressed in shiplap. The wood adds architectural details and interest and is extremely durable.

Living Room with shiplap wall and shiplap vaulted ceiling and rustic hardwood floors

2. Shiplap Ceilings — the Ultimate in Shiplap Glory

This shiplap vaulted ceiling compliments a shiplap accent wall bringing more drama and character to the entire space.

Opt for painted, stained, or reclaimed wood for even more character.

Vertical shiplap kitchen backsplash

Vertical shiplap backsplash in kitchen

3. A Shiplap Kitchen Satisfies the Hunger

Shiplap can be used in several places in a Rustic, Country, Farmhouse, Modern, or Craftsman-style kitchen.

Shiplap Backsplash

A shiplap kitchen backsplash makes things a bit more casual and fun, or, with the right materials, modern and hip.

If you are concerned about the durability of wood in a splash zone, consider shiplap tile instead for the same look but easier cleanup and waterproofing.

We like the vertical approach in the kitchen pictured above. It looks fresh and light in this backsplash.

Shiplap Walls in the Breakfast Nook

Farmhouse shiplap walls are whimsical and can be run vertically or horizontally, depending on which effect you want to achieve.

Shiplap Kitchen Island

Another great idea is to use shiplap on the back of the kitchen island to add some extra texture and interest there and to differentiate the island from the cabinets and the rest of the kitchen.

Shiplap Range Hood

Shiplap also makes a beautiful accent as the custom covering for a range hood over the stove. It’s one of our clients’ most popular requests. (See the bottom picture in the article.)

Pine shiplap siding on a screened-in back porch

Exterior siding — stained pine shiplap — creates a mountain retreat effect.

4. Exterior Shiplap Siding for the Win

Of course, you can use shiplap all over the entire house like traditional siding. Or you can get a bit more creative and use it as accents to contrast with board and batten, cedar shakes, or brick.

Shiplap porch walls

Our favorite application of shiplap is for porch walls. The shiplap isn’t going to get near as much weathering as it would if you had it on the outside of your home unprotected. So this can be a good place to use real wood that is treated and weatherproofed if you like that effect.

Rustic shiplap wall in bathroom

Rustic shiplap wall in a small powder room.

5. A Gorgeous Shiplap Bathroom Boosts Personality

Another place to use shiplap is in the bathroom. Use it as a rustic accent wall, like in this powder room. Or use shiplap tile and go wild with it on all the walls, as wainscoting, or for the ceiling.

Many of our clients love the look of shiplap tile in their showers.

What Shiplap Colors Should You Use?

What colors can you use for your lovely wood? Here are our favorites:

  • Any color you want to paint it
  • Black shiplap
  • Gray shiplap
  • Reclaimed wood with lots of texture
  • Stained wood shiplap
  • Whitewash or white shiplap

Generally, we encourage using more neutral colors that you’ll enjoy for many years to come. And don’t forget to consider resale value into the equation. Will others appreciate the color if you do need to sell the home later?

What Shiplap Materials Are Available?

  • Wood Shiplap — Hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru, etc outlast cedar or pine.
  • Composite Shiplap — Great for exterior use or bathroom walls. Use it to achieve a rustic, traditional, or super modern effect.
  • Tile Shiplap — For bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.
  • Metal Shiplap — for a very modern look.
  • Peel and Stick Shiplap — This is not our favorite, but it is available and you can check it out. It can be easy to apply. But the price can be rather hefty. Be sure to check the reviews before committing to this.

Check out the products available now at Home Depot or Lowe’s for an idea of the textures, colors, and options you can find.

Ways to Apply Shiplap

Horizontal is the most common application. Then vertical — which is great for making a room or space look taller. And some people like diagonal shiplap or even a custom design or pattern.

What Are the Advantages of Shiplap Siding?

Shiplap is easy to install, low cost (for exterior siding), and can be used in a wide variety of ways. It is very durable outdoors. Especially if you use an exotic hardwood.

But the best part of shiplap is the nostalgic, Craftsman atmosphere it produces. Especially indoors. You can use reclaimed wood to help the environment and get a more rustic effect to add more depth of character and charm to your home.

It’s the perfect fit for a Modern Craftsman or Modern Farmhouse style but, with the right materials and architecture, it also works beautifully for Contemporary and Modern styles.

What Are the Disadvantages of Shiplap Siding?

Shiplap is often made of real wood. If real wood is used on the exterior of a home (or in a room with lots of humidity like a bathroom), it needs to be painted or sealed to protect it from weathering, extreme temperatures, sun, and water damage.

If you want to avoid the problems of real wood, there are other materials available that can withstand moisture better like composites or tile.

Compared to drywall, shiplap is more expensive.

tongue and groove hardwood floor

A stained tongue and groove hardwood floor.

Shiplap VS Tongue and Groove Wood Boards

Shiplap joints look a lot like tongue and groove, but shiplap is less expensive than tongue and groove because the joints are easier to mill. And shiplap has a gap between the boards but tongue and groove does not.

If you need a wood exterior siding, tongue and groove can have a stronger seal against the weather because the boards are snug right up against each other.

If you just plan to use shiplap or tongue and groove as paneling, it’s really a matter of your preference for the aesthetics.

Tongue and groove is mostly used for hardwood floors.

Beadboard in a mudroom with built-in bench and cubbies

Beadboard in a mudroom area.

Shiplap VS Beadboard

Beadboard looks like narrow vertical panels of wood. In the early 1900s, it was called, sheathing in New England. In many parts of the country, it was used as a porch ceiling material. And some areas call it wainscoting when it is used as lower wall paneling.

One or more beads (with a rounded surface) are milled into the board for decorative effect.

Shiplap has a bolder look whereas beadboard is more understated.

Both shiplap and beadboard are wood panelling, but they have different vibes. Both can be used as accent walls, for wainscoting, for ceilings, for porches, and more.

Luxury Kitchen With White Shaker Cabinets and Shiplap Range Hood

Ready to Plan Your Shiplap Paradise in Lexington, SC?

At Blythe Building Company, we build luxury homes to create the perfect backdrop for your family’s best memories. Wondering how you can add shiplap to your home? We can talk about that in detail during the vision meeting stage of our custom home building process.

We build homes in the $650,000 plus range all over the Midlands of South Carolina. Want to build on your land? Check out this information about building on your own lot in Lexington.


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