Let’s just get this out there now.
Shiplap is not a type of wood.
We repeat. Shiplap is not a type of wood.
You’ve probably heard it hundreds of time on channels like HGTV, “Let’s throw some shiplap on this wall,” and then boom. A once blank wall is now clad with wood and it looks awesome.
Because of the shiplap-boom of HGTV (and others networks and shows), we often have customers who visit us and ask for shiplap wood. But here’s the thing. Shiplap is how the wood is prepared for installation – just like tongue and groove.
Shiplap has notches (rabbets) cut on each side of the board which allows the wood to self-space when the wall expands or compresses.
Each board overlaps slightly and is flush to one another so that they are watertight (hence the term ship lap). Shiplap is mostly found in siding designs because of the need for consistent spacing.
Once installed the wood with shiplap will look like any other wood because the notches are hidden, and it can be hard to tell it apart from regular sheathing boards to the untrained eye.
Overall, shiplap is an efficient, highly effective, and inexpensive way to renovate or refresh your home.