What's the best type of cladding for a shed_

What’s the best type of cladding for a shed? Tongue and Groove vs Overlapping Cladding

Cladding is the exterior of your timber building.

There are a variety of different types of cladding, and in this article we will discuss two of the most common ones: tongue and groove weatherboard versus overlapping cladding.

Whilst cladding can often be mistaken as being a seemingly minor aspect of your garden building, there is far more than it just being aesthetically pleasing.

The cladding is what keeps your shed weatherproof and secure.

Whether it’s beautiful red cedar in 32mm half log tongue and groove weatherboard, or 19mm Scandinavian redwood shiplap (overlapping cladding), it’s the looking after it that counts.

Treat your shed right and it’ll last you a lifetime.

We have laid out the pros and cons of tongue and grove weatherboard and overlapping cladding to help you decide which is the best for you.

Tongue and Groove vs Overlapping Cladding – What’s the difference?

Overlapping Cladding

What is overlapping cladding?

Overlapping cladding is where the timber is placed one on top of another so each of the boards overlap the previous one to create a panel. These are usually rough sawn and have more of a ‘rustic’ look.

Example of overlapping cladding

Example of overlapping cladding


Pro’s of overlapping cladding

  • Advantages of this type of cladding is that it is the cheapest option in terms of cladding options.
  • It is also a desirable option due to it enabling the run-off of rainwater with ease

Con’s of overlapping cladding

  • A disadvantage to overlap cladding is that it isn’t very durable and means that it wouldn’t be able to support anything heavy such as shelving on walls
  • The timber used for this type of cladding is usually thin whitewood and therefore more likely to warp over time due to weather conditions.

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Tongue & Groove weatherboard (cladding)

What is tongue and groove weatherboard?

Tongue & Groove is where a panel is created from planks of wood which are designed to interlock.

This timber is planed to allow smooth panels which join with ease, giving the build a neater finish.

Example of tongue and groove weatherboard

Example of tongue and groove weatherboard

Tongue and Groove

Pro’s of tongue and groove

  • Tongue and groove is favoured for its strength and durability because of its interlocking system it is more likely to remain straight and square over time.
  • The tongue and groove weatherboard profile above is ideal for running water readily off the panel.

Con’s of tongue and groove

  • This option comes in several thicknesses the thinner the board the less durability.
  • Tongue and Groove weatherboard is clean and dressed, which means it will most definitely cost more.

Cladding Thickness – What you need to know

It should be noted that the timber thickness is just as important a factor as the type of cladding.

A quick scan online can show that some of the cheapest timber buildings may have a ‘thickness’ of 8mm.

While the price will be less, it’s worth taking into account that there’s very likely to be a compromise in the quality of the build.

When looking for a build we recommend a cladding thickness of no less than 12mm – anything thinner than this should not be considered for outdoor or external use.

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