What Shiplap Side Should Look Like & 12 Other Installation Tips

Shiplap has been popular in home interior since the 1930s. It consists of a series of horizontal planks placed on each other. A shiplap wall is generally 6 inches wide. Shiplap walls can make any room look larger than it actually is.

Shiplap wall sides have a 90 degree angled gap between the planks stacked on top of one another.  

What Shiplap Side Should Look Like & 12 Other Installation Tips

What Should a Shiplap side look like

Shiplap wall sides should ideally have a gap at 90 degrees between the horizontal planks placed on top of one another. 

How to Install a Shiplap Wall

install shiplap

You will need to gather a number of different tools before getting started. You need to have a table saw, nail gun, measuring tape, primer, sandpaper and a jigsaw. 

1. Find attachment points

The first thing you need to do is find the attachment points in your wall before stacking up the shiplap planks on top of one another. This process will require you to closely inspect your walls and mark them. 



2. Leave the Planks to Acclimate

Wood generally needs to be left for as long as 72 hours to adjust to any new environment. You will have to do the same with your shiplap planks. However, make sure your wood stays dry. 

Close windows to avoid any excess humidity which may damage your wood. 

3. Measure Your Boards

The next step is to start measuring your shiplap planks. This is a vital step that will ensure your shiplap walls look good. After you’ve accurately measured the boards, you need to start cutting the excess wood off. 

4. Align the Boards

Now that you have cut the boards to the appropriate length, you will need to level the boards with the wall. You have to make sure your boards are set in a straight line. 

If you’ve been successful with aligning your first board, go ahead and stack the rest of the boards on top until it reaches the ceiling or the mark you had placed on your wall. 

5. Use a Nail gun to Hang the Boards

Nail gun

You will need a nail gun to screw the boards into your wall. You’ll have to screw nails through the long flange. Keep going all the way until you reach the board at the very top. 

6. Fasten the Shiplap

Leave a gap of at least 1/16 inches between the butt joints. This is important since it ensures there is enough room for expansion of the shiplap boards.

7. Use a Jigsaw to Cut around Any Outlet


If any electrical outlet comes in your way, you can use a jigsaw to simply cut around it. You can drill a box around the outlet as well.

8. Add Furring Strips

Furring strips are generally used to level shiplap boards for insulation purposes. Does your shiplap run vertical? If so, it is necessary to add furring strips to the marked attachments with an interval of 24”. 

9. Use a Table Saw to Cut the Final Plank

After reaching the end of the shiplap planks, you will need to cut off the final plank with a table saw.

10. Paint the Boards

Paint the Boards

It is finally time to paint your boards. Shiplap boards are usually painted white. Painting them white makes any room look larger and provides you with breathing space. 

Use a mini roller and a paint brush to get started with painting your shiplap boards. Make sure you give it a smooth finish. Be careful with any drips or spills. 

11. Leave Your Shiplap to Dry

Now that you’re done with painting the boards, you have to leave them to dry off. It is best to dry your shiplap using natural methods. Avoid using blow dryers or fans to dry the paint. 

12. Customize your wall

You can now add home decor to your shiplap wall. Do not hesitate to hang your favorite mirror or painting over your shiplap wall. Go right ahead. 


We have looked at how a shiplap side is supposed to look like and 12 installation tips. A shiplap side has gaps of 90 degrees between each individual plank stacked on top of the other. 

If you liked reading about installation tips, head over to our post about carpet installation tools.

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Nancy Adams

I am a fan of home decor, I devote all my free time to this activity. One of the most important components of home comfort is carpets & rugs and at the same time, it is one of the poorly covered topics on the Internet. Therefore, I decided to share my experience and knowledge in this niche.

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