The Pros and Cons of Shiplap

Updated: Aug. 18, 2021

Pros and Cons of Shiplap

You’ve seen it on HGTV. You’ve seen it online. You’ve likely even seen it at a neighbor’s or friend’s home.

Shiplap is everywhere these days. Simply put, traditional shiplap is a kind of wooden board that is often used for building barns and sheds. Shiplap has a groove cut into the top and bottom which allows the boards to fit together and gives it a unique appearance.

Thinking of using shiplap in your home? Here’s a look at some pros and cons.


1. Shiplap is an easy way to add interest to a wall or room. It is easily installed and you can stain or paint it depending on your decor.

2. You can use shiplap anywhere. Try using shiplap on a living room wall around the fireplace. Create a shiplap ceiling. Use it in an entryway. Try it as a kitchen backsplash or even in the bathroom—both of these applications require a protective finish coat to prevent food stains and moisture damage.

3. Shiplap is inexpensive. If you have shiplap cut from inexpensive wood such as pine, you can cover a 10-foot by 10-foot space for less than $200.


1. A big complaint from those with shiplap in their homes is that it is a magnet for dust. Dust will settle in the gaps and grooves and can make the space look dirty.

2. If not installed correctly, shiplap can warp or rot. This is especially true if it is installed in a bathroom or basement where moisture can seep in.

3. Shiplap can make a home look cliche if it doesn’t fit with the rest of the decor. While it is an inexpensive way to transform a room, shiplap doesn’t work for every space.

For more ideas about using shiplap in your home, check out these 12 shiplap wall ideas.