The Pros and Cons of Shiplap

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.

Popular Videos

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.