What's Shiplap? Add Rustic Charm

What’s Shiplap? Everything You Need To Know

If you’re a fan of any of the dozens of home restoration television shows that crowd the airwaves these days, you’ve probably heard of shiplap. This material provides every homeowner with a stylish modern farmhouse look for their home remodel. The newly-popularized yet old-timey wooden board adds homey, rustic charm to your interior design. Whether you live in Brookfield, Hartland or Wauwatosa, channel your inner Magnolia!

But what, exactly, is shiplap?


Shiplap is a type of edge-notched wooden board, usually pine. The versatile shipbuilding material was once commonly used for siding in rustic barns, sheds and other outdoor buildings. The long grooved sides of these boards slide perfectly over the other for a tight fit. These walls are watertight because of the unique grooved design. The planks contract and expand with humidity. The interlocking system prevents wood from buckling absolutely perfect for outdoor exposure and protecting your home from moisture.

shiplap mudroom
Shiplap walls provide your mudroom with a tight seal of protection.

Do You Have These Boards in Your Home?

If you live in an older farmhouse-style home, you may have shiplap boards behind your plaster or sheetrock walls. Brookfield and Hartland homeowners once used the material on ceilings and walls for insulation in the past. Builders created a stable surface along the house frame using the interlocking boards. A century later, using this material for walls and decoration has exploded in popularity.

shiplap hood
Consider adding shiplap on your hood for visual interest and texture, like this Mukwonago modern farmhouse kitchen.

Trendy Shiplap Walls & Ceilings

The current appeal of shiplap is less about watertight benefits and more due to the unique textured look. Unlike paneled walls of the 1970s, shiplap tends to be mounted horizontally and uses wider boards than old paneling. This gives the same flat-wall appearance but has a much more visible line between the boards themselves.

farmhouse bathroom
Create an attractive powder bath nook with this modern farmhouse look.

Homeowners tend to choose more weathered, textured wood. Add a little bit of character to your modern farmhouse style. The appealing aesthetic visually widens a space, making it feel spacious and bright. This  gorgeous clean look beautifully transforms every room.

Authentic Material

Avoid the pitfalls of faux shiplap walls by choosing the authentic product. At Kowalske Kitchen & Bath, our design team will help you find the perfect wooden materials for your home. Whether you live in Hartland, Wauwatosa or Brookfield, you deserve only high-quality materials. Authentic material has a grooved interlocking system. Cheap imitations don’t stand up to the wear-and-tear of the original. Ask our talented designers about finding the best material for you.

shiplap island
Make your kitchen island a focal point by adding shiplap.

Shiplap Design

shiplap bath
Wooden walls makes this Delafield master bathroom look fresh and bright.

Be bold and creative! Design options are only limited by your imagination. Mount recovered barn boards to your bathroom walls or side your kitchen in white-painted boards. Wooden walls add warmth and rusticity. The visible texture adds real character to your design.

The judicious application of this siding material softens and warms up modern quartz countertops, concrete walls and gray-toned tiles. Rustic boards mounted above a fireplace add a comforting focal point to any room. Enjoy stylish decorative flourishes.

Exploring Beyond Walls

Don’t limit yourself to walls and ceilings. Use the attractive wooden boards to add complementary features to the room, like pine shelving, window awnings and cabinetry. Shiplap works well for stunning accents and gorgeous artistry.

wood wall
Add visual interest to a wall drop zone near the back door for a unique modern look.

Contact the Design & Home Remodeling Experts

Are you considering a major kitchen renovation or a bathroom re-design? Do you love the warm, rustic wall-texture options shiplap offers? Ready to reinvent your whole home or basement?

Whether you live in Brookfield or Hartland, Delafield or Wauwatosa, Kowalske Kitchen & Bath helps you realize your exciting vision. Talk to one of our designers about incorporating this trending new aesthetic option into your innovative home remodeling plans. Contact Kowalske Kitchen & Bath today.

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