All you need to know about wood cladding, including the best timber to use and safety concerns.

All you need to know about wood cladding, including the best timber to use and safety concerns.

Timber cladding and wood cladding is normally used to provide an external decorative and protective finish to a building facade. Most wood cladding can be manufactured in the timber species of your choice on the Wooduchoose website.

wood cladding

In this blog post we aim to address a number of questions relating to external timber cladding.

What wood is best for exterior cladding

Timber cladding is viewed as one of the most attractive finishes for external cladding on a number of styles of building, including barns, offices and homes. Timber cladding adds a contemporary finish to modern self build projects. There are a number of timbers that can be used for external timber cladding, the top three timbers for external cladding are:

1. Western Red Cedar cladding
When newly cut, the heartwood can vary from salmon-pink to dark brown. It changes to a reddish-brown over time and eventually to a silver-grey when exposed to the elements. It is chosen for its weathered appearance and is often left unfinished for that reason. Western red Cedar weathers very well. It is a very common external cladding timber.

2. Larch timber cladding
The heartwood of Siberian Larch is pale red to brick-red and has clearly marked growth rings, with distinction between early wood and late wood. It usually contains hard knots that may loosen after seasoning. Larch is more durable and the sapwood can be treated. It can therefore prove to be an effective exterior timber - often used for cladding.

3. Accoya Cladding
Accoya is the world's leading high technology wood. Accoya is produced from sustainably sourced, fast growing softwood (Radiata Pine) using a non-toxic modification process from the surface to the core. The result: a durable, stable and beautiful material with the performance characteristics of the most durable tropical hardwoods but with industry-leading environmental credentials. Accoya isa very versatile modified wood, which is a great solution for external timber cladding on any building

wood cladding with Accoya

Is wooden cladding safe

When use correctly with the correct treatment and applications wood cladding is very safe, but if not sure ask an expert.

UK Building regulations may stipulate that external timber cladding is protected with a suitable fire retardant product. This can be when a boundary falls within one metre of the edge of the building or where cladding is used on multi-story buildings. It is advisable to check with the Building control office.

Timber, including external cladding, remains an excellent material for manufacture and construction, but risk assessment, specification and detailing are paramount to ensuring safety whatever the build method.

What type of wood is best for exterior cladding.

The best type of wood is either a softwood (like Red Cedar or Larch) or a modified timber such as Accoya.

Red Cedar is considered the most stable of the softwoods. If left untreated, the cladding boards should stay straight and last for many decades. If a treatment is required, i.e. painting or staining, the stability and low resin content in the wood makes it a good choice.

When looking at external cladding in timber make sure to buy a product with a guarantee of at least 15 years. One way to help ensure quality is to opt for products endorsed under a scheme such as the TDCA-ope

How wide should timber cladding be?

As timber cladding grows in popularity, based on its sustainability, external finish and of course being a beautiful natural material to work with.
Board width guidance for external timber is largely decided by the required profile required. The width is generally 4 to 6 times board width, with 75 to 150mm being the recommended range apart from for T&G boards, which should be no greater than 120mm wide.

Types of external timber cladding fitting

Timber cladding cand be fitted using a number of different styles of timber, the one you choose will be based on your desired outcome and the type of building it is applied on.

External timber cladding can be bought from DIY stores, of via Wooduchoose where you can get multiple quotes. Different type of laying styles include:

  • SQUARE EDGE. This type of boarding has a uniform thickness, usually between 12-18mm, whilst widths of boards vary from 125mm to 225mm.
  • TONGUE & GROOVE. These produce a uniform look that suits contemporary houses. They have a flat face and in the absence of any overlap
  • FEATHER EDGE. Boards are tapered across their width. This style of board produces a rustic, rural appearance that is perfect for more traditional homes, or barn-style self-builds.

External Timber Cladding Conclusions

In conclusion timber cladding is a great way to achieve a beautiful external finish to any building. Make sure you choose a good durable softwood like red cedar or a modified timber like Accoya. Seek advice on whether the timber needs to be treated and decided on laying style such as tongue and grove or squared edge timber. Wood/Timber is the most eco conscious materials available, and ultimately the mist sustainable product available because it is a renewable source.

You can receive multiple quotes on Wooduchoose for the following external timber cladding products


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Posted on Monday 04 April 2022 at 11:21

Tags: Architects Planed Timber Sawn Timber Useful Guides    Share: twitter facebook linkedin
Jeremy Yelland Author: Jeremy Yelland

As Co-founder, Jeremy has been instrumental in the development of Wooduchoose, working on many evolutions of the application and at the same time always learning about timber and woodworking.

Read more blogs by Jeremy Yelland

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