What size shiplap should I use for my kitchen?

novice_from__ctSeptember 10, 2013

I am covering the walls and backsplash of my kitchen in shiplap running horizontally. There are a few standard sizes they come in. I am considering either 6" or 8". I saw a lovely kitchen by mamadadapaige with shiplap. I can't tell what the size is. Has anyone done shiplap in the kitchen? If so, what size did you go with and do you have any pictures to share?

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I am doing shiplap. I am not painting it, but a tinted stain (pale green color). I finally finished the many coats of poly on it all so it is just ready to install, so sorry no pics yet.

A few important things to consider. First- it is not really 6 or 8. Wood is measured funny ( kind of like a 2x4 is on 1.5x3.5). I bought the 8" profile pine and the outside with tongue is 7.25. This makes the shown surface of the shiplap only 6 15/16. I know I measured the 6", but don' t recall off the top off my head. Also, go look at the place your buying and measure yourself to be sure before you decide.

Second - I chose the "8"" width because after looking and mapping out all my light switches and outlets it was going to give be clean spots for those things. Meaning I could get them centered on a board and not have to deal with an switch plate on a groove.

Other than that I think it is whatever you prefer. I thought the smaller boards were too busy in my kitchen also, but I have a small kitchen, with a lot going on.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:47PM
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OK yes my builder did mention that the 8" boards were more like 7" and change so that makes sense. I also don't want the kitchen to look too busy. So are the boards really tongue and groove? I've seen boards installed but I have never seen them not on the wall. How much space are you leaving between each board or is that determined by the groove? Do you have trim/mouldings you have to deal with? We have trim around all the doors and windows and I'm hoping they can install the shiplap without having to remove all of the mouldings. I suppose I can stop by a lumber yard and ask for a sample of the boards themselves so I know what I'm dealing with.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:21PM
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You should not leave space between the boards. The thickness of your trim mouldings vs. the thickness of the shiplap material you are using will dictate whether or not they will need remove all of the other mouldings.

Here is an article explaining the differences between shiplap and traditional tongue and groove:


Two key excerpts from the article that will help are as follows:

1.) While the groove of a tongue-and-groove plank runs through the center of a plank's edge, the groove of a shiplap plank cuts in from the face of the plank to form a step-like cut. The top groove of a shiplap plank cuts in from front face of the plank and the bottom groove from the rear face of the plank. Thus, the bottom groove of each shiplap plank nests within the top groove of a lower plank.

2.) Most shiplap installations simply require nailing straight through the face of the overlapping planks.

Good luck and you are definitely on the right track because you mentioned a gorgeous inspiration kitchen in mamadadapaige's...and just think she has pulled it off twice!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 1:09PM
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They are not truly tongue and groove, that is just the best way I could find to describe the loss of width you are going to get from the overlap. It is still essentially a tongue and groove style, just the tongue and groove are off set to the outside of the board as SaltLife points out.

I am sure they come in different profiles. I choose one that has a slight V groove where the planks come together. I added a link so you can see what I mean. Because of this, I was worried about switchplates falling on a groove.

As far as molding, I have 5 doors in my kitchen so plenty of molding to deal with. What we decided because we wanted two sides of the kitchen in the shiplap, was to run the shiplap up to, but not into any molding. The issue was we were not running it around the entire kitchen. The shiplap boards are 3/4". Anyway we figured it we would have doorways that would look just awkward on one side if the boards ran into the molding on one side and not through the other. Either having to build up a much chunkier molding on every door to make it look even or run the shiplap where we just didn't want it. So I choose to stop it short of the molding. In one spot I am stopping it 4" short of the molding (everywhere else will stop in a corner or at least 12" from the nearest molding). I am painting a very high contrast color wall for the rest of the kitchen which will show on the 4" wall in between the end of the shiplap and the door molding. We will be capping the shiplap with a custom routed piece that will be stained to match the shiplap (and hopefully tie in with the molding).

I would ask your builder for a sample of exactly what he is thinking about putting in. He may have a source for a thinner plank or it may have a wide V groove that you don't like. You don't know what you are getting when someone says something like "shiplap" until you see it yourself. I wouldn't just agree to a name. I personally love the look and it fills many gaps I was having in finding a backsplash and wall treatment in my kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shiplap pine

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 3:30PM
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We used (6", I believe) horizontal shiplap, painted.

I only have a couple pics, as our kitchen is not quite ready for prime time...

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Sorry! I don't know why my pics are coming out so small lately! I must've changed a setting in photobucket. If you'd like any more pics or info on the shiplap, I'd be happy to email you.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Danielleg- First, I love your kitchen. I was toying with the idea of going all the way around our space, but I just don't have the wide open space to do it. Your kitchen is fabulous!.

When you say 6" are you measuring 6" on the face of what is showing or do you mean you used the 6" board size they offered? I only ask because your boards look about the same width mine do. And if you look at the above conversation about board sizing, a 6" board would only show a little over 4" of actual board in between the seems.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Danielleg, that is the size I like. I spoke to my builder and he said that the 6" boards are actually 5.5" and the 8" boards are actually 7.25". They are .75 inch in depth which is the same as my mouldings but he says he can cut them down so they are only .5" in depth. Were your boards pre-primed? We are looking at the finger jointed pre-primed boards by Windsor One. The shiplap in my home will cover all of the walls in the kitchen up to the ceiling and act as the backsplash too.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:28AM
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Danielleg- I love your kitchen! It is exactly the style that I am thinking of creating for our new house. Can you please post more pics?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Hello again,

Yes, ours are the 6" with approximately 5.5" showing. Our kitchen was semi-DIY (my husband flips houses and has two employees, so the four of us designed and installed everything, save electric and plumbing. We know when we're in over our heads!). So, we painted the shiplap before it was hung...just several coats of regular Behr paint. We actually used shiplap on the ceiling too, and used a light grey stain on that. I'll see if I have any pics with me here at work. We got the v-notch shiplap at Home Depot (used on the walls) and squared shiplap at Lowes (used on the ceilings).

I will definitely post more pics soon - just have to make up my mind re: cabinet hardware (this has been, by far, the hardest decision for me to make).

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Okay, the only pics of the ceiling that I have with me are mid-construction, but you get the idea...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Double post

This post was edited by danielleg on Fri, Sep 13, 13 at 11:54

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Danielleg- I LOVE that you did the ceiling stained! That is going to be a fabulous kitchen.

Novice - "They are .75 inch in depth which is the same as my mouldings but he says he can cut them down so they are only .5" in depth. Were your boards pre-primed? We are looking at the finger jointed pre-primed boards by Windsor One."

Being a DIYer and having the thought myself, I am a little confused how he can cut it down to .5". I mean I guess he can plane every board down, but it needs to lap to be shiplap, you would either be planing off the overlap or the underlap. If the boards expand or contract in the humidity wont you risk seeing the drywall underneath if the laps are not there? Or is he planing off .12" from both the over and underlaps and leaving a very thin, weak piece. And then the follow up thought, how much is he charging you for that simple .25", because that seems like a lot of work, it may be cheaper to get all new door and window molding.

Also, just from personal experience, I stay away from finger jointed. I used to work for a furniture manufacturer and we had huge issues with finger joints cracking and separating after 4 or 5 years. You can sometimes get OK quaility, but if there is a board option I always take it. And in this case the board option at HD and Lowes is so cheap I can not see how finger joints could possibly be cheaper.

As far as pre-primed, I have never bought anything pre-primed and I am sure your builder knows better but just in case I will pass my major boo boo on to you so you don't make it. If you prime yourself and are working with knotted wood like pine, always prime the knots with a primer like BIN that is made for knots, especially if you are painting a light color like white. I learned this one the hard way on my nice bright white bathroom's, pine beadboard. I just finished re-priming and painting the entire thing last week. It looks great for about a year then the knots bleed through ;-(

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:24PM
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Yes, I think he was talking about planing them to .5" depth. It does sound like a lot of work but he didn't seem concerned. I am still waiting for the quote though! I've asked a local builder who has installed shiplap in many homes about the type of boards to use. He says that they use an actual quarter as a spacer between the boards. They do expand/contract a bit but its' nothing noticeable, especially with the pre-primed boards. Has anyone heard of doing it this way? I'm wondering why they are not using the v-groove boards. The finger jointed pre-primed boards are very nice. The same company is the manufacturer of all of our mouldings which were installed over 10 years ago and still look perfect. I have confidence that they will not fall apart but I'm wondering about the installation.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 3:23PM
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The Windsor One material is an excellent choice for a paint grade finish. I would not worry about it being finger jointed, nor have I seen the need to use spacers between the joints.
If your contractor planes it down to 1/2" thickness, make absolutely certain that he re-primes the boards before installation!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 3:53PM
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