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Aug 16, 2023

How to Install Shiplap Siding

Tags: Siding

At Marks Lumber, we take pride in the quality of our products and in ensuring our customers have the right tools to succeed in their projects. Knowing how to properly install wood products is one of the most important steps to achieving a beautiful and durable finished product.

Marks Lumber's shiplap siding is no exception to this rule. Proper installation of shiplap is critical to its longevity. We recommend following the Western Wood Products Association’s (WWPA) guidelines when installing our circle-sawn shiplap siding.

Acclimation is Critical

The first step in installing Marks Lumber’s circle-sawn shiplap is to acclimate. As with most wood products, acclimating siding is a critical step in the installation process. Stack your siding materials with space in between them and then sit back and relax as your siding does the work for you. For dried Marks Lumber products, we recommend letting your siding acclimate for a minimum of ten days before getting to work.


Finishing is one of the most important steps in the installation process. In dry climates, like we have in Montana, pre-finishing is advised. This means both sides, edges, and all cut ends should be pre-finished or primed. Make sure your pre-finish is compatible with the final finish products. At Marks Lumber, we recommend using Lifetime Wood Treatment for an easy, low-maintenance finish product.

If you choose a water-based finish, keep in mind that it can add significant moisture to the boards, which can lead to swelling. Make sure you allow time for the siding to re-dry and acclimate after pre-finish and before installation.

Installing Lap Siding

Natural wood siding should be installed over a weather-resistive barrier for all sheathing materials. If sheathing or the weather-resistive barrier gets wet prior to installation, allow the surface to dry before starting. When siding is applied over wood-based sheathing, nail penetration should be 1 ½ inches for smooth-shank nails (not recommended) and 1 ¼ inches for ring-shank nails.

For vertical installation, siding should be nailed to horizontal blocking, not exceeding 32-inches on center.

For horizontal installation over sheathing, siding should be nailed to vertical studs on a maximum of 24-inch centers. If nailed directly to studs, 16-inch centers or less is called for.

How to Maintain Shiplap Siding

When it comes to natural wood siding, maintenance is critical. Most natural wood sidings benefit from regular washings. A light-pressure power wash with Perma-Chink System’s Log Wash will remove dust and harmful pollen and help keep your siding protected.

Note: Wood never dies; it is going to swell, shrink and move with changes in temperature and humidity over its life. Good installation techniques have been developed to take this absolute fact into account.

Looking for durable, unique wood siding that you can install yourself? Contact Marks Lumber’s qualified sales team today to learn more about our circle sawn shiplap siding, or download our full installation instructions for more information.

*This post draws heavily from the Western Wood Products Association guidelines. Complete installation guides can be purchased at their site:

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