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Vertical vs. Horizontal Shiplap: Elevating Your Home’s Design

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Choosing Between Vertical and Horizontal Shiplap: Impact on Space and Style

By: Austin Williams


Shiplap is a type of wooden board traditionally used for constructing barns, sheds, and other outbuildings. Nowadays, it's cherished in interior design for its ability to add depth and interest to walls and ceilings. Whether installed vertically or horizontally, shiplap can complement any room, enhancing its overall aesthetic and feel.

Vertical Shiplap: A Touch of Elegance and Height

Vertical shiplap installation creates a unique and sophisticated look. It's perfect for those seeking to add a sense of height and openness to their spaces.


  • Enhances Room Height: Vertical lines draw the eye upward, making rooms feel taller and more spacious.

  • Modern Appeal: Offers a modern twist to traditional shiplap, fitting well in contemporary design schemes.

  • Minimizes Room Length: Ideal for long, narrow rooms as it can help make the space feel more proportionate.


  • Installation Challenges: Vertical installation may require more framing support, making the process slightly more complex than horizontal shiplap.

  • Visual Complexity: In smaller spaces, vertical lines might feel overwhelming and visually clutter the room.

Horizontal Shiplap: Classic Comfort and Width

Horizontal shiplap is the more traditional orientation, lending a timeless and cozy feel to any space. It's well-suited for creating a welcoming atmosphere.


  • Expands Space Width: Horizontal lines can make a room appear wider, ideal for small or narrow spaces.

  • Rustic Charm: Delivers a classic, rustic vibe that's reminiscent of cottage or farmhouse styles.

  • Simplicity in Installation: Generally easier to install than vertical shiplap, as it often requires less cutting and framing.


  • Can Shorten Rooms: While it can make rooms appear wider, the horizontal orientation might make spaces feel shorter.

  • Commonality: Horizontal shiplap is more common and might not stand out as much as the vertical option in modern design settings.

Considerations for Your Choice

When choosing between vertical and horizontal shiplap, consider the room's dimensions, your desired aesthetic, and the atmosphere you wish to create. Vertical shiplap can elevate a space with elegance and perceived height, while horizontal shiplap offers a traditional, comforting appeal that broadens the room's appearance.


Whether you choose vertical or horizontal shiplap, this versatile material can significantly impact your home’s design. By understanding the effects of each orientation, you can make an informed decision that enhances your space's aesthetics and aligns with your design vision. Remember, the right shiplap orientation can transform a room, adding character and depth to your home.

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