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Shiplap Madness: The history behind it, and why it’s so popular

It seems as though ever since Fixer Upper first aired on HGTV in 2014, the love of shiplap has skyrocketed. Chip and Joanna Gaines use shiplap in many of their farmhouse-chic homes, and viewers are head over heels for the horizontal planked walls. But what exactly is shiplap? Where did it originate? And why is it so popular? We delve deeper into these questions below.  

The History Behind Shiplap:

Shiplap is thin wood boards that have two opposing rabbet joints that overlap each other. This gives the boards a tight seal to keep the wind, water, and weather out. The name shiplap came from the look of the planks that were used to construct the sides of boats. Shiplap was originally used between a homes exterior and its structural framing. The grooves were then stuffed with an inexpensive cloth, like cheesecloth, and wallpaper was applied to the shiplap to hide it. Back when shiplap was first used, it was never left exposed like how it is today.



Nowadays, people love the exposed look of shiplap walls. And for good reason too. Shiplap has many reasons for popularity, some of which include:

  • Adds texture onto an otherwise bare wall
  • Horizontal lines make the room feel more expansive
  • Can be painted white for a clean, bright look or left in its natural state for a more country chic feel
  • Shiplap is inexpensive!
  • Can be an accent wall in virtually any room, like bathrooms, the kitchen, or living rooms

Would you like shiplap installed in your home? We can do it for you! Give us a call at 810-258-0303 or request a quote here

Written By Megan Arthur: Megan is a Core Pro Ideas Specialist who proudly researches decor ideas for homeowners that are looking for new ways to creatively redo their space.

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