Wood is a perfect choice for siding because of its extraordinary look and natural durability. When it comes to wood siding, you have many options to choose from.
There are a number of hardwood and softwood species used for siding. Even if you find solid wood siding not suitable for your building, you can always go for manufactured wood siding options such as engineered wood, vinyl and fibre cement.
With so many wood siding options out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your project. Having a brief idea of the different types of wood siding along with their pros and cons is a good starting point. This article aims to help you select the right type of wood siding that matches your style preferences.
Here’s all you need to know about the different types of wood siding based on the style, material, and wood species.
What is Wood Siding?
Wood siding is a type of building product that is used on a building’s exterior to provide protection against elements such as dirt, heat, and moisture. Basically, The building’s exterior is seamlessly wrapped in wood siding, creating a wood-like aesthetic.
Wood is one of the favored materials for siding because of its natural classy appearance and good durability. Wood siding is a common choice in traditional-style homes and cottages. With proper maintenance, good quality wood siding can easily last many years, even decades, and will keep protecting your building.
Factors to consider when choosing Wood Siding
Consider these factors when buying new wood siding:
Appearance: There are hundreds of species of wood and you can easily find one that matches your style. Outside of wood, you have plenty of options such as vinyl and engineered wood siding.
Cost: Siding made with solid wood is generally more expensive than other options, but this may not always be true. Softwood siding such as pine and fir are usually cheaper than hardwoods.
Durability: Since you will install the siding on your building’s exterior, the siding material’s durability should be your primary concern. See what kind of durability you need in terms of resistance to moisture, insects and weathering.
Installation & Maintenance: You must also consider the complexity and cost of installing the siding. Solid wood siding might ask for more maintenance than manufactured siding.
Sustainability: If you’re concerned about the environment, go for sustainable solid wood siding options such as pine and cedar, which leave a low carbon footprint when making.
Types of Wood Siding Based on Style
Based on the style or appearance, wood siding can be of the following types:
Tongue and Groove Wood Siding
As the name suggests, this type of wood siding uses a tongue and groove mechanism to install the siding. This type of joint is tight and strong and is commonly seen in hardwood flooring. The base material can be wood or anything wood-like. The siding can be laid out horizontally or vertically as needed.
Pros of tongue and groove wood siding include tight joints, versatility in terms of material choice, and easy installation. Cons might include difficulty maintaining or repairing individual boards and an average design.
In this type of wood siding, small rectangular sawn (surfaces and sides made smooth) pieces of wood are used. The pieces are generally of varying width. They are horizontally arranged by placing them near each other (without overlapping). This type of siding is easy to install and can be done without professional help.
Pros of shingles wood siding include easy installation, a clean & attractive look that can be replicated with alternatives like vinyl or metal. This wood siding may have gaps and can, therefore, be prone to insect attack. It may also need to be stained frequently.
Small rectangular pieces of timber split from a log, sanded and polished (maintaining the rough appearance) and are horizontally arranged and installed on a wall. The pieces are usually overlapped to achieve a more natural, classic look.
Pros of shake wood siding include natural wood texture and grain and a wonderful, classy appearance. However, this wood siding can be expensive, difficult to repair, and can trap moisture.
Board and Batten
Vertical boards of timber are placed close to each other at even spaces. Special, narrow wood strips called “battens” are nailed over the gaps (between boards) to provide a strong barrier against weathering. This type of siding is commonly used in barns, big homes and commercial spaces.
Pros of the “board and batten” siding include a clean & attractive look, ease to customise, and outstanding durability. However, it may not be very suitable for smaller buildings or homes.
Long horizontal timber boards with one edge wider than the other are placed one after the other to form a clapboard-style siding where each board naturally overlaps the next one. It looks attractive and doesn’t let rainwater store on the siding, preventing damage by moisture.
Drop channel is a popular type of lap siding where each board has a channel cut into its bottom edge to allow the next board to fit automatically without leaving any gap. It can be installed in any pattern as needed.
Pros include easy installation, resistance to water and weathering, and easy customising. Gaps between boards can invite dust and insects.
Logs have been a very popular siding material for many generations. However, finding the right logs in exact same dimensions for use in siding is nearly impossible, which is why split logs are used. As the name suggests, this type of siding uses half-round or rounded planks cut from full logs to achieve a log-cabin-like look on the exterior. This must be used in its natural appearance and cannot be painted or stained.
The pros of split-log siding include natural, log-cabin, cheaper and more convenient than classic full-log sides, and easy to install. The only drawback is that they may only fit cabin-style homes or cottages.
Top Types of Wood Siding Based on Material
There are literally 1000s of types of wood out there, and many of them can be used for siding. Softwoods are preferred over hardwoods due to their easy availability, great workability and lower price. Other than real wood, materials such as wood fibre cement, vinyl and engineered wood are also popular siding alternatives.
Natural Wood Siding Materials
Wood remains the most popular option for siding because of its natural beauty and durability. There are hundreds of wood siding options to choose from. Here are the top ones:
Cedar is one of the most popular woods for siding. It is a strong and durable softwood which is easily available and is generally inexpensive. Cedar siding is resistant to moisture and insects and can do with little maintenance.
Pine is the best alternative to cedar siding. It is not as durable but it can be treated to make your pine siding water-resistant. It is also easily available and costs less than cedar.
It is a softwood, the same as pine and cedar but less durable. As an inexpensive wood, cedar is used in low-cost siding projects. It requires high maintenance.
Cypress hardwood is a popular choice for exterior siding due to its high durability and low maintenance.
Fir or Douglas Fir is another softwood used for siding. It is prized for its workability, as the wood is effortless to cut for building tongue-and-groove siding. It is, however, not resistant to rot or insects.
It is a stable wood with good resistance to shrinking, which makes it an ideal choice for siding. However, it can be expensive.
Oak is a beautiful and durable hardwood used for exterior siding. When buying oak wood for siding, make sure that it can resist exposure to sunlight.
Cumaru is an exotic wood like Iroko and Garapa that can be used for making high-quality siding that can last for generations.
Other Popular Siding Materials
Here are some popular alternatives to consider.
Engineered wood products such as fiberboard are also commonly used for exterior siding. They are durable and usually less expensive than real wood.
Despite being a popular and durable siding option, vinyl can be customised to look like wood and can offer many options in terms of colour and patterns.
Wood Fibre Cement
This type of siding is made from real wood fibres, which are mixed with cement, water, and sand to form strong and durable boards for wood-like siding.
Charred wood is formed by burning solid wood with an open flame, which forms a black layer of char on the timber surface making it resistant to insects and moisture. Charred wood panels are used for siding.
Thermowood is a wood that has been treated with chemicals to make it resistant to water and insects.
Conclusion – Buy Wood Siding Online
With so many wood siding options, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. If you need professional help, our wood consultants are just one call away. Get all your wood siding questions answered by an expert. Looking to buy wood for your exterior siding? Visit White Knight Consulting LTD to explore our vast range of sustainable timber or call us today to discuss your timber requirements.