Timber cladding as a decorative resource is gaining ground nowadays. It is already common to use timber for designing and cladding a wall today. Plus, it is one of the cheapest décor options.
Solid wood, conglomerate, shavings, plywood…there are many options and all have the same function: They give warmth and personality to the wall cladding. However, it is convenient to be clear about the advantages and disadvantages in order to make the most appropriate decision.
Wood is one of the most used materials in construction since ancient times. The reason for its success is its versatility, abundance, resistance, and aesthetics. Many civilizations leveraged this material to build houses and temples.
Next, the pros and cons of timber cladding.
Pros of installing wooden walls
Sustainability: Wood is the least intensive raw material in terms of energy consumption. It is recyclable, biodegradable, reduces climate change, and is the most sustainable for construction.
Warmth: This material is, without a doubt, one of the most effective when it comes to conferring visual warmth to a room. For this reason, many opt for timber cladding.
Wood is a hot material. A material like wood is usually very similar to room temperature, which in cold weather gives us warmth.
Insulates from the cold: Northern European countries know it well. Wood is an excellent insulator to protect against the cold outside.
Regulates humidity: Another characteristic of timber is that it has hygroscopic properties, which means it can attract water in the form of vapor or liquid from the environment. This way, it regulates humidity.
Energy efficiency: Its insulating capabilities make it an energy-efficient material that can keep a room cool or warm, eliminating the need for air conditioning or heating in a room.
Improves sound quality: Its insulating capacity can absorb sound waves and avoid reverberation. This is the main reason why auditoriums and music halls often have timber cladding.
It is very resistant: Good wood can last a lifetime. This material offers great resistance to compression. The typical American homes made of wood are a good example of this. Despite their thin walls and light structure, they are able to resist hundreds of years with great stoicism.
Cons of installing wooden walls
Does not retain enough heat: Despite being an excellent insulator, it does not accumulate and retain as much heat as stone and ceramic do.
It swells: The hygroscopic properties regulate humidity, but at the same time they affect the wood and modify its dimension. The gaps between the fibers are so small that they create Van der Waals forces, which catch water from the atmosphere. This means the timber swells or shrinks depending on ambient humidity.
Types of wood
Wood is a versatile and decorative material that offers tons of great benefits.
It never goes out of style, so installing timber cladding will always be in. It adds a rustic, minimalist, and modern touch.
If you are looking for wood cladding, play a little with the wood you choose. You can use different finishes, various types of wood, a variety of colors, volumes, and so on.
To know which wood is the most suited for your timber cladding, you should look into the different types of wood. In general, wood is divided into 2 categories in the construction field: hardwood and softwood. Keep reading to know more.
Hardwoods come from long-growing trees, which makes them usually more expensive. They have quality properties and aesthetics, but they are more resistant and difficult to work with. Some hardwoods are:
Mahogany: This reddish-colored tropical wood is highly resistant to woodworm. It is often used on floors and doors.
Shiplap cladding: Shiplap can be made from materials like wood, plywood, or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which offer protection.
Oak: despite being very resistant, it tends to crack and is not easy to work with. You can find it in light brown or grayish hues. It is used on parquet floors and some furniture.
Walnut: it has wavy grain and is chocolate colored. It is widely used in paneling, doors, and decorations. The worst thing is that it is very prone to woodworm.
Cherry: presents beautiful colors that change from a pinkish brown to a mahogany red throughout time. Perfect for cladding or furniture.
Olive: it is one of the most decorative thanks to its sinuous and striking veins. It is yellow, gray, and red. Olive is widely used in rustic furniture.
Beech: very popular for flooring and furniture. It is light-colored and more resistant than oak.
You don’t have to spend as much time growing these trees to use their wood, making it more affordable. Soft woods are very elastic and moldable, but their resistance and sensitivity to humidity are lower. Certainly, they are better insulators than hardwood and the most suitable for timber cladding.
Below are some popular softwoods:
Pine: one of the cheapest and most used in construction. It is honey-colored and very easy to work with. It is used on paneling, furniture, trim, and other woodworking.
Cedar: cedar cladding is made from red cedar lumber that comes in the form of lap panels, shingles, and battens. Cedar cladding is stained and painted to increase durability, enhance aesthetic value, and satisfy individual preferences.
Brown: It is as strong as it is elastic, which makes it perfect for friezes, moldings, decks, and windows.
Fir: light, soft, resistant, and elastic. Some attributes that make it the most suitable for timber cladding.
Birch: it is between yellowish and reddish, and it is usually used in coatings, friezes, and moldings. Besides, it is very elastic but not as resistant as other types of wood.
Larch cladding: Larch has been used in timber cladding for centuries due to its multiple uses and unknown and high resistance to humidity, which leads it to be widely chosen in the manufacture of facades and cladding.
Timber cladding offers a wide variety of finishes and can adapt to customer needs. Unlike materials such as stone or stoneware, tongue and groove cladding is simpler, and the installation is cheaper and time-saving.