Decorating a house with clapboard: how to sheathe walls with your own hands

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Do not confuse wood paneling with MDF veneered panels. These materials, with a similar appearance, differ both in their behavior during operation and in installation. Today we will focus on solid wood lining, the features of its selection and installation on the walls of the house.

Decorating a house with clapboard: how to sheathe walls with your own hands

The choice of wood and lining format

The key indicator that determines the quality of wooden lining is its class. There are four types of this finishing material:

  1. Extra. Lining of this type does not have the slightest signs of defects, such as roll, pulling, knots, pitching, twigs and the like. Thus, the surface of the wood has not only visual uniformity, but also physical integrity..
  2. Class A. The quality of such a lining is somewhat lower than the previous class: small dense knots are present in a limited amount, there are inhomogeneities in the fiber pattern, the formation of a low density and a similar kind of defects. However, the wood has a solid structure.
  3. Class B. At this level of lining quality, the manifestation of pronounced defects is allowed, which exclude the physical homogeneity of the wood. Such defects include radial cracks, tar, fallen knots, etc..
  4. Class C. This group includes sawn timber that has not passed quality control to obtain a higher class.

Lining pine

You should also pay attention to the geometry of the profile of the lining shoulder straps. The generally accepted standard is considered to be a thickness of 12.5 mm with a width of 88 mm, excluding the spike protrusion. It is strongly recommended that when purchasing lining, arm yourself with a caliper and check the base dimensions. A deviation of more than 5% is a clear sign of poor quality products. It is also important that the profile of the lining is maintained along the entire length of the board, otherwise problems with alignment and joining of the locks are guaranteed..

The lining also differs in profile. In addition to the traditional shape with beveled chamfers, there are modifications “Softline” and “Calm” with rounded edges. Lining of the “Land House” and “Block House” type is also popular: the first has a complex milled profile, the second has the shape of a slab, that is, in fact, it imitates a rounded beam. There is only one criterion for choosing a profile shape and wood texture – aesthetic. We only note that hardwood lining is more preferable for use in wet rooms and with significant temperature changes.

Lining profiles

Be sure to pay attention to the quality of processing. The presence of pile on the front surface is unacceptable for the lining: this is a clear sign that the wood was not properly dried before processing. Additionally, check if the lining has so-called plugs: sometimes, to improve the quality class, knots are cut and plugged with solid wood, which ultimately negatively affects the appearance.

Wall surface preparation

Before sheathing the walls with clapboard, you need to properly prepare the rough surfaces. Depending on the type of substrate, the preparation procedure may differ.

Wooden walls must be covered with bio-protective compounds and fire retardants that increase fire resistance. If we are talking about walls with the correct geometry and flatness, for example, frame walls, the lining can be attached directly to them without lathing. However, you first need to hermetically seal the joints between sheet materials and carry out a rough peeling to remove the protruding chips. If, according to the requirements for calculating the moisture accumulation of walls, a vapor barrier is required, it is installed at this stage. Also, a mandatory requirement when decorating walls with clapboard is to provide a ventilation gap, which in this case can be done due to a plastic nodal mesh.

Fastening the battens to thermal insulation

Walls made of brick or concrete for lining are usually insulated using mineral wool or foil-coated isolon, facing the reflective surface inside the room. It is better to install the insulation by gluing it onto polyurethane foam with thorough sealing of all joints and abutments. After that, the subsystem is fastened through the thermal protection.

Installation of battens for lining with insulation

Internal partitions for finishing with clapboard must be sheathed with sheet materials. In addition to OSB, for these purposes, you can use LSU, GVL or a thin edged board. Sheathing of the frame of partitions is necessary to give them monolithic strength, improve sound insulation, as well as stabilize the behavior of inhomogeneous media. And, of course, ensuring the safety of the filler.

The enclosing structures made of hygroscopic materials, such as gas silicate or foam concrete, require waterproofing before finishing with clapboard. This is due to the fact that, due to its small thickness, the wood is highly susceptible to shrinkage and warping. Therefore, the influence of high humidity on such a finish should be excluded by all means, up to the installation of false walls with a ventilation gap..

Installation of lathing

The frame subsystem for clapboard cladding is made mainly of pine planks with a section of 20-25×40 mm. This is a fairly cheap material, besides, it is well suited for reliable fastening. Before this, the material must be dried in room conditions, ideally the humidity should be about 12 ± 3%, that is, the same level of moisture accumulation as in the lining.

The battens of the lathing should be perpendicular to the direction of laying the lining. As a rule, the wood sheathing is directed vertically to avoid joining shoulder straps, that is, the subsystem is located horizontally. The step of installing the slats can be freely selected in the range of 40-60 cm, it depends mostly on the weight of the finishing material, the expected operating conditions, including mechanical stress. It is imperative that the battens are mounted under all corner junctions, this is necessary to fix the linings and baseboards not to the finishing material, but to the element of the subsystem.

Lathing for lining

The most important stage in the installation of the lathing is its alignment into a single plane and the deduction of the geometry of the room. The process should be preceded by the measurement of the room, during which the most significant deviations are noted. Further, one of the walls is taken as the base one, for this purpose it is better to choose the most even plane with the least number of openings. On the walls adjacent to the base, two vertical lines are marked, spaced from the rough plane by the thickness of the battens, plus a tolerance for the original curvature. By connecting the markings on the floor and ceiling with a dyeing cord, four lines of a closed contour are obtained, forming a single plane. The remaining walls are marked in the same way, but now using the “Egyptian” triangle to form right angles.

Aligning the lathing under the lining

The alignment of the rails into a single plane is carried out along the mooring cord using wooden lining of different thicknesses or using pairs of plastic mounting wedges. The fixing of the battens is carried out by means of through fasteners into the base material through the linings; for this purpose, both plastic dowels with a head for a sweep and hardened self-tapping screws can be used. Please note that the system of galvanized profiles for the installation of lining is not suitable: both from the point of view of uniformity of behavior and from the point of view of acceptable ways of fixing the finish.

Wall cladding

The set and fastening to the lathing of the finishing material is carried out by analogy with plastic and MDF panels. The first board is fastened through from the abutment side, the fasteners are subsequently covered with a plinth. On the reverse side, the fasteners are made obliquely into the groove, which is true for all intermediate boards. The last shoulder strap is also attached at both edges.

Fastening the first lining

Mounting lining on the wall

Fastening the lining to the lathing can be done in two ways. For amateur hands, the most suitable fasteners will be self-tapping screws with a threaded body thickness of no more than 2.5 mm, a loose neck about 10 mm long and a 4.5 mm diameter head. This method eliminates damage to the front surface of the finish when finishing nails, and is also considered faster. The pre-thin body of the lining groove can be drilled along the step of the frame.

Fastening the lining with self-tapping screws

In the presence of a stud or nail gun, installation can be carried out on driven fasteners. This solution is best suited for professional decorators. It is recommended to choose 18 gauge studs with a length of about 30–35 mm with a narrow head. First, you need to adjust the energy of the shot: the caps should be quenched into the groove body no more than 1 mm. You can also use brushed pins without heads in the format of a straight or inclined clip: the varnish that holds the pins together melts when the fasteners pass through the wood and acts as an adhesive.

Fastening the lining with nails

When fixing the lining, it is extremely important to leave expansion gaps of 8-10 mm from the adjacent walls and between the abutting shoulder straps of the order of 1-1.5 mm. To prevent insect migration, the gaps in the junctions must be sealed with a plastic filler such as liquid cork, silicone or acrylic sealant. It is important that at the straight joints of the lining, both edges are fastened to the lathing, therefore, along the connection line, it is necessary to provide for the installation of a wide strip – about 60-70 mm.

Balcony finished with clapboard


In most cases, the lining is processed after installation. The exception is walls that are in conditions of high humidity or sudden temperature changes. In these cases, the wood is pre-stabilized, for example, impregnated with hot drying oil. In all other cases, processing of the back surface is not required, this is an unreasonable consumption of materials and efforts.

After fixing, the processing of the lining consists in additional fine grinding of problem areas and the elimination of dents that appeared during fastening, using a putty to match the main coating. It is imperative to perform fire and bio-protection of wood with a colorless composition. Also, an original solution would be to burn the lining with subsequent brushing, but this type of processing should be combined with the general style solution.

A wide range of paints and varnishes can be used as a finishing protective and decorative coating, up to oil impregnation. The choice of finishing method is always an individual decision based on personal aesthetic considerations. For long-term operation in humid environments, it is recommended to cover with polyurethane varnish or natural drying oil with a high wax content.

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