Wood Cladding Guide – Part 2
Anleitung zur Holzverkleidung – Teil 2

Wood Cladding Guide – Part 2

What is the Best Wood for Exterior Cladding?

Wood is incredible and diverse. All woods in the world have different technical characteristics – what are the best types of wood paneling for an exterior paneling project? A species is usually suitable if it meets these criteria—durable, dimensionally stable, rot-resistant, and attractive. Here are four fantastic outdoor wood siding options.

1. Western Red Cedar

  • Average dry weight: 370 kg / m³.
  • Grain: Straight grain, medium to coarse texture.
  • Colour: Red to pinkish brown with darker red/brown stripes. Varies in color.
  • Rot resistance: Very high.
  • Machinability: Excellent machining properties, accepts both screws and nails well.
  • Source: British Columbia.

Cedar is a light-weight, relatively low-density softwood. Despite this, it is one of the most suitable woods for exterior cladding because it is stable and not sensitive to the weather. Thanks to this, this light species lasts a long time and is easy to care for.

The color variant of cedar is popular for its aesthetic qualities, ranging from brown to yellow to pink (not to mention that wood can also be painted however you like!).

However, it is naturally resistant to rotting, so it probably won’t need any treatment before installation. That’s not to say a little UV protection is a bad idea.

As the material is supplied in the form of a torn strip, the boards have already been sawn to a specific thickness and width. This means that the wood is often graded and ‘glued’ into length specification before being air dried and profiled.

Due to its soft properties, Western Red Cedar is very suitable for working and screwing and nailing with good results. However, make sure to use stainless steel fasteners!

2. Siberian larch

  • Average dry weight: 630 kg / m³.
  • Grain: Generally straight or spiral. Medium to fine texture.
  • Colour: Yellow to medium brown.
  • Rot Resistance: High.
  • Machinability: Good machining properties, accepts both screws and nails well.
  • Source: Siberia (Russia).

Like cedar, Siberian larch is a softwood. However, with a density of 630 kg/mᵌ, it is actually denser than many hardwoods.

Siberian Larch is an extremely versatile species that is popular for decking and flooring projects. It has good overall nailing and screwing performance, making it a great trim material.

People often ask us about the differences between larch and cedar siding. Both are perfect for an exterior cladding project – your choice will come down to personal preference and budget as the two types of wood have distinct differences in color and appearance.

The heartwood of Siberian larch can range in color from light yellow to medium straw yellow. This is a great wood for a natural finish.

3. European oak

  • Average dry weight: 720 kg / m³.
  • Grain: Straight, with a coarse, uneven texture.
  • Colour: golden brown colour.
  • Rot resistance: Very high.
  • Machinability: Good machining properties, accepts both screws and nails well.
  • Source: France

Unlike larch and cedar, European oak is classified as a high-density hardwood. The golden brown color of European oak is generally straight, although its growing conditions can cause this to vary.

The stunning aesthetic beauty of European oak can be enhanced by choosing one of the various coloring options.

European oak stock imported into the UK has already been fired, finished and finger jointed prior to delivery. Because the boarding is glued and finger connected, it can be supplied in longer, more stable 4.5m lengths.

Although it’s relatively well machined, nailing and screwing can be a bit more difficult – so pre-drilling is recommended. It’s also worth noting that oak reacts with iron, so stainless steel nails or screws are your best bet.

For a beautiful, longer hardwood siding, oak is your best bet.

4. Thermowood

  • Average dry weight: 450 kg / m³.
  • Grain: Generally straight. Medium to fine texture.
  • Colour: Dark brown tone throughout.
  • Rot Resistance: Moderately resistant to rot.
  • Machinability: Good machining properties, accepts both screws and nails well.
  • Source: from the Baltics, delivered on a curtain-side carriage.

Thermowood is a heat treated medium density pine making it a softwood. It is denser than cedar but not as dense as Siberian larch.

Because the wood is thermally modified, it offers stability, less shrinkage, movement (swelling), cupping and warping. It is also good for screws and nails.

Thermowood has a beautiful dark brown tone. If you are looking for dark wood paneling look no further than Thermowood.

How to treat wooden cladding?

Once you’ve selected a profile and a suitable wood species for your cladding, you may want to learn more about treating your wood to ensure it’s up to the task.

Unfortunately, there is no weatherproof paneling. Exterior panels are almost always exposed to direct sunlight at some point during the day. This may discolor the fairing, turning it into a silver or gray color.

Some people enjoy natural wood paneling as it is left to the weather. However, if you want to prevent this, a UV protective varnish can be applied.

UV protectant

UV protective oik can be applied with a brush, cloth or spray. This type of protective treatment protects the wood paneling from sunlight damage, allowing the wood to retain its color for a much longer period of time.

If the fairing is in an area with direct sunlight, we recommend recoating it every two years. However, if she is in a shady area, give her a treatment every three years. Think of it like a sunscreen that you have to apply every few years!

What time of year should I install my wood cladding?

Cladding a building in wood is no easy task and there are a number of things to consider – even the time of year to install it! Although you can install new siding year-round, the best time is between October and April. This is to ensure the wood does not shrink or curl in warm weather.

Therefore, plan your new cladding in the summer months. This way, you have plans well in advance, giving you plenty of time to select and source the types of wood that are right for your project.

How long does the wood cladding last?

With proper maintenance, weatherproof woods such as Thermowood, Western Red Cedar, and Siberian Larch paneling are known to last anywhere from 30 to 60 years.