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Should you use Nails or Screws When Installing Shiplap Cladding?

shiplap cladding installation tools

So you bought some shiplap or are in the market? You want to make sure you have the right tools when you begin the installation process, but you aren’t sure if you should use nails or screws. This is a common question that comes up when installing shiplap, and you aren’t alone in wondering which is best. 

Should I use screws when installing shiplap?

Screws have their time and place when doing weekend DIY warrior projects, but they aren’t the best choice when it comes to shiplap. When using screws, you are more likely to split the material. This can lead to unsightly cracks and unusable material. You would also need to predrill the holes, which will add extra time and labor to the project. Screws are also much harder to cover up. Since screws also have larger heads, it can make it difficult for overlapping pieces to fit properly. And on top of everything else, screws are more expensive. We don’t recommend using screws when installing shiplap to save yourself time, money and the headache.

Should I use nails when installing shiplap?

Nails are the best options when installing shiplap cladding. Trim nails are faster to install than screws since you do not need to predrill the material and won’t be risking causing unsightly splits. They can also be easily covered or touched up if needed. When used on rustic shiplap, the nail holes blend in with the material, adding extra character, and won’t require additional touchups. We recommend choosing trim nails when installing shiplap cladding.

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