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Thermo Pine AB Grade PAR 1

Vertical or Horizontal Timber Cladding? (With Design Inspiration)

Vertical or Horizontal Timber Cladding? (With Design Inspiration)

When you’re planning a new cladding project, you’ve got a few things to consider. The timber species, the profile — but also its orientation.

A well-executed cladding project looks incredible, adds value and protects your property from the elements. But should yours be vertical or horizontal? Which would work best for your project?

Vertical cladding — sleek and Scandi-inspired

Vertical cladding has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years, particularly for homes and garden rooms.

The long, flowing vertical grooves are elegant and imposing. This can elongate your building and add the impression of greater height, particularly when a narrower board is chosen.

When used sparingly, vertical cladding can also provide a smart contrast and visual break on the building exterior.

Whilst it's an on-trend, contemporary design choice, vertical cladding actually has a long-established history of use on log cabins and agricultural structures. In a darker colour, it is particularly popular for recreating the Scandi barn look.

Cedar vertical
Weathered Cedar House Cladding
Vertical Cladding Thermo Pine
Designer Cladding 1
Horizontal Charred Cladding
Thermo Pine AB Grade PAR 1
Vertical Black Cladding House
Redcar Leisure 2

With vertical cladding, there's also the small added bonus that it follows the general direction of rainfall, making it optimal for drainage and avoiding water penetration.

But with proper installation, horizontal performs just fine. Water ingress shouldn't be a big consideration.

Vertical Cladding Bungalow
Vertical cladding can help to add the impression of height to short buildings.
Vertical Cladding Summer House Ayous
Vertical cladding shadow gap cedar
Larch Shadow Gap Cladding 1
Vertical Cladding Summer House
1 Cladding DTC15 with finish 1
Siberian Larch A Grade Summerhouse Untreated
Siberian Larch (grade A) untreated vertical cladding.
Western Red Cedar Garden Room Cladding 18mm x 128mm DTC7
Western Red Cedar vertical cladding.
Thermo Ayous Garden Room Cladding
Clear-grade Thermo-Ayous vertical cladding.

Horizontal cladding — a timeless, classy choice

Horizontal is certainly the more traditional orientation for cladding, particularly in profiles like feather edge. But in a modern designer profile like V-groove or shadow gap, the result can be stunning and on-trend.

When machined from a quality timber species like Western Red Cedar or Siberian Larch, it's not hard to see why horizontal is a perennial favourite of architects and designers. It blends well into surroundings and offers a cosy look. Simply put, horizontal is never going out of style.

Horizontal Cladding 1
Horizontal Western Red Cedar cladding in a V-groove profile, treated with a UV protectant oil.
Horizontal Cladding 2
Western Red Cedar Bar Garden Room
Horizontal cladding can create a more cosy, at-one-with-nature look.
Horizontal summerhouse cladding 7
Special RAL 5014 Ayous Cladding DTC25 2
Special RAL 5014 Ayous DTC25 Cladding 3
Designer Cladding 3

For a darker and exotic look, try a product like thermally-treated Ayous or Nordic Pine.

To really make a statement, you could also opt for black or charred cladding. The Yakisugi ‘burning’ technique is not only visually arresting, but was popular in ancient Japan for adding durability and strength to wood.

Horizontal Cladding 3

Horizontal cladding is typically easier to install, which might make it your choice for a hassle-free, budget-friendly project, particularly in a feather edge profile.

If you're looking for a 'safe' look — perhaps if you're renovating a property for sale — then horizontal could be the best bet.

It's often presumed that horizontal cladding is inferior for projects that need to withstand a lot of heavy rainfall; it runs counter to the rain, making it more at risk of water ingress. But, as mentioned, a proper installation will negate this possibility.

Pricing Up Cladding 4

Both (or diagonal) —to make a statement

Why not both? Horizontal and vertical cladding can be a way of creating a nice architectural impact. Different walls could have different orientations, creating subtle contrast.

Cladding Mix
Mixed Orientation Cladding
Mixed Orientation Cladding 2
Vertical cladding 2
Cladding case study
Vertical Horizontal Cladding

As well as the vertical-horizontal mix, it’s possible to experiment with diagonal cladding. This was quite popular on homes throughout the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, so can give your project a standout, retro feel. Installation can be more challenging, though.

Diagonal cladding
Cladding mix

Ready to start your cladding project?

Such is timber’s natural beauty, it’s hard to go wrong with either horizontal or vertical.

If you’re looking to keep things traditional and cosy yet stunning, horizontal might be the best choice. This orientation has stood the test of time for good reason. For on-trend architectural flair and the illusion of height, consider vertical.

For a little more inspiration, be sure to check out our completed projects.

To get started, explore our range of timber cladding. We offer a selection of quality imported species and designer profiles in all orientations.

All of our cladding products are machined to profile by us, so if you've got something particularly special or bespoke in mind, we'd love to hear about it. Get in touch using the button below.

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