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Wood in Cladding

Timber cladding

Photograph courtesy of NORclad.

Timber Cladding (also known as Timber Weatherboarding and Timber Sliding) is an extremely attractive and economic method to enhance the finish of any building project.

Using naturally resilient materials such as Redwood, Cedar and Larch, you are able to create a highly durable finish to new and existing buildings.

In addition to its natural strength and resilience, Timber Cladding provides excellent natural insulation and protection from the elements.

According to the Building Research Establishment, energy use in buildings is responsible for around 50% of total UK emissions of carbon dioxide. This is almost as much as industry and transport combined.

Using softwood Timber Cladding on a typical three-bedroom house can reduce the CO2 footprint of the house by 2.4 tonnes.

(How does Timber Cladding reduce the CO2 footprint of a property?
  • The natural cellular structure of wood provides good thermal insulation and protection from the elements.
  • The equivalent thickness of wood is 15 times better at insulating a building than concrete, 400 times better than steel and 1770 times better than aluminium.
  • Timber is waste efficient. Virtually all parts of a tree can be utilised during the build process. Even waste products are converted into particleboard and chipboard.
  • Wood is recyclable; it can be deposed of safely and it is biodegradable.
  • A timber certification ensures that the wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests.)

Not only is Timber Cladding better for the environment and more efficient than other building materials, it is sustainable too.


Typical species.
There are many different species of timber that can be used as cladding material. Each species brings its own unique aesthetic finish and natural properties.
Siberian larch is one of the most durable species of coniferous softwood and comes from Siberia in Russia. It is one of the hardest and strongest commercial softwoods, excellent machining properties, though knots may be troublesome.
Siberian larch is suitable for many end uses from external joinery and cladding applications, areas of potentially high impact damage such as schools, shops to boat planking.
Western red cedar from British Columbia (Canada) is slow grown, importantly naturally durable, stable, lightweight and has a natural beauty and warmth complemented by a uniform fine grain which makes it easy to work with and finish.
Home grown (native) cedar is also an option.
Western red cedar is a soft timber and can be nailed or screwed. However, as it is a soft timber it may be more prone to physical damage such as splitting and indentation/bruising, so care should be taken.
European redwood is a very popular species for timber cladding.  This species is also known as Scots Pine, and is imported mainly from Scandinavia.
Redwood has been used for centuries for many internal and external joinery applications.
This species works well with both hand and machine tools, but the ease of working and quality of finish is dependent upon the size, and number of knots, and degree of resin present.
Timber Cladding Treatments
Although timber is resilient in its natural state, specialist preservative treatments should be used to extend, protect and reinforce the natural properties of the cladding.
Treatments such as NORclad Brunnea Treatment impregnate the Timber Cladding with a blend of preservatives and Brunnea pigment.
What are the benefits of these treatments?
  •        Treatment helps to hold and protect the colour and aesthetics of the timber.
  •        Protects the timber from fungal decay.
  •        Protects the timber from wood-boring beetles or termites.
  •        Consistently enriches over time.
Fire Resistance Treatments
There is an ever-increasing demand for Timber Cladding across all sectors of the industry, noticeably in Residential, Education, Health Care and Retail projects.  In these areas, timber cladding may need an additional level of fire protection above the natural fire classification.  This is achievable with additional Fire-Retardant Treatments.  The following link is useful;

Choosing to use timber cladding for your project will enhance and enrich your building design.

It is always recommend that the work and installation of Timber Cladding are carried out by a professional installer.


Contributor: Alistair Brown FIMMM


For information about species see Wood Technology Society/Timber Species


External Websites of interest:

Ref. NORclad Timber Cladding

Everything you need to know about timber cladding your house