Where Can You Buy Shiplap?

Pre-Joanna Gaines, practically no one even knew what shiplap was. Now? It’s one of the most highly coveted design elements in the nation. Every modern farmhouse requires at least one accent wall that’s covered in shiplap.

What is shiplap?

What exactly is shiplap, anyway? Loosely defined, shiplap is boards fitted together so each overlaps the one below it. Each panel has a little groove (called a rabbet) so the pieces click together closely. It gets its name from early shipbuilding methods, which employed this technique to create a watertight surface.

Shiplap rocketed to popularity thanks to the show, Fixer Upper. Watching a few episodes of this hit series could lead you to believe that every house has shiplap hidden underneath all that boring drywall. In reality, shiplap construction is more popular in certain areas of the country than others.

Unlike wood paneling, shiplap runs horizontally, not vertically. The material is typically used for outdoor buildings like barns and sheds. No matter where you find it, shiplap was never meant to be exposed, but rather created a layer between the home’s exterior and framing. It was often covered in cheesecloth or muslin and then covered in wallpaper.

Magnolia House bed and breakfast kitchen

Shiplap at the Magnolia House Bed & Breakfast | Magnolia Market

Modern shiplap

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you have shiplap on your walls or not – there are many ways you can achieve that Fixer Upper look by installing it yourself. White painted shiplap gives your room a uniform, clean look that’s modern yet not boring. You can outfit an entire room with shiplap or just make one accent wall. But no matter how you want to incorporate shiplap into your décor, you need a place to source it.

Where can you get shiplap?

Even if your house doesn’t have shiplap hidden beneath the drywall, you can still create the look by installing it yourself. Home improvement stores and online retailers are starting to stock their shelves with this popular material in hopes of capitalizing on the new shiplap trend.

  • Home improvement stores

Find shiplap style wood at The Home Depot, where 8-foot-long boards are sold in 6 packs. Plain pine boards are cheaper than the pre-painted or finished versions, but you can buy them either way. The Home Depot also has instructional videos to help you with installation questions.

  • Local lumber stores

Back in the days before Lowe’s and Home Depot dominated the home improvement game, people used to visit lumberyards to get the wood they needed for projects. In some spots, these lumber sellers still exist, and they offer some of the finest shiplap you can find. The professionals working there can even help if you have questions about installation or can point you in the direction of someone to help you do it.

  • Online

No lumberyard nearby? No problem. You can also order shiplap materials online from popular home improvement locations or from specialty wood retailers with online stores. Then you won’t even need a truck to transport it.

A final word on shiplap

Shiplap | Magnolia Market via Facebook

Anyone who takes on a shiplap project may quickly discover one less-than-favorable aspect of this design feature: it’s expensive.

Depending on how large the area you want to cover, shiplap projects can cost thousands of dollars, and that’s if you’re doing all the work yourself. Luckily, thanks to the popularity of the aesthetic, there are plenty of “fake” shiplap tutorials on the internet that are cheaper than the real thing.

For example, swapping out plywood for notched pine shiplap boards is an easy way to get the look of shiplap for a fraction of the cost. Sarah, who blogs at Making Joy & Pretty Things, installed a whole plank wall for just $30. Get the full tutorial here. You can also find peel and stick shiplap knockoffs that almost look like the real thing. The most important part of your shiplap project is researching techniques and finding the best one that works for you.

Now go forth and enjoy shiplap!