Toung and Groove

Guest Post: Tongue and Groove Vs Shiplap Garden Sheds

A garden shed is a great addition to any garden; they can be used for so many different purposes. The most popular use for garden sheds is to store garden materials or tools, like lawnmowers and barbecues. They come in many different shapes and sizes to suit any garden or lifestyle.

Toung and Groove

The cladding on the outside of a shed is not just cosmetic; it helps to protect the shed from water penetration and weather damage. Tongue and groove cladding is the most popular styles of cladding. The timber used to build sheds with tongue and groove cladding has been specially shaped so that all the panels interlock. The interlocking system prevents water from penetrating the wood, protecting the shed from water damage and rot.

Tongue and groove cladding also makes sheds stronger, the interlocking timber creates a strong panel, which is very durable. Tongue and Groove sheds are always recommended if you want to use your shed to store heavy items or valuable items. Tongue and groove makes a stronger shed, which is harder to break into.


Shiplap tongue and groove sheds share many of the same qualities as regular tongue and groove sheds, but the Shiplap has one special feature. Shiplap cladding has a little channel running along side the timber. This little channel or groove, allows water to run off the shed very quickly. This also helps the shed dry quickly after exposure to rain, helping to protect it from any water damage. Shiplap tongue and groove cladding also gives sheds an attractive appearance and has a robust and sturdy structure.

The third type of cladding is overlap; overlap is exactly how it sounds and rather than the panels interlocking like the shiplap and tongue and groove claddings overlap one another. This is a popular design and probably the most recognised if you are a newcomer to sheds. The overlap panels ensure that rain water runs off the shed creating a reliable design. It is the cheapest of the three claddings and perfect for any storage shed.

So Which Should you buy?

It is clear from the descriptions above that overlap panels do not have as many attributes and features as shiplap or tongue and groove cladding. It is also the most affordable type of garden sheds cladding and the reason for this is because it has the least protection from rainwater making it the least reliable.

This does not mean that it is unreliable just that the other two types of shed cladding namely tongue and groove and shiplap are designed more effectively to increased the reliability and durability.

Many people confuse this information whether it is the way it is worded or just the negative description that has been read but we ant to ensure that you do not perceive overlap cladding as unreliable because it isn’t. The main difference between the claddings is the overlapping and interlocking wood panels. There is a greater chance of water entering the shed via overlapping panels than interlocked as there are gaps occasionally on overlap cladding sheds.

The overlap design is still created to reduce the chances of rain water entering the shed which is why the panels overlap each other allowing the water to run off the shed rather than in. The most important factor and element that should be taken into account when deciding which cladding of shed to buy is what you are going to store in your shed and use your shed for.

This has a large impact on what type of shed cladding you will need for example if you are looking to store large equipment then I would not advise an overlap cladding. Overlap cladding is ideally suited to storing generic storage items such as garden furniture and tools but heavy equipment you may use for hobbies or sit down lawn mowers will be more suited to tongue and groove or shiplap sheds.

If you have a small budget overlap cladding is ideal as it is cheap and cheerful and does the job superbly. Like earlier in the article we stated it is not unreliable just not as enhanced as the other cladding types. I keep on reiterating this point as it is a debate that continues and overlap cladding seems to gain a large amount of negative views but for the affordability the sheds offer that are designed from this cladding it should be given credit rather than criticism.

Middle of the range is tongue and groove cladding and is less expensive than shiplap cladding but has an extensive range of benefits. Shiplap is seen as an expensive item so the middle of the range tongue and groove appeals to many, more than overlap cladding but if you are looking to store heavier and larger items it is a worthwhile cost. If you have the budget then shiplap is a lovely perk but not necessary for many people. Most people are suited to a tongue and groove cladding for the uses that they have for their garden sheds and this would be my advice if you are looking to buy a shed in the near future.

To summarise an overlap shed is ideal for generic garden items that you need to store with shiplap being a luxury if you can afford it whilst tongue and groove is affordability and quality rolled in to one.

For more information on sheds and cladding options visit Waltons. We want to educate you on what is best so you can make the right decision on which shed to buy rather than being pushed in to it by a sales person.