What’s the Difference Between Shiplap and Beadboard?

Wood paneling rose in popularity in the 1950s and is making a huge comeback. If you are considering adding wood paneling to your home, you may be considering Shiplap and Beadboard. So, let’s break down how they are different and which one is best for you.

The main difference between shiplap and beadboard is how the boards fit together. Shiplap panels are connected end to end, whereas beadboard planks are set side by side. Shiplap is also far easier to install and cheaper than beadboard.

What Is The Difference Between Shiplap And Beadboard?

Let’s further break down these differences to help you choose the right type of wood paneling for your project or your home. Read on!

How Are Shiplap and Beadboard Different?

Shiplap and beadboard panels are different based on how they connect, their price, and size variations. Their designs also differ. These factors are subtle but important based on your preferences.

While both are great wood paneling options, there are some significant differences that you may want to know before you invest in either type of paneling. So, let’s discuss these differences in more detail.

1. How They Connect

Shiplap panels connect with rabbet joints.

These are grooves on the edge of the wood panels that act like a lip.

The lips on rabbet joints fit together with the grooves to connect them.

These joints are fairly easy to connect and stay connected well due to precise measuring.

Beadboard panels are similar to shiplap panels because rabbet joints also connect them.

The main difference is actually where the panels connect.

Shiplap panels connect end-to-end, whereas Beadboard panels connect side-to-side.

Though they use the same tongue and groove method of connecting, the area in which they connect is different.

Manufacturers design shiplap panels horizontally, while they design beadboard panels vertically.

Beadboard also typically comes in larger pieces than shiplap.

While you can get beadboard panels in single panel form just like shiplap, they typically come in larger sections.

Because of how the two types of wood paneling connect, shiplap paneling is easier to install than beadboard paneling.

It requires a lot less effort to put together.

However, if you get larger pieces of beadboard paneling that are available, it may be easier to cover larger spaces.

2. Price

Another major difference between these two types of paneling is their price.

Beadboard is typically more expensive than shiplap panels.

So, you can expect to pay more if you choose beadboard, but there are a few valid reasons for this.

First, consider how they fit together.

As discussed above, both types of panels connect differently.

Shiplap panels connect easier than beadboard panels, but shiplap panels tend to leave a gap between boards.

This is a great place for dirt or moisture to get into.

So, be careful when choosing shiplap, as you will need to ensure that the small gaps stay clean.

Beadboard is more expensive than shiplap, but you don’t have to worry about gaps unless there is an installation error.

So, consumers are willing to pay more for no gaps between panels.

This won’t be much of an issue indoors as water shouldn’t make its way to your wall, but it can still allow dirt and grime to build up if not regularly cleaned.

3. Panels

Another big difference between shiplap and beadboard panels is how you can buy them.

Normally, shiplap panels are sold individually and connected to each piece.

However, beadboard manufacturers typically sell large panels together to save time when installing.

Beadboards typically come in larger sections that are installed the same way as smaller sections but cover a larger area.

This means that you can get some larger designs with beadboard that may not be available with shiplap panels.

4. Design

Another major difference between shiplap and beadboard panels is their design.

Beadboard panels have a more classic and old-school design.

Designers planned beadboard to feel cozier and blend in well with the environment.

Meanwhile, designers planned shiplap panels to be more modern in their appearance.

Shiplap panels will draw the eyes as soon as someone enters the room.

These panels are dynamic and command attention, whereas beadboard panels blend in and appear more natural.

Is Shiplap or Beadboard Paneling Better for Your Home?

Shiplap paneling is overall the better option for your home than beadboard paneling. Shiplap panels are cheaper, modern, and easier to install. Meanwhile, beadboard panels are more expensive, harder to install and offer a classic, rustic feel.

The choice is up to you, but there are certainly benefits for both types of wood paneling.

So, the answer will depend on what you are looking for and the kind of aesthetics you are planning to employ in your home.

Shiplap is the best option to cover smaller areas in your home, especially when doing DIY projects.

It is great for accent work as it will draw eyes wherever you place it.

More modern designs should use shiplap paneling instead of beadboard.

It is also cheaper and easier to install. So, if you are on a budget, it is definitely the right option for your home.

As discussed, beadboard is a great option for covering large areas in your home because it also comes in large options.

So, you can cover a good area with just one board.

However, due to the large size, it is more expensive.

You may also have to shoulder bigger shipping or transportation costs.

Moreover, it can be harder to install than shiplap paneling and may require the help of professionals.

Beadboard panels also offer more of a classic, rustic feel compared to shiplap panels.

This is great for homeowners who prefer a classic look compared to a modern one.

It is common to see beadboard panels going halfway up the wall in older homes, and you can easily bring that design to your home.

Overall, shiplap panels are the best choice for a cheap but modern design.

However, if you don’t mind spending some extra money, beadboard panels can bring a classic look to your home.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are some significant differences between shiplap and beadboard wood panels, but they are both great options for any home.

Shiplap panels are cheaper and easier to install than beadboard, but they don’t come in large sections or give your home that rustic feel that beadboards do.

Both wood panels can add a unique flair to any room in your home.

So, check out shiplap and beadboards when you want to add a nice accent to your home and consider them both carefully.

Cheers, tools owners!

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.