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Architectural Timber Cladding – Timber Inspiration and Practical Tips

Giving character and personality to a building is something all architects want to achieve within their designs. Fighting against the humdrum buildings in our towns and cities, architects help add excitement, purpose and innovation to buildings and building design.

For both residential and commercial buildings, there are so many architectural styles and types of designs to utilise and leverage – helping contribute to buildings that not only look nicer but also function much better and improve quality of life for those using the space.

Whatever style an architect wants to follow, one of the first steps is thinking about building materials and how to turn a drawing into a real, purposeful building.

Timber cladding has become a favourite amongst architects and the general public alike. The natural beauty of the wood, combined with favourable environmental credentials (and price), mean it is a reliable choice to deliver the results required. It is also much easier to get relevant planning permission with something like timber cladding than it is with more obscure materials.

Timber cladding is also very workable, helping architects incorporate innovative designs, shapes and ideas into their buildings that previously weren’t possible with materials like brick and stone.

So, if timber cladding is so useful for architectural design, what should architects know about using timber cladding in the real-world?

We’ve outlined a few key practical things to consider when thinking about using timber cladding in building design. To learn more or to get a quote on timber cladding, simply fill out a form and we’ll help you get started.

Timer Cladding Inspiration

Arguably the first step to getting the most out of timber cladding is to get some inspiration and ideas from current buildings. Our portfolio here at NORclad has a wide range of examples and case studies from previous builds and architects who have used timber cladding within their designs.

These buildings help illustrate and celebrate everything that’s possible with timber cladding.

From painted larch cladding that wraps around a whole building, to using an oak cladding façade to create contrast against brick or stone, there are a wealth of possibilities, so seeing what’s already out there can help get the creative juices flowing.

Browse our examples online or feel free to get in touch with our friendly team who can discuss other examples and how we can help you learn more.

Timber Cladding Profiles

Timber cladding comes in a selection of cladding profiles. The term “profile” refers to how the cladding is pieced together and will influence the overall appearance of the finished cladding.

This empowers architects to use timber cladding to create unique character that best reflects what the overall vision and ambition for the building is. From rustic overlapped shingles to sleek rainscreen cladding, the timber boards can be pieced together in a way suits your building design.

Ambitious architects may want to explore creating contrast simply by changing the profile throughout a building. A subtle change could create a big impact. This could be used to create a striking building façade, for example.

Cladding can also be used both vertically and horizontally, so this is something to think about in terms of how you want the timber boards to fix together and look.

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Timber Cladding Species

Architects are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what timber species to use. Different species will have different properties and appearances. They will also weather and age differently, so this is always worth bearing in mind when thinking about the long-term aesthetics of a building.

Larch and cedar are popular cladding species, but we also work with hardwoods like oak and sweet chestnut that can deliver majestic results.

The species chosen will impact how easy it is to work with and how the timber can be used to create shapes and lines.

Once the species is chosen, you may choose to stain or paint the cladding.


Not all timber cladding is created equal. Some cladding has better sustainability credentials and helps contribute to traceability and accountability in the industry. Here at NORclad, all our timber comes with all the relevant certificates to ensure you know exactly where your timber has come from.

Buyers should be aware of PEFC and FSC certification in particular.

Fixtures and Installation

Particularly for architects looking to create a complementary and modern look, having timber cladding that is fixed and installed to the highest standard will create the desired wow factor.

Simple things like using stainless steel fixings are paramount if architects want to get the most out of the timber and having timber boards that last the test of time.

Check out our guide on timber cladding installation for tips and advice when installing cladding boards.

It is also worth thinking about how the cladding sits alongside windows, doors and other features. This is where corner and bespoke fixings may be required to maintain a high finish throughout the building.


With a plethora of benefits, timber cladding can enhance any residential or commercial building – both externally and internally.

Architects can really leverage timber cladding by focusing on what the purpose and requirements are from the building. This may help decide what timber species to use, and whether the cladding is better suited for interior use rather than exterior.

This is where expert knowledge in timber cladding can help make those all-important cladding recommendations based on what you want to achieve.

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To learn more about NORclad®, our approach and our products, simply get in touch with us today.

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If you’re stuck for inspiration and want to see working examples of our expertise, feel free to browse through our case studies.

Our Case Studies
2020-10-15T12:04:51+01:00July 20th, 2019|
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