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Square Edge Cladding – Tips, Advice, and How to Install

Square edge cladding is a classic, clean cladding profile which creates modern facades on various types of buildings. Although one of the more ‘simple’ looking cladding profiles, square edge cladding is extremely versatile and, when paired with the perfect timber specie, can have a striking effect.

What is Square Edge Timber Cladding?

As the name suggests, square edge cladding is comprised of straight timber boards, creating linear cladding. These planks have uneven edges sawn off resulting in a straight, uniform look. Waney edge cladding, on the other hand, is the result of unsawn timber left with characteristic uneven edges.

Square edge cladding is usually supplied with a sawn-finish but can be planed smooth if desired. Cladding that isn’t planed offers a more rustic aesthetic, best suited to outbuildings or other more traditional style buildings. The uniformity and smooth finish of planed square edge cladding presents a more modern, clean style similar in looks to that of shiplap cladding.

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What is Square Edge Cladding Used for?

Square edge cladding is versatile due to its simple and consistent finish. Therefore, square edge cladding suits almost all buildings and styles, whether a more traditional outbuilding or barn, or a modern, contemporary façade.

Feather edge timber cladding offers a similar look to square edge cladding, however the exaggerated overlap creates a more countryside feel. Find out more about feather edge cladding here.

Square Edge Cladding Installation Tips

Decide on fixing

Typically square edge boards will be installed with a small gap between, this visually creates what is referred to as a shadow gap. Varying from project to project, small narrow spacing of 5-10mm to create the visual, through to those with a clear defined spacing of 40mm+ between boards.

Use correct nails

It is often advised to use stainless steel fixings when installing timber cladding. This is to prevent staining of the timber or corrosion.

Prevent splitting

Aim to place fixings on square edge timber cladding about 5cm or more away from the edge of the board to avoid splitting the timber.

Consider growth

When installing timber cladding, always consider how the cladding may shrink, split or warp over time. Depending on various aspects such as species and moisture, timber can shrink by up to 10% in the first couple of years.

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Benefits of Square Edge Cladding

Variable aesthetic

Depending on the desired aesthetic, square edge can be sawn to match. Square edge cladding can be planed to be more uniform and smooth, or left as rugged for a more rustic look. These distinctions can be impactful to the overall aesthetics of a façade using square edge cladding.

Versatile placement

Square edge cladding can be installed horizontally or vertically (also known as Yorkshire style). As the cladding profile is linear and uncomplicated, installation should be fairly simplistic compared to other profiles. This lack of complexity lends itself well to vertical and horizontal installation.


Timber cladding can last for many years and remains robust against weather and conditions for many decades. Choose a naturally durable timber specie and benefit from it for over half a century.

Suitable for all specie

Square edge cladding is a suitable profile for all timber species. Whether a specie is chosen for its natural durability, its weight, or its looks, any specie is suitable for square edge cladding.

To find out more about the qualities and appearance of different species, check out our guide. Here at NORclad we supply a range of popular hard and softwoods for timber cladding on a range of exciting projects.


Timber is a truly renewable building resource, able to replenish itself through replanting and growth. Therefore, timber cladding is a great material to use when building modern projects, especially when there are sustainability considerations. To ensure quality and proper forest management, be sure to purchase timber cladding from verified suppliers who source only FSC or PEFC certified timber.

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Learn More with NORclad

If you are looking to elevate your next project with a stunning facade, or add sustainable elements to a building, get in touch with NORclad. Our team of timber cladding experts help architects, project managers and more to find the ideal timber cladding solution for their project, from choosing the right specie to deciding on the profile.

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2020-12-24T09:43:32+00:00December 23rd, 2020|

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