Timber and Sustainability

A Full Guide to Cladding Profile Designs

Thermo Ash cladding timber

A breakdown of cladding profile designs and where to use them.

Several factors need to be taken into mind while developing with wood. To ensure that you complete the process effectively, we have compiled the most important aspects for you.

Timber cladding is renowned for its adaptability, providing designers with an abundance of options and encouraging creativity. It is possible to modify the contour, orientation, size, natural look, and finishes to build distinctive structures with lots of personality.

Several cladding profile designs can be seen here:

*Keep in mind to account for movement gaps and, if you're using tongue and groove (T&G) boards, consider the width and thickness of the tongue, which should change based on the species you're using and the width of the board. Unless using Accoya, which is categorised as a small movement species and comes in maximum widths of 195mm, T&G boards should not be wider than 125mm.

Information to Consider When Using Timber Cladding

Moisture and Movement

Because it is a natural material, wood responds to variations in atmospheric moisture. As a result, the wood expands and contracts in response to humidity. The design ought to take this organic flow into account.

Because timber species are divided into movement classes, it is possible to forecast their movements. For instance, a 4% rise in moisture content will only result in a 1% change in the dimensions of pine, oak, and spruce.

When installing lumber, try to strive for a moisture content of about 16% to minimise "breathing," as it is commonly termed.

Durability of Timber Cladding

Because of the mild environment in the UK, it is imperative that you take durability into account when constructing cladding. Only use species that have been approved for above-ground external usage; otherwise, you run the risk of encountering problems.

Outdoor cladding is classed as Use Class 3 in standards. Applications in this Use Class are divided into coated and uncoated sections.

The British climate is, of course, being affected by climate change, and this should constantly be taken into account while designing. According to Defra, any structure intended to last more than 60 years needs to be prepared for both warmer, wetter weather and extreme weather events like storms. Rain and rising temperatures are expected to increase the frequency of decay and pest problems.


Service Life

The benchmark figure for the life of wood used in construction may be found in BS 8417: Timber Preservation - Code of Practice. The desired service life can be divided into three categories: 15, 30, and 60 years. Your specification should always include information on the expected lifespan of your timber cladding.

The standard anticipated lifespan for pressure-treated cladding is thirty years. If the hardwood you're using is inherently durable, you won't need to treat it; the species' durability class will dictate how long the wood is likely to last.

If you still have any questions regarding timber cladding, contact us here!