What is the Difference Between Nickel Gap and Shiplap?

November 03, 2023 3 min read

Paneling wall texture

When it comes to interior design trends, the use of wall paneling has gained significant popularity in recent years. Two popular types of wall paneling that have garnered attention are nickel gap and shiplap. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct characteristics and applications. This blog will delve into the differences between nickel gap and shiplap, exploring their unique features, installation methods, and ideal applications.

Nickel Gap: A Seamless Delight

Nickel gap refers to a type of wall paneling where tongue and groove boards are installed edge-to-edge with a narrow gap between them. The name "nickel gap" originates from the width of the space, typically a nickel's width, between the boards. This design creates a subtle and elegant seam, giving the appearance of a continuous, seamless wall.


Installing nickel gap paneling requires a meticulous approach. The tongue and groove boards are precision milled to ensure a tight fit, eliminating any visible gaps or irregularities on the wall surface. The tongue of one board is inserted into the groove of the adjacent board, making installation simple and efficient. Using a level and nail gun during installation is crucial to maintaining a perfectly even finish.


Nickel gap wall paneling is typically made from solid or high-quality engineered wood. This durable material ensures the longevity and structural integrity of the panels. The narrow gap between the boards creates distinct shadow lines, adding depth and visual interest to the wall. Additionally, nickel gap paneling can be painted in various colors or left in its natural wood finish, providing endless creative possibilities for customization.

Ideal Applications

Due to its seamless appearance and versatility, nickel gap paneling is commonly used in modern and contemporary interior designs. The clean lines and refined aesthetic make it popular for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Whether used as an accent wall or covering the entire room, nickel gap paneling adds a touch of sophistication to any space.

Shiplap: Rustic Charm and Texture Galore

Shiplap wall paneling has a distinctively different profile compared to nickel gap. Characterized by its overlapping horizontal boards, shiplap offers a more pronounced texture and a rustic, farmhouse-inspired look. The unique design of shiplap creates shadow lines between each board, adding depth and visual appeal to any room.


Installing shiplap requires installing each board over the top edge of the previous board, concealing the nails to keep them out of sight. The seams between boards are more pronounced than in nickel gap installation, highlighting the distinctive charm of shiplap. While the installation process might take a bit more time and effort, the end result is well worth it.


Shiplap panels are usually made of solid wood, including pine or cedar, further enhancing its rustic allure. This durable construction ensures a long-lasting and authentic look. Shiplap paneling is known for its ability to withstand wear and tear while adding texture and warmth to any room. It can be painted or stained in various colors to match the desired aesthetic, lending itself to endless possibilities for design creativity.

Ideal Applications

Shiplap's unique texture and rustic charm make it a popular choice for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. It is often used in living rooms, bedrooms, and dining areas, evoking a nostalgic feeling that complements cottage, farmhouse, or coastal styles. Shiplap is also commonly used to create statement walls or as accents on ceilings, enhancing the overall ambiance of a space.

Shop Wallplanks Today

Understanding the differences between nickel gap and shiplap wall paneling is essential when considering which option best suits your interior design vision. While nickel gap provides a seamless, modern aesthetic, shiplap offers a rustic, textured charm. Both styles have unique qualities and can transform any space into a visual masterpiece.

If you want to elevate your interior design with the timeless appeal of high-quality wall paneling, Wallplanks is your go-to provider. With a wide range of options, including nickel gap and shiplap paneling in various finishes, Wallplanks offers unparalleled craftsmanship and style.

Visit our website today to explore our stunning collection of wall paneling and discover how you can enhance your space with their exceptional products.
Remember, your walls deserve more than just paint – they deserve the elegance and sophistication that Wallplanks' paneling can bring.

So why wait? Begin your transformative interior design journey with Wallplanks today!

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