Installing Wood Shingles: The Skinny on Spacing

The spacing between shakes and shingles depends on the grain angle, width of the shake or shingle, and moisture content at the time of installation. Flat-grained shakes and shingles shrink and swell almost twice as much as vertical grained ones and require more space between them to avoid buckling.buckled-siding

These shingles were installed with an insufficient gap and have therefore buckled.

Wide shingles require more space than narrow shingles. If the moisture content is low (5%–6%), leave a little extra space; if it is high (above 20%), decrease the spacing slightly. As a general rule for shingles equilibrated to ambient conditions (about 12% moisture content), shingles should be installed about 1/8 to 1/4 in. (3 to 6 mm) apart whereas shakes should be spaced about 3/8 in. (9.52 mm) apart and not more than 1/2 in. (13 mm) apart. Adjacent courses should be offset at least 1 1/2 in. (38 mm). Shakes and shingles siding may be attached to exterior walls in a variety of ways.