How Wide Are Battens On Board-And-Batten Siding?

Modern-day board and batten can be a great option to choose for siding on your home. Many current homebuyers and home renovators desire this siding style because of its farmhouse charm, durability, and easy maintenance. Though traditional board and batten has been around for centuries, many design spins have been placed on this classic to make it more customizable. We've researched how wide the battens are typically for board and batten siding.

Traditional board and batten uses wide boards and overlying narrow battens. For this style, the vertical boards will range in width from 6" to 12" with a 1/2" to 1" gap between the boards.  The narrower battens that overlay the boards will range between 2" and 4". 

However, many different designs and styles have emerged from the development of the modern era. The traditional board and batten style isn't necessarily what people think about when they hear the term. Many newer styles require the width of the boards and battens to be different sizes from their traditional counterparts. Please continue as we provide an in-depth look at board and batten styles.

Exterior view of white and gray board and batten three story home, How Wide Are Battens On Board-And-Batten Siding?

What is board and Batten? 

A quick overview; board and batten siding traditionally starts with a wide vertical plank (a board) that is then joined to another board by a thinner, vertical strip (a batten) to cover the seam. This pattern is repeated until the desired surface is covered.  

This design originated from homestead farmers who needed to build structures to be as airtight as possible. Once implemented, this design proved to be simple, efficient, and inexpensive. Though today, there is less efficiency involved, board and batten remains extremely trendy and popular for its aesthetic appeal. 

Vernacular architecture-wooden cottage-board and batten siding over stone foundation

Modern-day Board and Batten Styles

Reverse Board and Batten

Reverse board and batten is exactly how it sounds. Instead of having wide vertical boards with overlapping narrower battens, you'd have wide boards installed overlapping the battens. This essentially will push the battens towards the back and pull the boards to the front. In this case, the width of the boards and the battens don't necessarily change, but the style and installation do. However, you can feel free to experiment with sizes for both of these elements. Find a size that matches the look you are going for.

Horizontal Board and Batten

Horizontal board and batten is also pretty self-explanatory. In this case, instead of installing vertical boards with overlapping narrow battens, you would install the original board horizontally. This look mimics shiplap, with the difference being that shiplap is traditionally a bit narrower boards, and there is not a batten applied in shiplap. From a distance, though, they will look very similar. 

Angled Board and Batten

You guessed it! You can also apply board and batten in an angled pattern. This is when you would apply the original board placed at the angle you desire, stack the other boards, and apply the seam covering battens. The width and shape of the boards and battens will have to be adjusted in this case. This is simply due to the application design of this kind of board and batten. Taking precise measurements will be key. 

Other Variations of Board and Batten 

Board and batten can be installed in many different ways to suit your design taste. You can choose to apply the boards in squares, planks, panels, or even various shapes. As long as the pattern is applied with the boards lining up against each other with a narrower batten covering their seam, it is still considered board and batten. 

You can install board and batten in conjunction with other forms of sidings; it pairs really well with lap siding, brick, and stone. 

Board and batten is highly customizable. Any of these designs, whether it is a more traditional form of board and batten or a more modern-day form, you can ultimately decide what size board and battens you will use to suit the style you are going for. You can change the shape, size, or layout of any of the elements to create a design that flows best for you. 

What Is Board And Batten Siding Made Of?

Originally board and batten siding was made out of old wood from whatever trees were found in nearby places. Today, solid wood is still a popular material to use for board and batten siding. 

However, given some of the less desirable effects of solid wood siding, such as swelling, shrinking, and warping, more materials are becoming available to use. Fiber cement has increased in desirability because it is highly customizable, resists moisture, mold, and insects, is easy to maintain, and doesn't peel or chip. 

A few other popular materials that board and batten can be made from are vinyl and steel. You can also opt to use engineered wood siding. This would give you a look and feel of solid wood, but it would come with increased durability and easier maintenance. 

Is Board And Batten Cheaper Than Lap Siding?

A few factors can change the cost of both board and batten siding and traditional lap siding. These factors include the material used to create the siding and whether or not the installation is professionally handled. 

Board and batten wooden siding can be expected to cost between $4 to $7 per square foot. The preferred material will be one part of the cost, but labor rates are another thing to consider. This type of installation will also vary in cost by geographical location. This is because factors that can make the boards' and battens' application more challenging, such as harsher climates or taller buildings.

Lap siding will vary in cost depending on the type of material you use for the lap design. You can choose to use solid wood, vinyl, fiber cement, or even metal. Each of these materials will have a different cost associated with them. Based on your location, installation rates will vary too. 

In either case, the best way to get an accurate quote is to invite a contractor out to your house. Often they will be able to work up a risk-free quote based on the specifications you're looking for. 

Does Board And Batten Need To Be Caulked?

Board and batten does not need to be caulked to be applied correctly. In fact, traditionally, it is not caulked at all. If you have a specific reason to consider it, you can opt to use caulk for extra support. Doing so will not harm the siding's integrity, but it is quite a hassle for not much benefit in the end; most professionals would not apply caulk when installing board and batten siding.

Is Board And Batten Siding Trendy?

Yes, board and batten siding is both classy and trendy! The way board and batten siding is put together creates a very chic look that has a rustic aesthetic and is very inviting. 

Can Board and Batten Siding be Used on Interior Walls? 

Yes! Board and batten siding is a wonderful and charming way to protect the outside of your home, but it is also equally as wonderful inside of your home as a texture on your wall. Much like with the versatility that comes from this design for exterior siding, there is equally as much versatility available when used as an interior wall covering. 

Additionally, adding the boards and battens to inside walls will increase the walls' durability or even allow for additional support for hanging coats or other heavy objects. Be sure to check out our article about "Types Of Wood Wall Paneling You Should Consider."

In Closing

Board and batten is a wonderful texture to use as a siding or as an interior wall texture. It is durable, low maintenance, classic, chic, and very inviting. Installation is relatively easy to do, affordable, and the designs are highly customizable. You can choose to stick with a traditional size board and batten or customize it to make the design your own. 

Once you've nailed down a board and batten design for your siding, be sure to consider what type of porch lighting will best suit your newly finished siding! Read "17 Types of Porch Light Fixtures for Your Home."

One comment

  1. I have always like the board and batten look on a house. would it be feasible to put a 10 degree angle at the top of my trim piece with a corresponding angle at the bottom of my board and batten siding, so water will not roll up under my siding?

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