Screws or nails?
Normal practice is to install timber cladding using ‘face fixed’ nails or screws – fixing the cladding to the batons behind, through the front face of the timber cladding.
Softwood - for most cladding softwoods, small headed ring shank nails are recommended. However for low density species such as Western Red Cedar, larger heads are recommended to avoid the potential for nails being pulled through.
Hardwood - on hardwoods and some higher density softwoods (ie. Siberian Larch, Douglas fir), the use of screws is recommended. For such dense species with a potential for splitting around fixing points, the pre-drilling of 2mm oversize pilot holes should be carried out to allow for any movement in the board that may occur after installation. On green oak, to take up the shrinkage that will occur, it is important to use at minimum 4mm oversize pilot holes with washers or fixings with larger heads.
Picture shows heat treated Platowood Frake hardwood cladding. Fixing with large headed stainless steel screws into 2mm oversize holes to allow for any movement. Photo: Howarth Timber.