To char or to stain?

Black cladding is all the rage right now. A black clad house is the epitome of a sleek, clean and modern build. There are two main ways to achieve this look, both of which have their pros and cons, let's explore charring and staining.



The first is to use charred timber cladding. The timber is literally burnt using a centuries old method that is common in Japan and Northern Europe. The charring process produces a layer of carbon that provides protection from the elements and is resistant to fungal or insect attack. The main benefit of charred cladding is its stability, longevity and lack of maintenance. Whilst a second coat of oil is advised 5 to 7 years after installation, it can largely be left as is. As the moisture content is greatly reduced there should be very little movement. The only significant downside is that the charring process can tend to make the edges a bit more brittle and easy to break. It is also a more expensive option than staining.



color gradient

The second way to achieve that clean black finish is to stain your timber cladding with an oil based tint. The timber is run through a coating machine which evenly coats all four sides in a ready to use finish. The stain will coat the timber in a black colour but still allow the grain to be visible. A significant advantage of staining rather than charring is the cost difference. You’ll save around $10.00 per lineal metre. The main disadvantage is that you may need to recoat the cladding 4 to 5 years after construction. Of course the eventual finish is different to a charred texture but you can rest assured that both look equally impressive.