Shiplap Kitchen: Planked Walls Behind Sink & Stove

Hardiplank Shiplap Kitchen - The Inspired RoomHardiplank Shiplap Kitchen

Greetings! Since my galley kitchen was revealed, I’ve received lots of questions on various details in the room that I am excited to finally answer. I’m so pleased with the positive response to the design, I’m really glad you guys liked it, too! Down the road I’ll do a before & after post and a kitchen design post with my overall tips, but for now I think I’ll go through a few of the specific design elements I’ve had questions on.

I have had lots of questions on what we used for our “shiplap” walls and ceiling, so I thought this design element would be a good place to start. We actually didn’t set out to do a shiplap kitchen! We were originally thinking about tile and looked at samples of every imaginable option from white to colors to various shapes and patterns. We spent hours scouring design centers and tile warehouses. While many were absolutely beautiful, none of them felt right for us.

Part of the vibe I wanted for our the kitchen was that it would feel cozy from chunky texture in various materials. With a small kitchen, I had to get the biggest bang for the buck as I could from the few materials we would have in the space.

Incorporating more than two hard surfaces (tile walls or floors and quartz) would have felt too cold and one-dimensional for the feel I was going for. Too many contrasting patterns and colors on the surfaces would have been too dizzying and limited design-wise in a small space (for my taste).

Hardiplank Shiplap Kitchen WallsHardiplank Shiplap Kitchen Walls

Once we made the decision that tile was going to work best on our floors (the specifics of which I’ll talk more about in a flooring future post), and we already had decided on quartz for our countertops, we knew didn’t want to put tile on the walls, too.

After the flooring and counter decisions were made, I knew I wanted to mix in “warm” materials (in our case, we used painted planks, brass metal fixtures and wood accessories/rugs, etc) that would add enough texture and warmth to make the space interesting and welcoming, without overwhelming it with too much contrasting patterns and colors. We also wanted the freedom to have completely different looks in this space throughout the year, so neutrals felt the most flexible.

Hardiplank Shiplap Kitchen Walls and V-Groove T&G Ceiling - The Inspired Room

Since we were not closing up any of the openings or window locations and there were quite doorways and windows in this little room, I wanted to find a wall material that would make tie together the other elements and still offer the texture I was looking for. With such little wall space actually available, we also needed to consider what impact that material would have on the room as a whole.

Eventually we concluded that this kitchen was well-suited for “shiplap” walls. And by shiplap, I mean planked walls (mine are not true shiplap, but we’ll go with that term). Horizontal shiplap is perfect for unifying and visually joining together various openings. Your eye just naturally follows the lines of the shiplap around the room, rather than stopping and starting.

So the painted planks help hold the entire room together visually speaking, while adding just enough interest to the backdrop.

Shiplap Kitchen: Hardiplank Planked Walls Behind Sink & Stove

Now I know the obvious question is, what material did we use for our “shiplap” walls? And how will it hold up behind a sink and behind the stove?

Our contractor installed smooth (totally smooth, not faux textured) Hardiplank siding planks on our walls (nailed in and installed pretty close together horizontally). Our Hardiplanks were ordered from a lumber yard (that’s all I know about them!). The walls underneath weren’t perfectly straight (old house troubles), but somehow they made it work. Any imperfection just gives it more character, right? The raw edges of the planks were covered with trim pieces or caulking. The planks were sprayed with a quality paint (Benjamin Moore Advance in the color Simply White).

It’s water and fire resistant because it’s basically concrete! It’s as tough as tile, but definitely gives the room the warm vibe of painted wood. They are easy to just wipe off, so they are no more trouble to keep clean than tile. Because we found a material that made sense, we didn’t feel the need to change around the stove or sink.

Shiplap and Tongue and Groove Ceiling

Part of the charm of this small kitchen was that the design elements would be simple and classic, and interesting but not flashy. So to unify the whole room and up the classic charm even more, we paneled our ceiling in tongue and groove cedar (v-groove style).

In contrast to the more smooth wall planks, the ceiling planks have all sorts of natural knots and gauges so it gives the room lots of character without feeling overwhelming.

Shiplap Kitchen Hardiplanks The Inspired Room

With the ceiling and walls painted in the same shade of Benjamin Moore Simply White (it’s a nice warmer white), the planks could wrap the the character around the room without the distraction of too many obvious or contrasting design or paint color changes. The planks give the illusion of more height, too, when you are in the room.

I find the clean white backdrop to be really soothing and helps make the space feel more spacious than it is. Plus how much fun will it be to style this space differently in every season?

So, that’s the story of our planked walls and ceiling!

Find the full galley kitchen reveal post here and the kitchen source list post here.

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  1. Thanks for the details! Melissa your exquisite taste level is astonishing sometimes. Definitely an inspiration to me!

  2. What a brilliant choice for your wall covering! Shiplap warms up the room in a way no tile ever could. Using Hardiplank that’s easy to clean makes it perfect!
    Cathy recently posted..Easy Maple Orange Fried Salmon FilletsMy Profile

  3. So clean and fresh! I really appreciate the shiplap style and this gorgeous flooring.

  4. Catherine DeForest says:

    Love the planked walls!! How does the cost compare to tile?

  5. Great kitchen, I was wondering if you used a flat paint on the ceiling (simply white)
    Thank you

  6. Question: I’m assuming Hardiplank is far more expensive than wood planking.
    Did you ever consider using the Hardi for just the lower boards, that need to be water or fire resistant, and switch to real wood for the remainder ? I would think if it’s all painted it might (?) not be discernible difference.

    • I considered if there was a way, but for our kitchen layout and size there just wasn’t a place to change materials. Mixing on one wall would be challenging unless they were the exact thickness.

      I don’t really think there was much of a cost difference over wood, our T & G cedar ceiling seemed to be comparable in cost. There are options for cheaper planks in the right application, but we wanted a thick board and quality product since it is our kitchen and it’s so small :).
      Melissa recently posted..Shiplap Kitchen: Planked Walls Behind Sink & StoveMy Profile

  7. Doris Raab says:

    I love your kitchen! It looks very welcoming.

  8. I’m glad you clarified that hardiboard is basically concrete. A very innovative use of that material. Trying to mix wood and hardiboard might be difficult because of varying thicknesses. i think it is usually overlapped on an exterior application but on your walls it is butted edge to edge. Great idea!

  9. I have been looking for the perfect “white” to paint my kitchen and cabinets…too many choices. Thanks for suggesting Benjamin More, “Simply White”. Your kitchen is warm and inviting. I just love it! I hope to achieve the same effect. Great job!

  10. I am absolutely in love with your kitchen! You did an amazing job, it feels spacious and open, despite the small footprint. Love, love, LOVE!!!
    Debbie recently posted..Taking a ChanceMy Profile

  11. Theresa Cox says:

    Love everything about the design choices and color! those windows ❤️ Curious how the blank wall will hold up against the heat from the stove? What finish of paint did you use?

  12. I love your use of white in this space! You have such wonderful taste in style and design! Love the lichen and every element in it! I was sure your ship lap was real wood! Didn’t realize Hardy Plank came in a smooth, non- textured finish! Perfect, as you said, for easy clean- up! We had that material as our extetiorvsiding in our ladt house. It is a great material! Holds paint like nobody’s business and extremely durable. Great choice! Beautiful, Melissa!

  13. Suzanne Severns says:

    Do you provide source for your kitchen cabinet pulls and knobs?
    Thank you so much for your help.

  14. What a gorgeous kitchen! I just love the wooden plank walls and neutral colors – I wish we had this kitchen! :)

  15. This is so pretty! We’ve been thinking about doing the same thing in our kitchen. I’m wondering what sheen of paint you used for your walls. Thanks so much!

  16. Amy alday says:

    We just installed the same in our kitchen! Love them! What sheen of Advance paint did you use on your walls??

  17. Your kitchen is stunning! One question, did the contractor install the hardiplank directly to the studs or over drywall? Beginning to collect ideas for my own remodel and need to know how to budget. Thank so much for the amazing inspiration!
    Robbyn recently posted..I’m Back!! Ready to FOCUS on 2016My Profile

  18. Have you posted the layout of cabinets and drawers somewhere…

  19. Carla Morey says:

    Love your kitchen! The one issue I have is a wine rack over the fridge.
    Heat from the fridge is bad for the wine.

  20. The Hardiplank shiplap is beautiful and a brilliant idea, Melissa! But more than that, what I love about all your explanations of your design process is that you consider every detail of the room: how it will be used, how all of the finishes will look together and with adjacent rooms, how it will make you feel (the mood), and how it will function in your everyday life. Too many people skip some or all of those steps and end up with rooms where something is not quite right and they can’t understand what went wrong. I think you outdid yourself on this kitchen remodel. Brava!

  21. Danielle says:

    It looks stunning! Would you mind sharing the width of each of the boards.


  22. I just love this kitchen! Very inspiring!

    I learned something new today, too. I’ve heard of Hardiboard for siding, and so assumed rightly that it is related to your planked walls, but didn’t realize they were a concrete product! That’s a great use for the kitchen!
    Deanna Rabe recently posted..Home Keeping: Flatware Drawer ChangeMy Profile

  23. Your new kitchen is beautiful! I love the rustic touch it adds to your new kitchen, Melissa!

  24. This material seems to like the holy grail of kitchen materials. I love the impact that the “ship-lap” walls make, it is modern yet still cozy and rustic. A great alternative to have a plethora of kitchen home decor.

  25. Hi Melissa, I am just wrapping up a kitchen remodel and have chosen everything except the backsplash/wall material (we have windows and upper white cabinets to the ceiling on most walls, but need a durable material behind the cooktop and between the uppers and lowers in 3 locations). We’ve used hardiboard on the exterior of our house (to replace woodpecker-damaged wood siding) but would have never thought of it for an interior finish. I’m guessing it’s as heat and water resistant as tile, but what about the paint finish?

    • We used Benjamin Moore Advance and it’s been perfect so far and no signs of trouble. Paint could be touched up if necessary down the road, my painter wasn’t concerned. You could check with your painter what he’d recommend in your situation! I’ve had trouble with grout crumbling on tile behind sinks in past houses and we just fixed the grout as needed. I think of paint the same way, it’s an easy fix. But with three months of cleaning and cooking everyday (with messier people than myself in the kitchen!) it’s still easy to wipe off and I have no other issues to report!
      Melissa recently posted..Shiplap Kitchen: Planked Walls Behind Sink & StoveMy Profile

  26. Oh how I wish I could make my house as beautiful as yours! I never know what goes together so I end up with a ton of things in different styles and waste so much money. You’re blessed with such talent!

  27. Hello Melissa,

    First off, your kitchen is beautiful! Also wanted to mention that my Aunt had a beach home right by your parent’s old beach home in Oregon. I recognized it from previous photos :). Could you tell me where you found the lotion dispenser in the photos from this post? It is very cute, and would go beautifully in my home too.
    Thank you! Colleen

  28. Melinda Young says:

    It’s just so cute and charming!! I’d pull up a lil stool and gaze at the kitchen and out to that wonderful view!

  29. Your kitchen looks beyond amazing!! We have looked at hardiplank for our new home but hubby refuses to use it because it is so hard to cut and hang because of the weight. I love it though!

  30. I really appreciate your sharing of details. Would never have guessed hardiplanks. Great idea and looks perfect for the space.

  31. The first word came into my mind after seeing your kitchen is “Beautiful”. I really loved this. Perfect design and material. Thanks for sharing this I would also prefer shiplap kitchen now.

  32. We have an 1800’s log – post and beam house that I’ve been looking for the perfect kitchen design for and I think this might be the one. I love the cabinets, shiplap, and that sink.. I think I might have fallen in love in the first photo.
    bodynsoil recently posted..For the Love of CoffeeMy Profile

  33. Love your kitchen,its so tastefully done,is warm and bright.The kitchen taps are beautiful,almost antique.It was worth the wait,the circular window really brings it all together.Wonderful result.

  34. Hi Melissa
    We are nearing the end of our kitchen remodel after two years (hubby had a heart attack exactly one week after retiring which has been a long time recovering from) but we are just about ready for the walls. After seeing your post it was a done deal, also after being positively sure on subway tile. One question: we have 18″ from countertop and upper cabinets which will only fit about 2 planks. I noticed you have about 4 or 5 (can’t remember for sure). Did you cut your planks narrower than the size they come in? I can’t wait to start. Just need to finish a little electrical and then cover all the open spaces with drywall. Oh, and did you prime the drywall before planking? Thank you so much. Your kitchen is perfection!! Even all the accessories. I have several of them in shopping carts already.

  35. Hi! Melissa,

    I LOVE your kitchen & really want to do shiplap in my kitchen but my husband is nervous about wear. Are you finding that the shiplap is hard to clean or is wearing over time? Are you able to clean & wipe it off like tile?
    Any molding or water issues behind the sink?
    You did an amazing job. The circular window is on point!

    • Hi Sarah! The material is as tough and easy to wipe off as tile, so no worries at all about wear and tear. It’s not hard to clean, it easily wipes off and still looks perfect. It is cement board (Hardiplank) so it doesn’t mold or warp, and it’s water and fire resistant, too.

      Thanks so much for your kind comment!
      Melissa recently posted..Spring Flower Door BasketMy Profile

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