Exterior cladding orientations for Lunawood Thermowood

The orientation of cladding installation significantly influences the aesthetic appeal of a building. When meticulously designed and executed, exterior cladding not only enhances the building’s appearance but also protects the building, thereby extending its lifespan and adding value.

In recent years, traditional horizontal and vertical cladding orientations have been supplemented by innovative approaches, such as diagonal installations and combinations of varying orientations and panel dimensions. Regardless of the installation orientation you choose, the selection of wood material is crucial for achieving a solution that meets all requisite standards and ensures longevity. Key factors like the wood’s weather resistance, average lifespan, and dimensional stability, along with the application of the proper installation technique, collectively determine the outcome.

So, what are the primary advantages and considerations of various installation styles?

And which Lunawood product is most suitable for horizontal, vertical, or diagonal installations?

In this article, we offer insights into diverse cladding installation styles and the Lunawood Thermowood products designed to help you realize your desired aesthetic and functional outcomes.

A private house in Lithuania with naturally weathered vertical Lunawood cladding. The house is designed by DO architects.

Vertical cladding – a modern style giving the appearance of added height

Whereas horizontal cladding is now often associated with a traditional style, vertical cladding has become popular in recent years, for modern architecture in particular –  even though for practical reasons it has been used in wood-based construction for centuries. Especially in humid conditions, cladding has been installed vertically to allow rainwater to run down the grooves, preventing humidity from damaging the wood. Vertical grooves also are slightly easier to keep clean of dirt and dust. Nowadays, the installation orientation does not play a huge role in the longevity of the cladding, because the modern tongue-and-groove designs prevent accumulation of water in the grooves.

Today, the main draw of the vertical installation technique is its visual impact. Long vertical lines in cladding give the Thermowood façade an appearance of added height. Therefore, vertical cladding is well suited to smaller buildings and private residences where the goal is to create a sense of height.

The private home, located in Lithuania and designed by the DO architects, is an excellent example of the use of vertical cladding for a modern home. The building’s clean-lined design works well with the vertical cladding, which lends the design a rustic appearance, accentuated by Lunawood’s Thermowood with its naturally greying colour tone.

In the Project Ö located in the Finnish archipelago, the vertical exterior cladding has been implemented by combining several different panel widths. This type of implementation works well with Lunawood’s Luna Panel System product family.

The awarded Project Ö with several different panel widths

Vertical Lunawood cladding is also a natural choice for compact Tiny House designs. In the Ericeira design, Portuguese architectural-design firm Tinylar utilised the Luna Triple 32×140 3D panel to achieve a modern, batten-like style for the cladding of this beautiful mobile home.

Vertical installation works well for smaller details too, where wood cladding serves as a natural complement to harder façade materials, such as concrete, stone, glass, or tiles. In the Els Brisoleis, in Spain, the vertical Thermowood batten cladding comes together with the light concrete in an elegant manner. Exterior cladding created with Thermowood battens installed vertically offers an effective means of introducing the warmth of Thermowood to a design in a fresh, modern way.

Els Brisoleis, designed by Valgreen for Lovhoms , the vertical Thermowood batten cladding comes together with the light concrete in an elegant manner

Horizontal cladding – a timeless and traditional choice

Horizontal orientation is typically regarded as the most traditional way to install cladding. While horizontal cladding is an ideal solution for buildings where a timeless style is sought, it also introduces an interesting contrast to modern properties in which simplicity is favoured for the design and choice of materials. An excellent example showcasing such a design is High-tech Educational Pavilion FFWS, in which large windows and modern architecture create a timeless combination with the horizontal cladding.

If the goal is to use vertical installation to achieve modern, clean-lined cladding, the Luna Panel System range offers an ideal solution. The distinguishing feature of Luna Panel System is the panel’s straight edge and the discreet 3 mm shadow gap between the panels. And, as the icing on the cake, the Luna Panel System range provides panels of three different widths that can be combined to create a unique horizontal cladding design.

Other ways to introduce eye-catching features to horizontal cladding include the use of extra-wide panels or panels with a brushed surface. For such designs, the Lunawood Collection’s extra-wide spruce panels, the brushed Luna Layer and the smooth Luna Vivo, offer an excellent solution.

If the goal is to give a traditional appearance to the building with bevelled cladding, the Luna UYLS 20×140 bevel siding is an ideal choice. The cladding boards are attached such that each panel slightly overlaps the next one down, creating a small shadow between the panels. Slovakia’s Demänová Village holiday resort showcases the use of Lunawood Thermowood in a bevelled façade perfectly. Luna UTV and Luna UTS, which create a 10 mm groove between the panels, are another ideal choice for traditional horizontal cladding.

With the exceptions of the Luna Triple and Luna Trio 3D panels, all of Lunawood’s tongue-and-groove panels are suitable for horizontal installation and offer excellent weather-resistance and dimensional stability in all climates. If you want to create a horizontal cladding with battens, Lunawood’s SHP parallelograms are the best option, due the sloping profile which makes the water drain faster.

The Demänová Village is designed by Jakub Loučka, XYLO Atelier
High Tech Educational Pavilion with horizontal Lunawood cladding

Diagonal and combination cladding – creative and unique façades

Because wood is a traditional material, using it in an unconventional way is an excellent means of giving your property a unique and eye-catching style. In recent years, diagonal installations and combinations of various cladding orientations have gained in popularity.  An elegant example of diagonally installed cladding can be found in Portugal in a building designed by REM’A Arquitectos. The winner of ArchDaily’s Building of the Year 2020 prize, Casa A charms you with its naturally greying diagonal cladding.

Diagonal cladding can be realised with Lunawood’s tongue-and-groove Thermowood panels and fully planed battens as long as the joists are mounted in line with the official installation instructions, to ensure sufficient ventilation.

Combining multiple installation orientations is also an excellent way to create an interesting texture for a façade. This can be done with Lunawood’s batten products, which are available in several thicknesses and widths. In Kino Pasaka, designed by Audrius Ambrasas Architects, Lunawood’s Thermowood battens have been used elegantly in both horizontal and vertical orientation.


The Casa A, designed by REM’A Arquitectos, takes advantage of the diagonal exterior cladding
Polis de Coimbra, Zona do Clube Nautico by Camilo Cortesão

Vertical, horizontal, or another cladding orientation?

For each installation orientation, several high-quality, visually pleasing products are available, making it possible to create a wide range of cladding solutions. To achieve the optimal service life for exterior cladding, it is important to install each product in compliance with the official installation instructions, ensuring the most beautiful and durable result. In the design of exterior cladding, it is good to bear in mind that for more complex designs, the quality and technical performance of the wood material is particularly important. Challenging mitre joints and eye-catching design features inevitably draw attention to the material, making any weaknesses in the quality or dimensional stability very conspicuous. Because of this, Lunawood’s Thermowood products made from Nordic spruce and pine are a reliable, sustainable, and easy-to-maintain choice for architectural applications, irrespective of climate conditions.

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