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Community and Q&A

Which Siding Fasteners for Board and Batten?

joe_eugene | Posted in General Questions on

Apologies for the simplistic question here.

I’m an owner/builder attaching 7/8-inch thick board-and-batten siding in southwest Wisconsin. Beneath it is Tyvek, then 3/4-inch horizontal shiplap, then 2×6 studs with dense-packed cellulose. I’m wondering what kind of fasteners to use.

At the top and bottom of the boards, where I know there are studs, I’ll use 3-inch screws. Then I’d like to nail the rest of the boards only into the sheathing, ideally with 1 5/8-inch spiral or ring shank nails. But so far I can’t find siding screws that short. If I use longer nails, they’ll penetrate into the cellulose, which I’m worried could create moisture issues in cold weather. Is that a valid concern?

Another option I’m considering is using 1 5/8 screws on the sides of the boards, which would be covered with the battens. This would be more expensive, but give more holding power and not penetrate into the cellulose.

Thanks for any advice.


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  1. ddubx6 | | #1

    on my board and batten i installed horizontal strapping to form a rainscreen which is always a good idea with wood siding, the strapping is screwed to the studs and the siding is nailed to the strapping. thats if you have room for the extra 3/4 ".

  2. Expert Member


    I agree with Darren's advice. Vertically installed cladding like board & batten can let quite a bit of bulk water through

  3. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #3

    Rainscreens certainly help with water/moisture, but ideally you want the vent channels to be vertical if at all possible.

    I wouldn't worry too much about fasteners poking through into the cellulose. Try to not to poke through any more than you have to, but a little isn't going to cause any real problems. The biggest issue with something like this is the potential to hit stuff like wiring and plumbing inside the wall.


  4. andy_ | | #4

    "Another option I’m considering is using 1 5/8 screws on the sides of the boards, which would be covered with the battens."
    Woah. If I'm reading you right, you're talking about screwing the edges of the boards where the battens cover them? Real board and batten (as opposed to battens nailed over cement board panels for a B&B look), is a way to attach vertical siding so that the boards can shrink and expand with humidity/moisture while covering the expansion gaps with smaller battens. If you nail/screw the edges then the boards will split or cup as they shrink or swell.
    Typically the boards are only nailed in the center, gapped, and the battens are nailed to cover the gap with a nail going into the gap and not the edge of the board. This way the batten will hold the edges in place while covering the gap but still allowing the board to move with changes in humidity.
    This also means that the nails have to do more work. Last time I did this, I put horizontal 1x3 strapping inside between the studs at preset heights to give more meat to nail into. On the outside I put up vertical rain screen spacers from thin rips of 3/8" plywood.
    A lot of work compared to just nailing boards to the sheathing willy-nilly, but this is built to last and not split or cup with the first sunshine after a big rain.

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