What is Shou Sugi Ban?

Timber is one of the world’s most popular cladding options. It’s bright, warm and sustainable, and it gradually fades to blend in with its surroundings.

There’s no shortage of timber claddings available, but Shou Sugi Ban is one of our favourites.

Shou Sugi Ban is a Japanese technique that has become popular all over the world. These blackened timbers can lend a touch of sophistication to any project, providing a high-performance yet stunning finish.

But what is Shou Sugi Ban? It can be sold under lots of different names and styles, so it may be confusing to sort through your options. In this article, we’ll learn more about Shou Sugi Ban, how it’s used and why it’s an excellent choice for any project.

What is Shou Sugi Ban?

Shou Sugi Ban (sometimes called Yakisugi) is a Japanese technique that preserves wood by charring the surface. This creates a 2-3mm layer of carbon that strengthens the timber and protects the unburnt core from fire, moisture, pests and rot.

The challenge with Shou Sugi Ban is creating a layer of char without combusting the wood or causing it to warp and crack. This requires careful temperature monitoring throughout the charring process.

These days, we use industrial equipment to evenly char our Shou Sugi Ban cladding. Our machinery prevents damage to the timber while providing a uniform finish that allows you to achieve any architectural design you have in mind!

Why You Should Consider Shou Sugi Ban Cladding

Shou Sugi Ban is one of the most popular cladding materials in Australian architecture. While the charring technique we use is centuries old, it’s still one of the best ways to create high-performance, stunning timber cladding.

There are lots of reasons charred timber has become so popular. A few of the major benefits include:

  1. Highly durable – The charred layer on Shou Sugi Ban cladding is much more durable than raw wood. This means Shou Sugi Ban is resistant to UV, moisture, bugs, rot, mould and fungus.
  2. Fire resistance – It might sound counterintuitive, but Shou Sugi Ban is highly resistant to fire. The charred outer layer is more difficult to ignite than raw timber. When combined with the right timber species, Shou Sugi Ban allows us to achieve a BAL19 or BAL29 fire rating.
  3. Low maintenance – Shou Sugi Ban is highly stable and requires very little maintenance, especially when it comes with a factory oil finish.
  4. Long-lasting – Shou Sugi Ban can last for decades with proper care, further improving its sustainability.
  5. Stunning aesthetic – The firing process used to create charred cladding highlights the grain of the timber. It offers a modern aesthetic that allows the natural beauty of the timber to stand out.
  6. Multiple finishes available – Shou Sugi Ban techniques can be used to produce a range of surface finishes. This includes relatively flat, matte finishes, as well as a more detailed crackle finish. We can also alter the colour of the finished product by varying the char depth to create deep blacks, silvery greys and everything in between.
  7. Sustainable – Shou Sugi Ban is one of the most sustainable types of timber cladding. It is produced from responsibly-sourced timbers, and the Shou Sugi Ban process is low-impact. At the end of its life, the timbers can be recycled without harming the environment.

Does the Char Rub Off Shou Sugi Ban Timber?

Loose particles of char can rub off the timber naturally for the first 2-3 months if the cladding is not sealed after installation.

However, Modinex’s Charred cladding is supplied to site pre-coated with our unique water-based acrylic coating.  This outperforms any oil-based sealants. 

Small amounts of char rubbing off the timber won’t affect the charred layer or the performance of Shou Sugi Ban cladding.

Can Shou Sugi Ban Be Used Indoors?

Yes! Shou Sugi Ban is ideal for both exterior and interior installation.

Charred timber cladding is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a striking interior feature. When installed inside the home, these timbers provide a soft finish while warming the space with natural timber grain.

Speak to us if you’d like to use charred timber cladding as an interior finish. We use a specialty coating to prevent particles of char from rubbing off the surface.

How to Maintain Shou Sugi Ban Cladding

One of the best things about Shou Sugi Ban is that it’s low maintenance. However, like other types of timber cladding, it does require some maintenance to protect the wood from the elements.

The exact maintenance schedule for your charred timber cladding depends on the application, weather exposure and any factory coatings.

For Modinex products, we typically recommend applying a maintenance coat of our water-based sealant every 4-6 years.

Modinex supplies exterior charred timber with a penetrative oil coating. This preserves the timber and helps to maintain its moisture content, preventing cracking and warping.

Regularly oiling your Shou Sugi Ban will dramatically extend its lifespan. It has been known to last for 50+ years.

Elevate Your Project with Architectural Shou Sugi Ban Cladding from Modinex!

Shou Sugi Ban is a centuries’ old technique for preserving exterior timbers. It’s simple, stylish and highly effective, and it creates a stunning product. If you want to elevate your next project with charred timber cladding, get in touch with the team from Modinex!

Modinex is at the forefront of Australia’s timber cladding industry. We’ve worked on thousands of projects over the years, and the natural beauty of Shou Sugi Ban is still one of our favourite finishes.

Our Shou Sugi Ban cladding is supplied with Modinex’s easy-to-use installation system. That means our claddings and linings are simple to install for all exterior and interior applications.

You can explore our Shou Sugi Ban products online, or speak with our team if you’d like to transform your next project with Modinex!