Cedar cladding vs Millboard cladding, what's the difference?

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Millboard Cladding

Are you looking for exterior cladding material? From aesthetics and authenticity to longevity and upkeep, there is a lot to consider. In New Zealand, two of the most popular exterior cladding options are cedar and composite. 

In this article, we outline two of the most popular cladding types in New Zealand – composite vs cedar.

Cedar cladding

Cedar is a popular type of timber cladding because of its durability and rich colour. Cedar cladding is highly durable and naturally resistant to rot, insect damage, and decay, making it a great choice for areas with high humidity. Cedar may be cheaper upfront but requires ongoing maintenance every 2 years, which adds up to a significant amount over its lifetime.

Authentic timber appearance

One of the biggest advantages of cedar cladding is its authentic appearance and rich, deep colour. For many modern homes, cedar provides a sense of warmth and natural appeal. However, this appearance and colour will fade over time and deteriorate every year.

Cupping of boards

Unfortunately, timber cladding warps and causes a cupping effect when exposed to moisture. Over time, this can be an eyesore and even cause the boards to come loose or split. Once this occurs, it is nearly impossible to repair. 

Dirt build-up

Cedar cladding is also prone to discolouration when dirt and dust build-up on its surface. Fortunately, this can be cleaned off with an annual ‘soft wash’ using water. However, do not scrub the cladding as this will damage its protective coating.

Tannin staining

Like many timbers, cedar contains tannins that give it its rich and deep colour. Unfortunately, then exposed to moisture, the tannins rise to the surface of the timber board, causing it to stain dark tan or even black. 


Silvering is incredibly common with cedar when it is exposed to long-term UV damage. Over time, the sun and weather deplete the timber of its natural oils, causing it to lose its rich, vibrant colour. As a result, your cedar may start to look grey and dull. This damage also makes your cedar susceptible to mould, mildew, moss, and lichen. 

Unfortunately for homeowners like those at Hobsonville Point, this kind of damage is difficult and expensive to reverse.

Mould, moss, and mildew

If cedar is not maintained well, it may start to grow mould, moss, mildew, or lichen. These thrive on the cedar’s high levels of cellulose and moisture, quickly getting out of control. Cedar’s high porosity also makes it incredibly prone to trapping moisture, only exacerbating the problem.

High maintenance

To prevent discolouration and damage, it is essential to apply wood oils or timber stains regularly. This helps prevent moisture from entering the timber and replacing the naturally occurring oils and resins. However, these products must be applied and maintained correctly, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

This ongoing maintenance is required at least every 2 years, adding up to a significant amount of time and money.

Millboard Envello cladding

Millboard Cladding is a composite cladding material made from a blend of fibre-reinforced resin-mineral filler and a Lastane surface. Each board is moulded from handpicked timber samples, providing an authentic and natural appearance. It is available in two profiles and a wide range of colours, providing an authentic and organic look.

Despite looking like real timber, Millboard cladding does not warp or rot. It’s also resistant to leaching and stains, ensuring your cladding looks its best for many years to come.

Composite Millboard cladding requires no maintenance and is resistant to rot, insects, and weathering. Some composite cladding materials also include recycled content, making them more environmentally friendly. 

Book a consultation to find your cladding match


Millboard cladding has been skilfully crafted by hand, using real wood samples to achieve an authentic wood grain. When the grain is moulded, each piece is hand-coloured by master craftsmen to establish an authentic wood finish.


Millboard cladding is solid, making it much stronger than other composite and vinyl weatherboards. This also prevents it from warping and rotting like cedar and other timber materials.

Moisture resistant

Due to its non-porous composition, Millboard cladding is already resistant to moisture. This means it doesn’t require sealing, unlike cedar and other cladding products. Over the years, this will also save you time and money on maintenance.

Impact and weather resistance

All Millboard cladding is coated with a durable and elastomeric surface. This provides increased protection against hail and natural weathering and keeps your cladding looking its best. 

Easy to install

Millboard cladding requires no specialist tools or equipment. You can simply cut it like traditional timber and lock each board together using the tongue and groove system. This dramatically reduces the installation time and ensures a reliable fixture. 

Thermal performance

With its unique composition of wood fibre and recycled plastic, Millboard cladding enhances the thermal performance of your building. It reduces thermal transfer in both summer and winter, helping to maintain a comfortable internal temperature.

Requires no maintenance

Based on years of development and research, Millboard cladding was designed to stand the test of time. It requires little to no maintenance after installation as the chamfered cut of the board profiles enables the rain to naturally clean the boards. Unlike cedar cladding, you don’t need to seal or stain it regularly – you can simply enjoy it!

Value for money

Although it is more expensive upfront, Millboard cladding offers the best value for money over its lifetime. The initial purchase cost is higher than cedar but, with no maintenance required, you'll save money over time and ultimately increase your return on investment.

Fire-rated system

Our Shadow Line+ cladding profile was developed to offer enhanced fire protection for buildings. It is fully certified to a Euroclass D rating (BS EN 13501-1 by a UKAS-accredited laboratory, provided it is installed correctly.

Exterior cladding NZ

Our hand-crafted Millboard Cladding is available now, in two profiles and a wide range of colours: 

You can order free cladding samples today or browse the new Millboard range on our website. Click below to find your favourite profile today!


Visit one of our Showrooms

If you have any queries about our products or need help with your project, we can provide you with expert advice. Visit one of our showrooms or book a consultation with our flooring experts today.