Eichler siding playhouse
Eichler siding adds MCM period style to this retro-inspired playhouse.

One of the ways we’re ensuring the first-ever Atomic Ranch Project House, a new build, pays homage to Mid Century Modern style is to incorporate materials from that era. Eichler Siding will be providing Thinline exterior siding and interior Weldtex for the Project House.

“Replacement siding for Eichler homes wasn’t available in the ’80s,” says Jeff Nichols, owner of Eichler Siding. So they started producing grooved exterior siding and retro wall paneling to fill that need. They make these three different patterns of siding:

Thinline siding
Thinline siding

Thinline

Thinline is a plywood siding panel with very thin grooves. “They’re spaced relatively close together compared to current plywood siding sold in lumber yards,” says Jeff. “The surface is smooth in texture as opposed to a rough surface.”

 

 

Wideline siding
Wideline siding

Wideline
Wideline is similar to Thinline in every way, except the grooves are much wider and deeper.  “Thinline and Wideline are the two most common exterior siding patterns Joseph Eichler used in his homes,” says Jeff. 

 

 

 

Plank-tex siding
Plank-tex siding

Plank-tex
Plank-tex is an 8″ circular-sawn rough texture that has a unique appearance. “Plank-tex, though used by Mr. Eichler, is not exclusive to his homes only,” says Jeff. “It was originally manufactured by US Plywood until the ’70s. Once we discovered no one else was producing it, we added it to our line of Eichler patterns.”

 

 

How do you know which kind to choose?

Jeff answers: “The Eichler pattern we call ‘Thinline’ has very shallow and very narrow grooves. The grooves themselves are about 1/8” wide by 1/8” deep. Therefore once primed and painted, they would be more weather resistant than the Eichler pattern we call ‘Wideline.’  This pattern has grooves much wider and deeper.  3/8” wide, and ¼” deep. As such, more of the inner plywood veneers are exposed to the outside elements.  Thinline was used much more extensively by Eichler than the other patterns.”

Can only Eichler and Streng homeowners use Eichler siding? 

“No, in fact, we have shipped Eichler siding to a number of builders and homeowners over the years that do not have Eichler homes. These include locations such as Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, and Boston. The patterns can work on any MCM home design.”

Weldtex Eichler siding
Weldtex interior panels make for textural period accents.

What about interior uses? What are the Weldtex panels? 

“The Weldtex pattern is an interior panel we revived from the 50s. It was used as interior wall panels, accent walls and checkerboard style ceiling tiles. The pattern creates a unique texture that’s very eye appealing. From a distance it can appear to be wallpaper, but upon closer examination, one discovers its wonderful three-dimensional surface,” Jeff says. Another thing to note is that Weldtex “works best as accent walls. It’s the kind of pattern where if carried too far, it would look overdone.”

For more, see eichlersiding.com for exterior siding examples and vintageplywood.com for interior panels.

Read more about the Atomic Ranch Project House in our Q & A with Atomic Ranch Brand Leader Jickie Torres, and get a sneak peek into some of the products the Project House team will be drawing from. Stay tuned here at atomic-ranch.com, in our print issues, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to keep tabs on all things Project House!