Wall Cladding – Materials, Types & Advantages | Exterior Wall Cladding

What Is Wall Cladding?

Wall cladding is a system which protects a building’s exterior walls as well as interior works from adverse weathering effects or any other types of irritants that have a negative effect on the building. It is a process of layering one material over the top of another material that will create a skin layer over the walls.

Cladding is solely employed as a control element to avoid water damage to walls and interior works of a room or building, as well as water leakage. Wall Claddings are used both inside (interior) and outside (exterior) of a building.

Process of Wall Cladding

Wall Claddings are available in several types and forms with different materials, different directions, and textures. The cladding system consists of two components:

  1. Wall system
  2. Cladding Layer

1. Wall System

Wall system further classified as cavity wall, barrier wall, or mass wall. The wall system provides equalization of pressure. It also provides resistance to bulk moisture ingress.

2. Cladding Layer

A cladding layer is installed to cover exterior walls and support structures. It improves the appearance; optimize thermal and environmental performance and keeps undesirable outdoor elements away.

The cladding material is applied over another material like skin or layer. There is a cavity between the cladding and the wall where rain and moisture can run down.

Cladding Layer
Source: Wikipedia

High quality, well-designed, and properly installed wall cladding can help to maximize thermal performance, optimize natural daylighting and minimize air leakage. Cladding can improve energy efficiency and lowers capital and running costs.

While selecting and designing a suitable cladding, the designer should pay attention to some criteria like design detailing, control of air leakage, condensation, the spread of fire, maintenance, remedial work and renewable, resilience, strength, and durability, etc.

Advantages of Wall Cladding

  • Cladding reduces water absorption.
  • It provides resistance to sunlight.
  • It’s also employed as a decorative element.
  • It increases resistance to cracking due to an increase in temperature.
  • It gives safeguards against air and chemical pollution.
  • Cladding increases the mechanical strength of a structure.
  • Cladding acts as perfect acoustics for sound insulation and absorption.
  • It acts as thermal insulation.

Types Of Wall Cladding Materials:

The types of cladding are classified based on the type of materials used for their fabrication. Nowadays due to the growing demands for greater resilience and better protection at lower costs, the new technology has added several types of choices for wall cladding.

The different types of wall cladding materials are as follows:

  1. Wood Cladding
  2. Stone Cladding
  3. Aluminium  Cladding
  4. Brick Cladding
  5. Ceramic Cladding
  6. Vinyl Cladding
  7. Glass Cladding
  8. Fiber Cement Cladding
  9. Steel Cladding
  10. Concrete cladding
  11. External foam cladding
  12. Porcelain Cladding
  13. Curtain Wall Cladding
  14. Terracotta cladding

Here we will discuss the cladding walls which are mostly and widely used.

1. Wood Cladding

Wood cladding is the most aesthetically pleasing of all types of cladding. Wood cladding can be installed in the long, narrow board that can be fitted horizontally vertically, and diagonally and it can be customized to decorative finish as per requirement.

Wood is a weather-resistant material and a good insulator. The installation process is very easy and it is also durable, the look of wood cladding is of unmatched aesthetic quality. The wooden boards are also used to serve as a material for decking and flooring.

Wood wall cladding material
Wood Cladding
Source: archdaily.com

2. Stone Cladding

The stones used for wall cladding are Slates, sandstone, marble, granites, limestone, and quartzite, etc. Due to different sizes and shapes, the costs of the stones are high.

Claddings can be done by stones making strips ranging from 2 rows to 15 rows. In a single stone cladding piece, more adhesive is required to paste them.

Stone cladding can be installed over a concrete surface or steel surface. This type of cladding can provide a feeling of warmth in the building.

Stone wall cladding material
Stone Cladding


3. Aluminium Cladding

Compared to other materials of cladding, aluminium cladding gives more benefits. As the weight of aluminium is about one-third of that of steel (2.7gm/) for which aluminium is a great material to build with. It lasts for several decades.

Aluminium is recyclable and it won’t lose any of its quality in the process. It can be easily formed in various shapes, sizes and finishes.

Aluminium wall cladding
Aluminium Cladding
Source: smartengineeringeg.com

4. Brick Cladding

The bricks used in wall cladding purpose are constructed using lightweight materials and it is available in different colors. It gives full protection from all external elements where it is exposed to.

The bricks will not crack, rot or show any damage from pollution. The majority of the cladding bricks are made with a proprietary, state-of-the-art machinery created in-house.

Brick cladding provides energy-efficient warmth in winter and cool in summer. It is because of the natural density and thermal insulating properties of brick that keeps building temperature moderate. The use of bricks in cladding also reduces the energy consumption rate.

brick wall cladding
Brick Cladding
Source: stylepark.in

5. Ceramic Cladding

In today’s scenario ceramic cladding is the most demanding type of cladding in buildings. In ceramic cladding, mainly glazed tiles, commonly called ceramic tiles, are extensively used in numerous ways throughout the world. It provides additional support to the ceramic tiles. It offers numerous benefits.

Ceramic cladding is highly resistant to extreme weather conditions and does not get damaged easily. It can last for decades without major wear and tear.

It is also not affected by rain or the increasing level of pollution. More importantly, it is resistant to harmful UV rays, which is why it becomes an ideal option for building.

Ceramic cladding is made of completely natural materials and is safe for the environment.  It is easily recyclable and helps in reducing carbon footprints in the environment.

Ceramic Cladding
Source: mccoymart.com

6. Glass Cladding:

Glass cladding provides a practical and cost-effective alternative to tiling, painting, and other forms of decoration. Glass cladding can be used in both exterior and interior applications.

It offers eye-catching, easy-to-maintain wall surfaces that are suitable for a wide range of commercial exteriors and interiors.

There are a variety of glass cladding options which include laminated glasses, tampered, enameled, curved, colored, specially treated glass, etc.

Glass cladding offers flexibility in terms of appearance, performance, and composition options to designers as per modern architectural requirements.

Glass wall cladding
Glass Cladding

7. Vinyl Cladding

Vinyl claddings are one of the most popular types of external wall cladding. It is made by blending PVC with other substances. These cladding materials normally comes in the size of 8 inches x 12 feet panels.

It has greater insulation properties than other cladding materials. It helps to keep your room cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Thus it saves energy and your electricity bill too.

Vinyl claddings are lightweight and available in a variety of colors. Its color is permanent and does not require re-painting. Vinyl cladding is a very sustainable and eco-friendly product.

It is flake-proof, waterproof, dent, and weather-resistant and requires zero maintenance. Some vinyl cladding manufacturer claims their product UV resistant and Class A fire rated.

vinyl wall cladding
Vinyl Cladding
Source: mgsarchitecture.in

8. Stainless Steel Cladding

Stainless steel cladding is extremely durable and weather resistant. The exposed surface of stainless steel cladding has a layer of chromium oxide which protects it from corrosion.

It prevents dampness in the building due to less moisture absorption capacity. It requires minimal maintenance.

The major drawback of stainless steel cladding is it forms dents on the cladding surface easily. Also, it makes a loud noise when rainwater falls on its surface.

Stainless Steel Cladding
Source: abc-ind.com

9. Concrete Cladding

Concrete cladding panels are manufactured in factory and available in precast form. It offers a variety of textures, colors, and patterns. It has very good fire resistance and acoustic insulation properties.

It improves the building’s aesthetic value and durability. It provides a long life span. Requires low maintenance. Also, minimum wastage of materials during installation.

Concrete claddings are extensively used in residential buildings, commercial buildings, hospitals, school buildings, etc.

Concrete Wall Cladding
Source: huffcutt.com

10. Fiber Cement Cladding

Fibre cement is an exterior wall cladding material used as an alternative to wood cladding and PVC or Vinyl. cladding. It is made of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers.

This cladding material is very durable and requires low maintenance, compared to other cladding materials. It is waterproof, termite proof and does not rot, warp or crack. Additionally, it is a fire-resistant and non-combustible material.

Fibre cement cladding does not contract and expand. Its installation process is very easy.

Fiber Cement  wall Cladding
Fiber Cement Cladding
Source: archdaily.com

Also Read –

Types Of Partition Walls

Types Of False Ceiling

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