What Is Wall Cladding?
Wall cladding is a system that 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 cladding material (wood, glass, stone, etc.) 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:
- Wall system
- Cladding Layer
1. Wall System
Wall systems are further classified as cavity walls, barrier walls, or mass walls. 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; optimizes 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.
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 lower 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, new technology has added several types of choices for wall cladding.
The different types of wall cladding materials are discussed below. Here we have discussed 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 on 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.
2. Stone Cladding
The stones used for wall cladding are slates, sandstone, marble, granite, limestone, 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.
3. Aluminium Cladding
Compared to other materials of cladding, aluminum cladding gives more benefits. As the weight of aluminum is about one-third of that of steel (2.7gm/) for which aluminum is a great material to build with. It lasts for several decades.
Aluminum 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.
4. Brick Cladding
The bricks used for wall cladding purpose are constructed using lightweight materials and it is available in different colors. It gives full protection from all external elements to which it is exposed.
The bricks will not crack, rot or show any damage from pollution. The majority of the cladding bricks are made with proprietary, state-of-the-art machinery created in-house.
Brick cladding provides energy-efficient warmth in winter and cool in summer. This is because the natural density and thermal insulating properties of brick keep building temperature moderate. The use of bricks in cladding also reduces the energy consumption rate.
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 exterior cladding.
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.
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.
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. This cladding material 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 is UV-resistant and Class A fire rated.
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.
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.
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. Fiber cement cladding does not contract and expand. Its installation process is very easy.