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  • 20 Types of Cladding Styles Suitable For Exterior

    Over time, many types of cladding finds its use in the exterior of the building. Since ancient times, cladding was a a layer of protection from the natural elements and as a layer of look and décor for the structure. Due to this, there are many variations in the materials for different types of cladding. For example, wood, stone, and brick were some of the earliest cladding materials used for their strong resistance to elements, temperature, and noise. In modern times, vinyl, aluminium, tiles, ceramic, and glass also find its purpose in different types of cladding. Looking at today’s time and different techniques of construction, we have 20 different types of cladding that can elevate the language of the exterior of the building.

    Types of Cladding
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    1. Brick Slips Cladding

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    Brick slip cladding is one of the most used claddings in modern times, where time and money are very important. This type of cladding is an alternative to normal brick cladding. This saves time in construction and is also lighter in weight than normal bricks. Being thinner in size, they are applicable with the help of adhesives over the surfaces, which saves material and time. These slips have a higher durability rate in extreme weather conditions. They are non-combustible and energy-efficient. It is easy to apply and would cost 150–600 rupees per square metre.

    2. Timber Cladding

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    Timber cladding means applying wood as a shield or an external skin to the house. It generally involves planks or boards of timber that overlap each other to act as a shield. Timber cladding forms the cavity in between, due to which moisture can easily evaporate if penetrated inside. This property of the cladding protects the main walls of the house. It is totally biodegradable, low-maintenance, and aesthetically appealing. Timber cladding costs around 150 to 500 rupees per square metre for its application. Timber claddings such as IPE (walnut wood), thermoash (ashwood), and WPC, which is a combination of wood and plastic, are the most popular choices according to the weather conditions.

    3. Aluminum Cladding  

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    Aluminium cladding has become very popular and stands out amongst others due to its aesthetic and other properties. It is available in types of colour, texture, style, and finish options that construct a long-lasting façade. Aluminium cladding is either solid aluminium panels, aluminium composite panels featuring a mineral or profiled core, or solid extruded boards, with different systems available. This becomes a good choice of cladding due to its durability in all weather conditions. Aluminium cladding is strong and light-weight, waterproof and easily installed. It is also UV-resistant and comes in different patterns and textures for exterior aesthetics.

    4. Stone Cladding

    Types of Cladding
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    Stone cladding can protect the house in extreme weather conditions, such as rainstorms or exposure to the sun. They are highly durable as the exterior cladding material. Stone cladding turns out to be heat-resistant and comes in various options. Stones such as granite, limestone, sandstone, marble, etc. are common. In India, it costs 95 rupees per square foot for the installation of stone cladding. It is maintainable; most of the time, these claddings can be washed off with simple soapy water.

    5. Composite Cladding  

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    Composite cladding is a type of cladding made up of reclaimed wood fibre and recycled plastic. Composite wall panels act as the exterior layer of the house and protect it in extreme weather conditions. The binders are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC). There is an additional protective layer added to the composition that makes it impervious to moisture, debris, and extreme weather elements. It does not swell like timber cladding and does not need extra painting or sealing. Composite cladding only needs a simple washdown with warm, soapy water for maintenance. It is an eco-friendly solution that can be pricy at the first installation.

    6. Perforated Cladding

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    Perforated cladding is a type of cladding that is made up of aluminium or metal layers protecting the exterior of the house. This cladding resists rusting and corrosion, thus making it ideal for applications in humid environments. Stainless steel is a stronger option when applied in industrial areas. Perforated cladding provides effective sun screening and an elevated look to the exteriors. It is a low cost, eco-friendly building material that is strong and light-weight.

    7. UPVC Cladding

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    UPVC cladding is a lightweight, weather-resistant, and easily installable option for the exterior cladding of a building. It comes in various shapes and textures, that can enhance the look of the building. The UPVC weather boards insulate heat better than any other cladding material. It is cost-effective and easy to maintain by only washing it to keep it dust-free.

    8. Zinc Cladding

    Types of Cladding
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    Zinc cladding is a type of metal cladding. It comes in many different forms, and sheets can be formed into shingles, cassette panels, and flat-lock panels that suit any exterior of the building. Zinc is often combined with other materials, such as titanium and copper, to increase its durability and malleability. Zinc cladding acts as a rain screen on the exterior and forms a cavity in between, which also provides insulation. It is strong and long-lasting in comparison to other types of cladding. Composite zinc cladding, standing seam, built sheeting, and cassette cladding are the most common types of zinc cladding used.

    9. GRP Cladding

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    Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) consists of a matrix of polyester resin reinforced with filaments of glass fiber. The properties and characteristics of GRP depend on the type of glass and resin used in its manufacture. Due to its superior pulling and stretching capacities, it is widely used in buildings where heavy loads are being transferred. It is a recyclable material and has high thermal and chemical resistance.

    10. 3D Cladding 

    Types of Cladding
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    3D wall panels are used for 3D cladding on exteriors. It is available on the market in various patterns and forms. It is available in patterns of wood, stone, granite, and glass that can add to the exterior when cladded. They are available in atmosphere resistant materials as well, which makes them easy to use and apply. 3D wall panels are light weighted as they are produced from materials such as melamine and mDF. They are also available in tile form and panel form.

    11. Fibre Cement Cladding

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    Fibre Cement Cladding is made up of simple ingredients such as Portland cement, sand, water, and cellulose fibers. This composition keeps changing according to the manufacturer. This type of cladding is non-combustible, rot-free, and easy to maintain. Fibre-cement cladding is less expensive than hardboard or vinyl cladding. This type of cladding protects the building from termites and pests and can easily retain moisture. There are various types, such as shapes and shingles, horizontal lap siding, shiplap siding, vertical siding, and soffit, for its various applications. It possesses thermal and sound insulation properties, which make it more suitable for exteriors.

    12. Terracotta Cladding

    Types of Cladding
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    Terracotta cladding is a type of cladding that is manufactured with natural and aged raw clay without other chemicals and fired at high temperatures, providing thermal insulation and weather resistance. Terracotta cladding can be used as a rainscreen or sunshade for buildings. This type of cladding is harder than normal ceramic tiles and has a longer life span than aluminium and cement panels. The surface of terracotta cladding is not likely to be dusty; it can be easily washed in 2-3 years and will look original. This type of cladding is made up of clay, making it eco-friendly and recyclable.

    13. ACM Panel Cladding

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    Aluminum Composite Cladding is another cost-efficient cladding that is used for the exteriors of buildings. These panels are light-weighted and used to improve the aesthetic appeal as well as the durability of the exterior of the building. This type of cladding has two thin aluminium sheets bonded to a non-aluminium core.

    14. Weatherboard Cladding

    Types of Cladding
    Image Credits: freepik.com

    Weatherboard cladding, sometimes also known as feather edge cladding, is made up of timber tapered board that is layered thick end over narrow end, having two layers of cladding. It is normally fixed horizontally and is cost effective. Weatherboard cladding protects the building from harsh weather conditions. It is cheaper than timber boards and other types of cladding. It is easy to maintain and apply.

    15. Glass Cladding

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    Glass cladding is widely used in architecture as an aesthetically sound cladding. There are two types of glass cladding: curtain walling and rainscreen cladding. Curtain walling is a non-structural cladding system involving a light-weight aluminium frame that is attached to a building skeleton, onto which glass panels are fixed. A rainscreen is a double-walled arrangement in which the outer layer prevents water from seeping into the building. This type of cladding allows the façade to penetrate the light and is sound-insulating.

    16. Stucco Cladding

    Types of Cladding
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    Stucco cladding is a mix of Portland cement, sand, lime, and water. Unlike other claddings, stucco cladding needs to be applied to a definite base. When applied precisely, stucco cladding provides a durable, stable, and seamless exterior for the building. This type of cladding is fire-resistant and easily maintainable. Moreover, regular maintenance is needed for stucco cladding, which is a labour-intensive cladding.

    17. Slate Cladding

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    Slate cladding has become a prominent choice for the exterior of the building due to its natural form and looks. The key properties of slate cladding are that it is fire-resistant and highly durable. Slate cladding has a lower environmental impact and carbon footprint than other man-made alternatives. This type of cladding helps with thermal insulation, thereby reducing energy consumption and making it more cost-efficient. The slate cladding is both fire-resistant and waterproof, which gives a protective layer to the building.

    18. Ceramic Cladding

    Types of Cladding
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    Ceramic cladding is made from entirely natural elements to deliver a contemporary finish to the exterior. Every ceramic cladding offers complete tonal integrity and design consistency. The material is very light-weighted, UV radiation-resistant, and completely impermeable. It protects the building from water penetration and resists the absorption of dust. This type of cladding has a lifespan of 3–5 years.

    19. Concrete Panel Cladding

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    Concrete panel cladding is made from robust concrete and applied to the exterior of the building for its durability. This type of cladding is resistant to fire, weather, and termites, making it a good option for cladding. Concrete panels are not only useful in wet and dry seasons but also have fantastic insulating properties that allow the room temperature to stay at normal levels.

    20. Corten Steel Cladding

    Types of Cladding
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    Corten steel cladding is made up of three primary elements: copper, chromium, and nickel, along with other alloying elements like phosphorous, silicon, and manganese. 0.2–0.3 percent carbon is used for pliability, strength, and toughness. Corten steel cladding involves covering an outdoor structure that ensures withstanding harsh weather conditions.

    Looking at the above options that are used as the type of cladding for the exterior of the building, one can choose any according to the design. These types of cladding are suitable for every weather condition that matches the environment. They are also eco-friendly options, which one can choose accordingly. These types of cladding offer different material options for their look and aesthetic. Aesthetic cladding is a method that gives additional protection to the outside of the building. With different types of cladding, one can offer different images of the exterior along with its usability. 

    It is not necessary that the cladding one uses is always expensive; it can also be cost-effective and energy efficient for the houses. Along with their looks, the above types of cladding offer sound and thermal insulation properties to the exterior. Hence, using different types of cladding for the exterior is a good choice for the designers as well as the users. 

    Content Writing And Research By: Ar. Rajeshwari Pandya Modi

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