What is Wall Cladding?
Cladding is a process of layering one material over another material. Wall cladding simply means to layer material over a wall. It is also known as siding. Cladding can be carried out on not just the exterior walls but also the interior walls. Several materials can be used to layer the walls, depending on the requirement. This gives you a wide variety to choose from and it gives a new look to the building structure.
Advantages of Wall Cladding
A few benefits of wall cladding are listed:
Aesthetic look and feel
Wall cladding enhances the look of the building or the house. If one wants to give a new and modern look to an old structure, wall cladding is the best choice. With the newly revamped walls, it improves the appearance and value of the home. Or we can say, it adds aesthetic appeal to the structure which in turn adds to the market value of the property.
Safety and Protection
This is a fundamental function of wall cladding. Adding another layer to the walls adds to the mechanical strength of the building. It also adds an extra layer of protection which improves the resistance of the structure to various elements like cracks due to climate change, rain, humidity, sunlight, etc.
Wall cladding materials offer insulation benefits too. The extra layer installed on the walls provides insulation to the walls from heat, water, and sound. This property of safeguarding the walls from insulation helps in saving a lot of energy. This can ultimately result in less maintenance and electricity bills.
The most beneficial advantage of wall cladding is that it does not require maintenance frequently as compared to painting the walls. This will ultimately cut down the expenditure on maintenance bills at regular intervals. Most wall cladding materials require a simple wash to bring back its freshness and look like a new installation.
Once you have decided to get your walls sided, you will want options. There are a wide variety of wall cladding materials to choose from. Depending on your preference, you can select the material. The variety ranges from wood, stone, brick, aluminium to metal, ceramic, vinyl, terracotta, etc.
Types of Wall Cladding Materials
Various types of wall cladding materials are as follows:
Brick Wall Cladding
Bricks are the oldest materials used in construction. This is the most common type of wall cladding material. It is available in a wide range of colours. A variety of bricks include white-stone, vintage, rustic, rosebud, and grey-wood. It safeguards the structure against fire elements. This is an expensive investment, but it lasts for years.
Wood Wall Cladding
This type of wall cladding material includes Eastern white pine, plywood sheets, wood shingles, redwood, and cedar. Its installation and maintenance are costly affairs.
Metal Wall Cladding
This includes galvanized steel and aluminium. This is relatively inexpensive than other wall cladding materials and is also subjected to less maintenance and replacement over the years.
Vinyl Wall Cladding
It provides a plastic cladding option. This type of wall cladding material is most common in the USA. It includes PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) panels. These are very cheap and don’t require maintenance. A deep cleaning by washing every two years can revamp the look of the structure.
Stone Wall Cladding
It is available in a wide range of colours like red, yellow, grey, brown, green, etc. This type of wall cladding material is extremely durable. But they are a bit on the expensive side as they require tedious labour work.
Fibre Cement Wall Cladding
Fibre Cement wall cladding material is sturdy and durable. They are also less expensive and do not require any maintenance. The installation of fibre cement sheets is also very easy.
Steel Wall Cladding
This cladding material gives a strong finish to the structure. It is manufactured with a little amount of chromium. This chromium reacts with the atmosphere and forms a thin layer of chromium oxide. The chromium oxide formed prevents the cladding from rusting.
How and where to use wall cladding material?
The wall cladding materials can be used strategically in a lot of ways. For example:
- Exterior walls
- Interior walls
Drawbacks of Wall Cladding
Wall cladding can be very expensive for your pocket. However, options like metal and vinyl wall cladding material are inexpensive and are easy to install. But other wall cladding materials like concrete, brick, stone, etc. are very expensive due to the increased requirement of labour. The maintenance cost should also be taken into account. Some high-end materials like wood require frequent maintenance, burning a hole in your pocket.
Maintenance And Repair
Though wall cladding requires low maintenance, the cleaning and washing may tone down the aesthetic look of the structure. The replacement of broken or damaged cladding can turn out to be a bit expensive.
The installation of the wall cladding can be very time-consuming. The time required to install a cladding unit depends on the size and the base material of the wall. If the surface area is huge and intricate designs are to be used for cladding, the installation time would be very long.
Though wall cladding has its advantages and disadvantages, it is undeniable that it enriches and increases the aesthetic appeal of the structure. If you are looking for a sturdier structure with protection for the walls and its occupants then wall cladding is the perfect option. It is especially important for places of extreme weather conditions.