Types of Cladding
Last Updated Jul 9, 2010 · Written by Craig Gibson
Cladding is a great product for any home, as it is both protective and decorative. However, there are many different types of cladding so here is a quick overview of what is available.
What is Cladding?
Cladding can be defined as an exterior finishing system that’s purpose is to protect the underlying structure as well as to provide a decorative finish. Cladding is surprisingly durable product that will last for up to fifty years, depending on the type of cladding that you choose and how it is looked after. It is also very quick to install and it is easy to work with. Cladding is generally installed by the manufacturer or supplier of the cladding but it can also be done by professionals such as carpenters.
Types of Cladding
There are many different types of cladding that you can choose from so you are sure to find the one that is most suitable for you. Here is an overview of the most common types of cladding:
- Weatherboard cladding: this is what most people first think of when cladding is mentioned and it is made from timber, reconstituted hardwood, fibre cement or vinyl. Weatherboards can be fixed to all kinds of substrates. Timber and fibre cement weatherboards need periodic maintenance to keep them looking their best while vinyl weatherboards are practically zero maintenance.
- Timber cladding: timber cladding is extremely popular as nothing beats the look of real timber, and timber suits all styles of homes. Timber cladding comes in horizontal boards, shingles or panels. It is a surprisingly environmentally friendly cladding choice as sustainable timber is used and it is also a good natural insulator.
- Stone cladding: stone cladding brings a feel of natural style and elegance to your home and the look is unmatched by any other type of cladding. It uses thin layers of natural or simulated stone. Stone cladding complements any surrounding. However, stone can be expensive (simulated stone is somewhat cheaper than real stone however) and more labour intensive than other types of cladding.
- Vinyl cladding: if you’re after a cladding material that requires practically no maintenance, then vinyl cladding is for you! Vinyl cladding suits all kinds of homes and comes in a range of colours. It is also economical. Vinyl cladding is recyclable and uses fewer resources in its manufacturing than other types of cladding. It is easy to add insulation to vinyl cladding as well.
- Fibre cement cladding: this type of cladding is made by compressing sand, cement, and cellular fibre into sheets. Fibre cement cladding gives the appearance of wood but it is lighter, easier to install, and requires less maintenance.
- External foam cladding: this is also known as an External Insulated Finish System (EIFS) and it is made from expanded polystyrene that has been reinforced with fibreglass mesh and finished with a render. It comes in panel form, is easy to install, is extremely tough and weather resistant, and is extremely energy efficient.
- Metal cladding: metal cladding is either steel or aluminium cladding. The metal is protected through anodising, galvanising or powder coating and a range of different colours are available to suit any colour scheme. A range of looks can be created using metal cladding such as sleek flat panels or corrugated looks. Metal cladding is also very low maintenance.
- Concrete cladding: this is a newer type of cladding and it comes in panel or tile form ready for use inside or outside the home. Concrete cladding can create sleek modern looks or you can have the concrete moulded to resemble natural materials such as stone. You can also cast patterns into the concrete cladding if you wish. Concrete cladding is incredibly strong and durable, and requires little in the way of maintenance. It is also a great insulator.
- Brick cladding: brick cladding is great as you can create a variety of looks and patterns just by using different coloured bricks. You can also render over them if you choose. Bricks are lightweight, easy to work with, a good insulator, and don’t need much maintenance.
For more information on specific types of cladding or cladding in general, please see our cladding feature or take a look through our directory to find a professional near you.