Cladding is a layer beyond to exterior walls of building which imparts a protective and decorative layer to exterior walls. It can be define as exterior finishing system to protect the underlying structure as well as to provide decorative finish. 

Cladding is the application of one material over another to provide a skin or layer. In construction, cladding is used to provide a degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance, and to improve the appearance of buildings.

Cladding can be made of any of a wide range of materials including wood, metal, brick, vinyl and composite materials that can include aluminium, wood, blends of cement (GFRC)

Types of cladding are given below.

1. Types of cladding based on material

  • Stone cladding
  • Vinyl cladding
  • Aluminium clading
  • Vitrified tile cladding
  • Timber cladding
  • Glass cladding
  • GFRC sheet cladding
  • Bricks cladding
  • Stainless steel cladding
  • HPL (High pressure laminate) cladding

2. Types of cladding based on application method.

  • Dry cladding
  • Wet cladding

Types of cladding based on material

1. Stone cladding

Among all the cladding types, the stone cladding is regarded as the most natural and fresh-looking cladding. It can be installed over a surface either made of concrete or steel. These are referred to as lightweight simulated stone products which have a concrete type-base that facilitates its instalment.
Stone cladding is mainly used in the living rooms, indoor gardens and in bathroom walls. The cladding unit is highly durable but is really expensive to install.

2. Vinyl cladding

Vinyl cladding is a plastic cladding option provided for the exterior walls of the building. It is applied mainly for small apartments, decoration and for weatherproofing. It is used by the majority of homes as it provides adequate protection and also because it is a low-cost option. When compared with wood and aluminium cladding material, this is not considered a good quality option.

3. Aluminium cladding

Aluminium cladding is costly when compared with vinyl cladding units. But aluminium cladding guarantees more durability and longer life than the vinyl cladding. These units are subjected to less maintenance or replacement over the years. Aluminium cladding is used mainly for basement and storage walls of the building. High quality and treated aluminium cladding are used for large commercial buildings and structures.

4. Vitrified tile cladding

This cladding is done by both method dry cladding as well as wet cladding. It is used mainly to cover dead walls on exterior and passage walls for interior. Its maintenance is very low and it is easy to clean. Its installation requires less time but it requires moderate skilled mason.
5. Timber Cladding

This is one of the highly-rated claddings next to stone cladding. Wooden cladding is stronger than aluminium and vinyl cladding. Wooden cladding brings an attractive finish to the wall when installed. So this is mostly used to improve the aesthetic appearance. Cedar or redwood are mainly used to create wooden cladding units.
Wooden cladding installment is a very expensive process. Its maintenance is also costly which makes this a costly cladding option.

6. Glass cladding

Glass cladding is also known as glazing which is a part of wall or window made of glass. These glass are installed on aluminium framing fixed to the wall. The gaps between glass are closed by silicon sealants which also make bonding between glasses and these joints are waterproof. This cladding have zero maintenance.

7. GFRC cladding

Fibre cement cladding unit is an alternative for people who are looking for strong and beautiful cladding units for the building walls. These units gain high strength and are almost similar to wooden cladding units. These unit are very easy to install and are less expensive. Fibre cement cladding units have zero maintenance.

8. Brick Cladding

Brick cladding provides a lovely decorative look to the walls. The installation of the brick cladding unit is difficult and expensive. But in terms of maintenance brick cladding is less expensive compared with wooden cladding units. If you can’t afford wooden cladding, it is recommended to go for brick cladding units.

9. Stainless Steel Cladding

The stainless steel cladding is a very durable cladding solution. It has high resistance to environmental effects. It is manufactured with a minimum of 10% of chromium so that when exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere an oxide of chromium is formed. This oxide forms a passive layer on the surface of the cladding that is a protecting coating towards further corrosion.

10. High pressure laminate cladding

High Pressure Laminate (HPL) panels are a form of cladding typically manufactured by layering sheets of wood or paper fibre with a resin and bonding them under heat and pressure. They sometimes include additional chemicals to provide fire retardant properties and are available in a wide range of colours and finishes.

Types of cladding based on application method

1. Dry cladding

In dry cladding, cladding of such a material is done using aluminum sections and clamps. Dry cladding is most favorable when buildings with greater heights have to be clad. It consist drilling hole into the surface, fixing anchores into it and installation of aluminium frame work on it to support or fixing the cladding material.

Advantages Of Dry Installation Method:

  • The dry cladding method is safe and it prevails the stone from falling off for years.
  • This method allow for expansion and contraction of stone in extreme weather conditions.
  • The dry cladding method creates a cleft of around 30 to 45 mm (1”-1.5”) in between face of the wall and stone covering, providing a layer of air cushion that acts as a thermal barrier.
  • The appearance of stone used in dry cladding work looks spotless and aesthetically pleasing.
  • It is a time saving procedure.

Disadvantages Of Dry Installation Method:

  • There are chances for the occurrence of cracks on substrate.
  • It is an expensive method.
  • Requires perfection and alertness because of the following
  • If the holes are not drilled properly then it could waste material.
  • While drilling one must be alert otherwise it could be harmful for you.
  • It requires high skilled labour.

2. Wet cladding

In wet cladding, cladding of such material usually tiles, bricks and stones are adhere to wall with cement mortar or other adhesive chemicals.

Advantages Of Wet cladding Method

  • It is cheaper
  • Requires no onsite drilling
  • Eliminates the chances of cracks on wall due to drilling.
  • Bonds perfectly from edge to edge leaving no space in between which makes it look more even.

Disadvantages Of Wet Installation Method

  • Due to the edge to edge bonding there is no room for later expansion which could result in buckling of natural stone. Expansion and contraction joints are always recommended.
  • If the bond between the wall and the adhesive/ mortar is not intact then there are chances that the stone can fall off.
  • The stone fixed with mortar may change in colour due to absorption of water from back mortar layer.
  • It is a time consuming procedure.

Benefits of cladding

  • It increases the mechanical strength of a structure
  • It improves resistance to cracking during increased temperature change
  • It improves resistance to noise.
  • It improves thermal insulation.
  • It reduces water absorption of exterior walls
  • It increases resistance to sunlight, and provides resistance to air and chemical pollution. 
  • It also offers protection against the rain, strong winds and molds.


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