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A Complete Guide to Stone Cladding


Building a safe space you can call home is a dream come true for many. This makes every single decision regarding the construction of the house extremely crucial for homeowners. It includes decisions regarding materials and colours used, space management, stone cladding, and much more.

Stone cladding

Stone cladding is a thin decorative layer of real or simulated stone used for the interior or exterior of a building. It is generally used on top of walls made of materials like concrete, cement, or steel. The natural materials used for stone cladding include stones like sandstone, slate, and granite. A lot of homeowners and builders love Perth stone wall cladding since it gives a fresh look to the room with minimal effort. It also helps to add a depth effect to the room.

Basic Categorization

It is extremely crucial to understand the significance of the properties and weight of the natural stone before commencing the design work. This is the preliminary stage of design and is indispensable to accomplishing a reliable and secure stone cladding system. There are three major types of stone cladding systems:

Traditional handset cladding or Traditional façade cladding

Traditional handset cladding is an enduring building practice in which natural stone or ashlar is anchored to an already constructed supporting structure like framework or blockwork. All these components together make up the exterior envelope of a building or project.

Natural stones are quite heavy, which means traditional handset cladding requires weight-bearing fixings to support the load. The mechanical fixings are usually made of stainless steel and are fixed to the backing structure. The weight-bearing system also includes compression joints and movement joints. Granite, sandstone, limestone, slate, and marble are the natural stones used in traditional handset cladding. These installations have numerous advantages, including unrivalled quality, high durability, and the capability of creating unique designs.

Rainscreen Principle

In the rainscreen principle, the cladding system is designed to allow a small quantity of moisture or rain intrusion between the unsealed façade panel joints. Double-wall construction is used in this system. The outer layer is constructed to keep the rain out and is unsealed to allow moisture intrusion. The inner layer is sealed and insulated against moisture. This system also has an interior drainage cavity.

Custom Cladding

Custom cladding is one of the most popular types of retail and commercial cladding. This kind of cladding will allow the builder or the homeowner to achieve any kind of surface, design, or shape of their choice. Custom cladding can be broadly classified into two types:

  1. Brick Cladding: This system of cladding is used to give a rugged or country-like look to the building walls. Natural stone bricks have several advantages, like durability, timeless appeal, and resistance to harsh weather. Standard bricks can also be used for cladding. Apart from being cheaper, they help with water repulsion and give protection from wear and tear.
  2. Tile Cladding: This method of cladding is generally done using granite or marble. The natural stone is attached to a flat surface using an adhesive material like mortar. Several secondary materials are also used in tile cladding, including concrete, brick, ceramic, glazed tiles, stainless steel, and glass.

Common materials used for stone cladding

The natural stones used for cladding can be broadly classified into three types:

  1. sedimentary rocks
  2. metamorphic rocks
  3. igneous rocks

Several factors like use, project size, intended appearance, durability, and strength are considered while choosing the stone. Some commonly used stones are:

Granite: It is one of the most popular stones used for its texture, colour permanence and durability.

Limestone: It is available in numerous shades like beige, pure white, and subtle browns, adding to its aesthetic look. It is extremely flexible and can be carved into any desired shape easily.

Marble: It is a premier material that has been used historically by architects. It is a bit difficult to work on and is extremely costly when compared to other materials.

Slate: This metamorphic stone is optimal for exterior and interior cladding. Along with giving a sophisticated appearance, it is durable, water-resistant, and low maintenance.

Jerusalem Stone: It is made from a combination of dolomite and limestone. It is dense and has a high resistance to weathering.

Basalt: This volcanic stone is suitable for external and internal cladding. It has a fine-grained appearance and a high insulation capacity.

Bluestone: Bluestone is the commercial name for stones like limestone and basalt that have a blue tint to them. This group consists of about twenty types of stones.

Stones required for cladding are also chosen based on the intended aesthetic. The various elements that are considered include colour, pattern, texture, and finish.

The advantages of stone cladding

The numerous benefits offered by stone cladding include:

  1. It gives a natural look to the building.
  2. It is extremely durable and has a long lifespan.
  3. It increases the overall property value.
  4. It provides efficient protection against harsh weather.
  5. It provides adequate insulation, cutting down on cooling and heating costs.
  6. It is resistant to fire, scratches, and abrasion.
  7. It offers several customisation options.
  8. It is easier to maintain in the long term.

Disadvantages of stone cladding

Stone cladding also has some disadvantages. Some of them include:

  1. Initial construction is a bit costlier since it needs a structural substrate.
  2. The installation is time-consuming and labour-intensive.
  3. They require special cleaning materials as harsh cleaning chemicals can damage the walls.
  4. Proper sealing is needed for protection, adding to the cost.
  5. The installation needs the supervision of a professional.

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