What Are The Different Types Of Exterior Cladding?
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/ Siding Articles / By
NORTEM Support Team
cladding might sound like something that is barely associated with the
aesthetics of a house’s exterior. However, exterior cladding does a lot
more than that. It helps to protect the building from a number of things
and plays a vital role in the longevity of the structure. It also
largely determines how much maintenance the structure will require as it
ages. Today, there are numerous choices when it comes to exterior
cladding to provide beauty as well as functional benefits. Below are the
different types of exterior cladding materials that are available in
1. Stainless Steel Cladding
steel cladding is ranked highly for its extreme resistance to
environmental impacts. A minimum of 10% chromium goes into its
manufacturing. This allows it to form a coating of chromium oxide when
it is exposed to oxygen in the environment. This serves as a protective
layer against further corrosion.
2. Fiber Cement Cladding
cement cladding serves as a sturdier alternative to wooden claddings.
They offer high strength along with the aesthetic appeal of the wooden
claddings. Moreover, they are less expensive than their wooden
counterparts and require almost no maintenance.
3. Brick Cladding
cladding adds that aesthetically decorative, earthen look to the
exterior of a building. They are expensive when it comes to the initial
installation but are less expensive to maintain than many other cladding materials.
4. Wooden Cladding
cladding is known to be aesthetically pleasing and is highly rated in
that regard. However, it may not be as sturdy and durable as some of the
other cladding materials. Redwood and cedar are the primary wood
choices when it comes to manufacturing wooden claddings units. The
installation, as well as the maintenance and upkeep, are known to be
quite expensive for this one.
5. Stone Cladding
cladding is highly regarded for its uniquely fresh and natural look. It
fits perfectly over surfaces made of steel or concrete. Stone claddings
are actually lightweight simulations of stone products with a concrete
type base that aids in the installation process.
6. Vinyl Cladding
cladding is another one of the many cladding options that are out
there. It is mostly used in smaller construction projects such as
apartments for weather-proofing and aesthetic purposes. It may not be as
good looking as wooden cladding and other cladding options, but it
costs a lot less and is considered good value for money.
7. Aluminum Cladding
Compared to the vinyl cladding that is widely used in homes, aluminum cladding is a costlier option. However, aluminum exterior claddings can ensure greater durability and longer life of the claddings. This type of exterior cladding is quite low maintenance and is widely used in basements as well as on the storage walls of a building. Higher quality, treated aluminum claddings can be seen in larger projects, such as commercial buildings or structures. There are other variations of aluminum contained materials such as aluminum composite panels, known as ACM Panels in Canada. However this material have been in the commercial and industrial markets for a while, it is becoming very popular in residential market as well.
The above make up the several types of exterior claddings that are available in the market. Contrary to the popular misconception, exterior claddings provide a number of functional benefits besides adding an aesthetic appeal.
12 Stunning Options for Cladding Exterior Walls
Appearance and longevity — these two elements should be top priority when choosing cladding for exterior walls. Whether it’s home-sweet-home or a commercial property that needs to have an easily replicated look, cladding panels for exterior walls need to provide that combination of performance and aesthetics to be worth the investment.
The problem is that many property owners can’t distinguish between a product that simply looks good on the surface and one that’s built for long-term beauty and stability. With the proper material selection, you can get the best all-around value for your property.
The key is in choosing a modern material that’s uniquely engineered to protect the structure while also showcasing top-quality aesthetics. Take a look at some of the vast design potential that’s possible with cladding crafted from fiber cement.
Cladding exterior walls with a lap look can create a classic appeal. Lap has a familiar feel and it creates linear design qualities, a gentle texture and beautiful shadow lines. An easy choice for most homes, fiber cement lap provides better strength and protection than traditional wooden cladding for exterior walls, which is often susceptible to rotting, color fading and overall deterioration. Fiber cement lap embraces a classic look without the extensive routine maintenance work of wood.
2. Board and Batten
Board and batten, another popular choice, rotates the orientation of individual panels so the cladding creates a vertical design. Often seen in coastal regions and throughout the heartland, board and batten cladding brings an authentic look to homes in a range of architectural styles.
Modern fiber cement cladding simplifies the installation process — which is traditionally quite labor intensive — by featuring an easy, clip-in cladding system that speeds up the process and minimizes potential installation errors.
3. Earth Tones
Earth tones are popular in both residential neighborhoods and commercial designs. The benefit of using modern materials is that you can recreate a range of textures and styles with a single product that’s engineered to last.
With a built-in rainscreen that provides moisture management, fiber cement stone cladding for exterior walls can be combined with smooth architectural panels and/or wood cladding for exterior walls that are also crafted from fiber cement. This allows you to mix and match earth-tone exteriors without worrying about the compatibility of different cladding products. Brick-style, stucco-style and wood-style — no matter what look you’re after, fiber cement tile cladding for exterior walls makes the process simple and seamless.
Shake delivers an impeccable texture that can be styled to feel refined or rustic, depending on the surrounding features and color selections. Traditionally, wooden cladding for exterior walls was the only option for creating an authentic shake style, but that’s no longer the case. Crafted for superior weather protection and overall durability, fiber cement cladding panels for exterior walls can capture the beauty of shake with greater fire safety and weather resistance.
Smooth cladding panels can deliver an exquisite ambiance — one that’s worthy of a luxury residence. A monotone palette embraces the sleek look of the exterior wall cladding and elevates the entire design. Neutral tones that catch the light, like beige, cream or taupe are popular selections for upscale residences.
6. Variegated Approach
Mix it up! Working with a modern cladding exterior walls product gives you the ability to play with color, texture, orientation and style — without scrambling to find compatible materials. Fiber cement cladding designs pair together without effort so you can combine a brick-style facade with colorful board and batten or wood grain lap rather easily.
7. Stone Veneer
Let’s be honest — stone can be an expensive commodity when it comes to exterior walls. Plus, it isn’t always energy efficient or easy to work with. The smarter strategy is to choose a stone cladding for exterior walls crafted from fiber cement. This allows for much faster installation without the need for a mason, and it results in a beautiful finished product that will last.
Likewise, traditional brick exteriors require the expertise of professional masons, and the installation process can be slow and tedious. Modern building materials like fiber cement allow the freedom to install exterior wall cladding in no time, thanks to the intuitive clip-in design and large panel fabrication. Easy, fast and built to last, fiber cement cladding for exterior walls is simply the smart choice for getting the bold look of brick.
A huge benefit of using fiber cement cladding panels is that it’s easy to replicate the look — which is a huge advantage for commercial properties that plan to expand. Different locations can express the same signature style that reflects the organization’s brand and character to create consistency across buildings.
10. Contemporary Color Block Panels
Colorful exterior walls like this are becoming very popular with commercial organizations that want to stand out from the crowd. Any cladding with big color needs to maintain consistency, so it’s essential to get a durable, long-lasting exterior wall cladding option that can resist color fading from sun exposure. Fiber cement is one such material that’s built for long-lasting beauty.
Showing off natural wood grain patterns — without worrying about dry rot, moisture damage or mold — can be a complicated goal. The easy solution? Wood-look fiber cement cladding. Fiber cement wood cladding for exterior walls is more durable and resistant to the elements, so it maintains its allure year after year. Plus, wood-style fiber cement is suitable for both residential and commercial properties.
12. Architectural Concrete Look
For a more urban aesthetic, the sleek exterior of architectural concrete can call attention. Unfortunately, concrete doesn’t always age well, and cracks can become a major concern down the line – both in terms of structural integrity and aesthetics. A concrete-inspired facade crafted from fiber cement can provide a practical solution for achieving this unique look while also setting up the exterior walls for success in the long run.
If you’re looking for a fiber cement that brings form, function and absolute beauty to any project, rely on Nichiha. We are your go-to source for cladding exterior walls with a stylish, durable and long-lasting finish — plus, we have an abundance of exciting design styles and colors to choose from.
Contact our experts at Nichiha to explore attractive options for residences, commercial properties and more.
The best options for finishing the facade of the house
Most modern façade finishes meet these requirements. These are high-quality materials in various price segments, which simultaneously combine and combine decorative and protective functions. I propose to pay attention to the most popular solutions in order to make the right choice for your own country house!
Exterior wall plaster
One of the most affordable and popular modern materials with a long history. Today we have the opportunity to use acrylic, mineral, silicate or silicone plaster, mass for a smooth and textured surface, as well as the use of various methods to obtain the desired pattern on the prepared wall. The mixture uses natural materials – lime, clay, sand, gypsum and others, which are closed with water, mixed, settled and applied to the wall surface!
Among the main advantages is versatility and the ability to work with almost any surface, including insulated walls, on which basalt slabs or expanded polystyrene are installed. Also, these are high aesthetic data and numerous options for textures, colors and shades. Plaster gives good indicators of strength, and, accordingly, the durability of wall decoration. If we take into account maintainability and systematic maintenance of facades, the service life can reach 15-20 years!
Application features include several surface application methods – standard trowel and roller, manual spray or machine methods. The material is applied to prepared primed surfaces with plastic mesh reinforcement to increase mechanical stability and avoid damage!
Inexpensive, quick exterior finish for almost any building. The work is facilitated in the case of using brick, concrete and block structures along the walls!
Important: Pay attention to the disadvantages of this finishing option: cracking and delamination is possible if the technology is not followed, as well as cracking if there are problems with the foundation or wall structures!
Facing brick for facade finishing
Brick is also in demand for decorative and protective facing of facades. A more affordable option when building from stone or brick is priming and varnishing the walls. But if the budget allows, you can additionally use standard ceramic or silicate, hyper-pressed or clinker bricks!
Stone finish is distinguished by reliability and durability, minimal susceptibility to external negative influences, as well as durability. The average service life can reach 40-50 years or more, subject to installation requirements.
Installation features require a decision at the design stage, since the material is not only tied to the main walls, but also requires a special foundation shelf to distribute the loads. Heavy and expensive material with a natural composition is presented by various manufacturers in hundreds of options, including standard offers, as well as bricks of various sizes, shaped decorative stone, special architectural elements, an assortment of sizes, colors and shades.
The advantage of bricks is not only durability and enhanced aesthetics. Facing can be carried out for concrete, stone and wood, as well as panel and LSTC structures with preliminary laying of heat-insulating materials. A good solution to improve the energy efficiency of your own home!
Advice: The choice in favor of brick is strictly at the time of approval of the project for the construction of a residential building. In the future, if such a facade is not provided, it will be extremely difficult and expensive to install it!
Stone facade finish
It is worth immediately separating natural and artificial stone, as materials that are almost identical in appearance have a huge difference in performance, price and operation!
Natural stone is a durable, heavy, expensive material of the elite class. It is mined, processed and prepared for certain projects. The stone is involved in the decoration of the basement and walls, architectural elements, and the design of the entrance group. Today, sandstone, travertine, dolomite, granite, marble and many other rocks are popular options.
High-quality stone cladding requires a properly calculated foundation, a special fastening system on the wall surface, as well as professional installation with the condition of jointing and protection of joints. Compliance with the requirements of technology can extend the service life of such lining up to 50-60 years or more!
If we talk about artificial stone, this is a kind of synthetic interpretation of natural materials, however, with lighter weight and strength parameters, as well as reliability and durability. Artificial stone is more common due to its affordable cost, light weight, and the number of offers on the market. Artificial stone for facades can be matched to any previously specified material, as well as imitation of wooden panels, large-format blocks, ceramic tiles. A prerequisite for proper and reliable operation is its impregnation with hydrophobic compounds and protective varnishes, as well as a systematic revision of the seams between the piece material!
Important: When choosing a stone for finishing facades, be sure to take into account the weight of the materials and recommendations for choosing the installation technology, fixtures, support system!
Porcelain stoneware and ceramic tiles for facade decoration
Natural materials, which, due to the use of only environmentally friendly components in the production, can be used not only outside, but also inside residential buildings. An interesting solution when choosing tiles or porcelain stoneware for facades is the installation of the same materials on the territory of the veranda and terrace, the lining of internal columns and balcony walls, and the laying of a durable and reliable floor in the hall!
Fired clay materials have average performance in all parameters, except for strength, which is really increased. Otherwise, these are average weight, average cost and average service life – about 20-25 years!
Mounting is carried out on smooth reinforced plastered walls with a primer coating, on a special adhesive composition. Installation in rows, with supporting elements, as well as subsequent jointing and high-quality protection of seams from moisture.
Tiles and porcelain stoneware are distinguished by a wide variety of variations in color and size, texture and outer coating of the base material. Therefore, I would recommend considering this type of finish for stone and block houses!
Important: Take the time to study the technical specifications and installation technology. Due to the low hygroscopicity, porcelain stoneware is installed only on special adhesive solutions or a supporting frame. On the other hand, it is worth considering whether it is needed on the walls at all … the main difference between porcelain stoneware is its increased strength, and it is used for finishing the floor and loaded surfaces. Therefore, for the facade of the house, you can choose a more affordable and easy-to-install ceramic tile!
Decorative siding for the facade of a private house
There are several types of such siding on the market. These are vinyl, metal, wood and fiber cement siding. The peculiarity of the material is its versatility, because siding, regardless of the production technology, is suitable for wooden frame and lumber buildings, block and stone houses, LSTK and SIP structures!
When evaluating each technology separately, it is necessary to take into account climatic conditions, your own budget for facade finishing, as well as warranty periods of operation. By comparing the characteristics and operational features, it was found that the average life of a siding is about 12-15 years. In some cases, there may be a significant difference between the materials, since all the conditions for the acquisition, installation and further use are strictly individual. Revision and preventive maintenance, which should be carried out every 2-3 years to extend the service life, also means a lot.
Regardless of the material, facade siding has many interpretations in terms of color and texture. With it, you can perform a cladding or a hinged ventilated facade. Installation on a wooden, steel or aluminum stacking frame!
Tip: Pay attention to the cost of materials. Quality siding is expensive. Yes, the material looks great and is easy to mount on the wall, but this does not mean that there is no more interesting and high-quality alternative on the market. Any of these options is a direct competitor to steel and wood siding!
Sandwich panels for the facade
Modern universal material for finishing and insulating walls and plinth. Sandwich panels often consist of a pair of steel or PVC panels, between which a heater of a given thickness is laid. It can be extruded polystyrene foam, high density basalt slab, polyurethane foam and derivatives of these materials. Convenience lies in the compliance of the material with several requirements at once during the implementation of one process. With the help of finishing the facades with sandwich panels, you can insulate the walls, ennoble them and protect them from solar radiation, atmospheric moisture, temperature changes, weathering, freezing!
The other side of the coin is the inconsistency of this option with the usual requirements of aesthetics. Sandwich panels are used for finishing the walls of private houses, but are more suitable for commercial and technical buildings, as they are of the same type, with a minimum difference in appearance, which is the format of the stiffeners and color!
Important: In the case of construction on the site of an extension, technical or utility structure, utility block or garage, special reinforced sandwich panels can be used as a building structural material, and not just for wall insulation!
Thermal panels for the facade of suburban housing
More often, it is a two-layer material, which consists of high-density polystyrene foam as a base, as well as fiber cement, clinker or polymer decorative finishes for brick, stone and other materials.
Thermal panels have long become popular, as they have increased practicality. The advantage of the material is quick and easy installation, as well as a good level of thermal insulation. Additionally, the range of material allows you to select the desired composition by imitation of the corresponding material, color and shade.
For thermal panels, a frame is mounted on which the material is installed using plastic or steel fasteners. It is possible to install on smooth plastered walls and assemble them into a single plane thanks to the tongue-and-groove system of finished slabs. Marking, installation of the first slab and checking levels, installation of the first line and checking by marking are carried out. Consistently, do-it-yourself wall cladding, even with minimal building experience, up to 30 square meters a day. The only requirement to complete the main work is to seal the seams!
Important: If you pay attention to thermal panels and are interested in purchasing them, remember that they are suitable for use only as an additional decorative and thermal insulation finish, and not independent thermal insulation. For the middle lane, the standard wall insulation according to the heat calculation in the region is from 200 mm.
Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to cover all the facade finishing materials in one article at once, even if they are presented in a short form. Therefore, I would like to further present the less popular options for facing the walls of country houses with a standard list. I suggest that you additionally pay attention to the following solutions, one of which you may also like:
- Wooden blockhouse – one of the varieties of siding, a natural material for exterior wall decoration with an imitation of the type of profiled timber or logs;
- Facade cassettes – special panels of a given size and profile for decorative finishing of external walls. Mainly used for modern country houses, as well as commercial and administrative buildings. Panels are made of steel and aluminium. The most expensive segment, which can be called almost eternal in terms of service life, is facade cassettes made of copper or titanium-zinc;
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- Concrete siding is a practical and affordable material. Textured siding for facing stone and block walls with good technical characteristics, in addition to the large mass and serious loads. Choosing among similar materials, despite good external data and favorable cost, the majority prefers stone or clinker;
- Glass and mirror panels are an aesthetically strong material that is unfortunately extremely expensive and very impractical. Therefore, glass facade decoration is used for administrative and commercial facilities, exhibition centers and showrooms, office buildings. In the construction of suburban real estate, this is an extremely rare case;
- Flexible facade tile is a material based on components used in the production of soft bituminous roofing. These are fiberglass, quartz sand or other aggregates, bitumen and basalt granulate for the decorative part of the material. An interesting and original solution, but not for any climate and type of construction of a residential building;
- Special clapboard or thermal board finishing – a variant of facade cladding with natural materials that enhance the color of wooden housing construction objects or can disguise an old stone or block house as such. Simple installation, high maintainability, a lot of options for changing the appearance – toning, varnishing, painting, firing, brushing and others. Middle price range!
Perhaps, at this stage of the discussion, we can say that some options have been missed. But I would focus only on the combined facade cladding, which is the best solution for any type of building. You can safely use plaster and clinker finishes, a combination of natural stone and wood, artificial stone siding, as well as options for glass and metal panels for cladding houses in high-tech and minimalist styles!
Exterior decoration of houses from SIP panels: materials and technologies used
Frame structures made of SIP panels have been widely used in Northern Europe and America for a long time, since this technology allows you to build high-quality and warm houses with high environmental safety characteristics in the shortest possible time. If during the construction of the object the technological processes of installation and finishing are fully observed, then during its further operation it is possible to significantly reduce the cost of heating and air conditioning, since the houses perfectly preserve the microclimate.
The choice of material used for exterior facade decoration depends on several factors – climate, budget and customer requirements. But in order to get all the advantages of buildings from SIP panels, it is necessary to entrust construction and finishing work to professionals who know exactly all the nuances of technological processes.
Materials for finishing the facade of houses from SIP panels
To give the house of SIP panels a finishing look and at the same time protect against external factors (temperature, precipitation), external finishing is mandatory. One of the features of houses made of such panels is the possibility of decorating them with almost any finishing material, so the walls do not require alignment, many types of fasteners can be used on their surface. But when choosing a material for finishing the facade, it is important to take into account its specifics, advantages and disadvantages.
Ventilated facades are considered one of the most progressive ways of finishing houses built using Canadian technology. The key point of this technology is that cladding materials are fixed on a frame made of steel or aluminum. The presence of a gap allows for the flow of fresh air, due to which moisture does not accumulate between the panels and the wall of the house. A similar design can be compared with a thermos, which allows you to keep the room warm in the winter season, and cool in the summer. In addition, ventilated facades serve as additional sound insulation. Do not forget that structures of this type are quickly mounted, in case of damage they do not cause difficulties with repairs, and at the same time they allow you to choose a different color and texture design. If the need arises, then lining with such panels can be done at any external temperature.
Stone (natural or artificial) in most cases is used for wall decoration not completely, but in parts. It can be used to finish the plinth, external corners and create decorative inserts. At the same time, the material is durable and designed for a long service life. But there is a significant minus, due to which the finishing of the frame house is not carried out completely – this is its cost. Do not forget about the significant weight of the stone, which creates a large load on the foundation, which must be strengthened or provided for such a finish before starting to build a house. Frame houses, which are finished with stone, are distinguished by monumentality and solidity, and at the same time there is no need to make even cosmetic repairs of the facade part for a long time, since the stone is distinguished by high rates of durability and wear resistance.
An essential advantage of using plaster solutions for finishing frame-type houses can be considered that when they are applied, there is no need to level the walls of the house. In addition, the advantages are an affordable price, the ability to create original textures and a long service life.
For finishing buildings from SIP panels, plaster mixes based on:
- Cement. Due to the availability with the help of such plaster, you can finish a large volume, and at the same time the walls “breathe”.
- Silicate or water glass. If the budget allows, then silicate plaster mixtures can be used, which have high strength indicators and have many colors and textures.
- Silicone, acrylic and polymers. Such plasters can be tinted in any color, they are plastic, but fade over time, therefore they are used in most cases for work inside the building.
Applying plaster on the walls of SIP panels can be done in several ways:
- A fiberglass matrix is attached to the wall to prevent cracks at the panel joints, and then a plaster layer is applied.
- If the house is built in regions with a harsh climate, then the walls after installation are additionally sheathed with a heat insulator, on top of which a reinforcing layer is mounted and plaster is laid.
- A waterproofing film is fixed on the walls and a crate is mounted, to which cement-bonded particle boards are attached, and then plaster is made.
Those who decide to use this particular option of wall covering from SIP panels should know that you can choose a material of a wide variety of color schemes, and this is an advantageous difference from other facade coatings. When using natural plaster, you can not be afraid that it will not last long, as it is resistant to high and low temperatures, exposure to sunlight. If the construction budget allows, then it makes sense to use silicate plaster, durable and reliable, as well as rich in colors.
Such a finishing material is interesting for its price-quality ratio. It can be used when finishing the facade of a small country house and when decorating the surfaces of cottages of a higher class. Among the features of siding, it is worth noting a wide variety of textures and colors, which will allow you to get a surface that best meets the requirements of the customer.
The most common siding options are:
- Vinyl – light weight but short-lived when exposed to ultraviolet rays and temperature extremes.
- Metal – it has a special anti-corrosion layer, the presence of which can significantly increase the life of the siding. But at the same time it gets very hot in the sun and has poor soundproofing properties.
- Plastic – installation is very fast, but this type of siding burns out under the influence of ultraviolet radiation and has a high fire hazard.
- Fiber cement is a rather expensive option, but it has many color and texture solutions that allow it to be used for any buildings. Among the advantages are incombustibility, long service life and the absence of harmful substances in the composition.
When installing siding, a layer of heat and sound insulation, as well as insulated wiring, are often laid between the lamellas and the wall of SIP panels, which makes this material practical and versatile.
Facade board is a finishing material that is considered the most environmentally friendly. Most often, an unedged board made of larch, pine or birch is used, which is distinguished by its affordable cost. To increase the service life, protect against pests and mold, the board must be regularly impregnated with special compounds.
For finishing facades are used:
- Plankens – a decorative board equipped with a fastening system that allows you to speed up the installation process and ensure a flat surface.
- Thermo board – one of the types of larch facade board, which has been thermally processed. Its peculiarity is that after exposure to high-temperature conditions, it has hygroscopicity and is resistant to thermal expansion.
Clinker tiles are panels that look very much like brickwork, which are made from materials of natural origin, are designed for a long service life, and are resistant to high and low temperatures. An important advantage of such a tile can be considered an assortment of clinker tiles: its surface can be smooth, rough, with glaze and notches.
The tiles are mounted on the SIP-panel using special glue, and the gaps are filled with special grouts. It is very important to initially choose the right glue and follow the laying technology. Despite the relatively high cost, as a result, you can get interesting design solutions, which, moreover, will last more than one year without special care.
Flexible stone is a fairly innovative material that is made on the basis of acrylic resin and marble chips. Flexible stone slabs are plastic, so it is convenient to mount them on any type of surface, and there is no need to pre-apply a layer of plaster.
A flexible stone is fixed on the surface with cement-based glue. During installation, it is possible not to carry out additional processing of the joints, since a film is applied on the plates, which is simply removed after installation. A significant plus of this material is the ability to finish the corners and slopes of windows.
One of the options that has become widespread in our country are sandwich panels.