Natural stone has been the most-preferred cladding material for interior designers and architects. Thanks to its plethora of characteristics that make it a perfect material for both internal and external cladding. It is not just robust and durable but also good-looking in terms of aesthetics. In fact, each stone is so unique in existence that it can be used innovatively to enhance its endurance power and appearance.
With a comprehensive understanding of stone cladding, it becomes easy to implement the right material for your cladding project. So, here it goes!
Basic Types Of Cladding In Construction
1. Traditional Handset Cladding
This type of cladding has been trusted and implemented for decades. Here the natural stone is attached to a pre-constructed supporting structure. And together, both the layers form the skin of the building.
In traditional handset cladding, the weight of the stone is transferred to load-bearing fixings located at the floor base. So, it is vital that such a type is adopted by incorporating movement joints and compression joints. Premium quality granite, limestone and sandstone are extensively used in this traditional cladding system. That being said, high-quality marble and slate are the secondary choices.
2. Rainscreen Cladding
When it comes to achieving a cladding using the rainscreen principle, natural stone makes it to the top of the list. Rainscreen cladding involves the installation of stone panels using either a hidden system or an exposed clip system. Typically, this type is back-ventilated and features an interior drainage cavity. Therefore, it helps in eliminating any moisture that may have seeped inside.
3. Custom Cladding
As the name suggests, custom cladding enables in achieving the kind of shape, surface or design you require. This method is popular among retail and commercial spaces. It is broadly categorised as follows:
a) Brick Cladding - Brick cladding necessarily does not involve the installation of brick to walls. Natural stones are also used in the form of bricks to bestow a country-like feel to your interior and exterior walls. In terms of functionality, stone bricks are durable and resistant to harsh weather conditions. They can add a timeless appeal to interior, exterior as well as boundary walls.
On the other hand, brick as a material is also a good option for cladding. It protects the wall from wear and tear, repels water and is a cheaper option to protect your building facade.
b) Tile Cladding - This method requires a flat surface to which it can be attached using a mortar or specialised adhesive. In order to maintain surface integrity, it may require a final finish through grouting. Tile cladding is popularly made using natural stones like high-quality marble and granite. Secondary materials include concrete, ceramic, brick, glazed tiles, glass and stainless steel. In terms of aesthetics, it offers a distinct colour, pattern and finishes options to blend easily with your design.
Reliable List Of Materials For Stone Cladding
Stones are cut to a specific size from larger blocks when used in cladding. A wide range of natural stones is used in cladding. However, we have categorised the most popular.
Granite - Granite stone owns coarse grains on its surface which are made up of interlocking crystals. It is not just the most abundantly occurring stone which is widely used for both interior and exterior cladding. When it comes to its core features, it endures the test of time - beautifully.
Pebble Black Granite which is a great option to present a classy and sophisticated look to your walls. This black granite is highly versatile in applications and features while being durable and resistant to stains. Whether you need it for wall claddings or flooring, this granite will surely steal the show.
Quality Marble India, the leading granite exporter offers a range of granite in different sizes of slabs, tiles, and blocks, to save time and money on cutting the stone.
Marble - Although marble is a bit expensive when used in wall cladding, it has never failed to lure homeowners. Rain Forest Marble is one of the most sought-after stones for any wall cladding. The elegant dark brown strokes crossing white veins give a mesmerising look to the building facade. Architects and engineers mainly prefer this marble for its look, light and warmth. Regular maintenance of this natural stone keeps it alluring and splendid for years. We offer customised shapes and sizes of marble to match your design expectations.
Another highly preferred natural stone is Onyx White Marble. This stone prompts especially to those who love light and subtle hues. The stone is characterised by a white backdrop and a green texture. Also known as Crystal White or Aravalli White, it is ideal for interior and exterior cladding due to its durability and resistance against stains.
Jerusalem Stone - One of the oldest stones used in construction, it is a derivative of limestone and dolomite. It possesses a very high density compared to other limestones and hence it is way more resistant to weathering. Owing to robust properties, the stone is an ideal option for exterior cladding.
Slate - Slate is a metamorphic stone that reflects a texture of fine grains. When used for cladding it provides an elegant and refined look. The prominent qualities of the natural stone are high durability, exceptional resistance to water and low maintenance. It remains to be a distinguished choice for modern architects.
Polyurethane - In case you are looking for a lightweight version of natural stone, polyurethane is a good option. It consists of panels that are installed directly on the wall. It bestows a stone-like appearance with a sturdy character. The material is an excellent insulator while being resistant to water, fire and UV rays.
Cement - Recognised as a high-performing building material, cement is widely used in residential, commercial and industrial cladding. It is best suited for external and internal cladding including walls, roofing and flooring. Thanks to its great resistance to corrosion, water, termites and harsh elements. Besides, the cement cladding material is free of asbestos and hence it can be used as a green building material.
There is more to add to your cladding knowledge. Kindly wait until we are back with Part 2 of the ‘Natural Stone Cladding Guide For Architects’, shortly.