We are back with Part 2 of ‘Natural Stone Cladding Guide For Architects.’ In part 1, we explained the popular types of natural stone cladding and the most sought-after stones. Today, we are going ahead to discuss some technical details in choosing the natural stone for cladding. Reading this will help you to have a clear idea of how to achieve the desired results with your natural stone cladding project.
Beginning With The Aesthetics
Natural stone is born with its intrinsic beauty and strength. But when it comes to the external appearance, the majority depends on how the stone is extracted, processed, and finished. In other words, the aesthetics you visualise can be accomplished by the following:
There is endless variation in the colours of natural stones. Some of them are known for their colour range. For example, Basalt is famous for darker shades while granite gained its popularity for the overall colour palette. If you have chosen any colour you wish for your cladding, discuss it with experienced granite suppliers, as it is necessary to match your colour preference with the project.
However, some colour stones are versatile in application. Rainforest Green Marble is one such variety that boasts a dark green shade of green with brown veins - giving the forest look. The colour is so unique that it can be used for marble flooring, countertops and wall cladding. The marble tiles provide a natural earthy feel to any space it covers. Being recognized as the leading marble suppliers, Quality Marble Exports (India) ensures a high-quality supply, in processing the stone in an appropriate shape and size.
Imperial White Granite and Pebble Black Granite are other high-quality granite tile varieties fancied by many property owners. Thanks to its unique reflection of multiple tones of black like olive black, jet black, charcoal black and dark black, it became one of the classiest stones. It can be used for a variety of applications including fireplace, kitchen countertops, floor and wall claddings. We offer granite floor tiles, slabs & blocks in variable sizes to create the right aesthetics for your space.
Texture & Pattern
The next big thing that ensures beauty is texture and pattern. These features make each piece of stone look distinct. Texture ranges from roughly fragmented to fine-grained and smooth. Both have a major impact on the aesthetics and ambience of a space.
For instance, Paradiso Classic Granite marks the look with its small to medium size grains in grey and black colour. The base which is light purple in colour enhances the entire texture. This premium quality granite from Quality Marble Exports (India), offers a modern look for both interiors and exteriors. With its beautiful texture and pattern, it blends seamlessly with its surrounding environment.
The finish is the final touch a manufacturer gives to the surface of the natural stone. In general, you will come across three types of finishes: Sandblasted polished and honed.
The sandblasted finished surface is finely textured and granular. To achieve a rough yet tidy finish, the stone is treated with a high-pressure blast of silica.
A polished surface is given to stone to recreate the contrast and character of natural colours. In this regard, Onyx Pink Marble does an amazing justice with its white and light pink pattern and green patches. It is treated with a polished finish which provides enhances a shiny charm to the overall look. It reflects light like a mirror and the majority of this credit goes to the finish.
Honed finish stone shows a smooth and uniform surface. If stones like marble and granite are honed their surface shows a matte finish as these stones own natural shine.
Consider The Physical Strength Of Natural Stone
Call it physical strength or capacity to endure, this is the major factor that ensures the performance of natural stone over time.
Durability - For cladding, a stone must have excellent durability so that it can withstand harsh conditions. Hence, it is vital to choose a stone according to the weathering characteristics, especially when applying it to exterior walls. For instance, avoiding some stones like limestone are susceptible to weathering.
Insulation - Thermal insulation in natural stone cladding is essential to reduce the heat loss or gain of building skin. Some stones have naturally insulating properties while some can be easily paired with other insulating products. While you decide on insulation, ensure it is non-combustible, non-absorbent, rot and vermin proof. Finally, try to achieve the lowest possible V-value when designing the insulation layer.
Maintenance - Each natural stone requires a different level of maintenance. But the key is that you need to keep it clean to prevent cracking over time. Besides, a few of the stones may break down or become slippery. Before construction, consult the manufacturer to understand the maintenance requirements.
Sustainability - Natural stones are comparatively neutral in terms of environmental impact. Moreover, they can be recycled and reused any number of times. It is important to recognise the environmental impact of manufacturers shipping stone internationally.
An Overview Of Natural Stone Cladding Installation
Installation of natural stones is a skill, if managed by experienced professionals it will provide the best results. Also, the method used matters, the common ones are:
Wet Installation/ Direct Adhered Method
This is the most common method implemented for the installation of stone cladding. The reason behind its widespread use is the ease with which installation gets done.
The method of installation begins by taking the measurements of the area. Then comes the most vital step i.e surface preparation. The surface needs to be treated so that the bond between the wall and adhesive/mortar remains intact. This is followed by the mixing of the wet mortar and spreading it on the wall with the required thickness. Now, the natural stone is pressed onto the wet mortar and excess mortar from joints is removed. At last, the joints are sealed with a pointing tool depending on the finish you want.
- No onsite drilling required
- No chances of cracks on the wall due to drilling
- Time-consuming process
- The stone attached with wet mortar may change in colour due to water absorption
- If the bond between stone and mortar is not proper, the stone may come off
Dry Installation/ Mechanical Installation
This method employs embedded metal anchors and ties for connection purposes. It can be used only for thick stones, as it requires drilling that may sometimes lead to cracking.
Here it requires locating the position of the hole and drilling it to the appropriate depth and thickness. Next, the bolt and pin are inserted to connect the hole with the cladding stone. While following the procedure a minimum of 2 mm space is kept between every two pieces of stone.
- It is safe and prevents the stone from coming off for years
- As it is dry, the cladding work looks aesthetically attractive
- Time-saving method
- Cracking may occur on the substrate
- Can be done only by highly skilled professionals
Our dedication combined with cutting-edge technology and deep-rooted expertise can create outstanding natural stone wall cladding for your construction projects.