Ultimate Guide on Which Cladding Stone is Right for You?
The choice is wonderful.
Wouldn’t you agree?
We do! However, being in the industry for over a decade, we have learnt that it is also important to couple choice with knowledge and wisdom.
You see, with so many options available at your fingertips, there are a few key factors to consider when selecting the best material when installing stone cladding to the walls of your home or commercial property.
Of all these considerations, the most important is where you will be installing the cladding stone.
This is crucial because not all natural stone claddings are suitable for all areas. For example, some natural stones are more porous than others and thus, are not ideal for installation around the pool or outdoor areas exposed to the elements.
In this article, we will cover four scenarios and answer your questions on what to consider in each case.
1. Would the stone cladding be facing mostly towards the sun or is it under the shade, next to a damp area?
As you may have discovered through your research, most natural stones have some level of porosity.
Natural stone cladding is no exception.
While some stones, like granite, are dense, most are similar to sandstone and are much softer in their composition. The issue with softer, porous stones is that, over time, they are more prone to lose their original appearance. They are likely to attract mould and even discolour over the years, especially if installed in the wrong location.
For example, if you intend to install sandstone cladding in a shady area without direct sunlight, you may want to avoid sandstone and instead consider denser stones like granite cladding, quartz or even limestone cladding. Sandstone thrives from direct sunlight and if exposed to too much shade can turn grey and age.
The one instance where sandstone cladding will complement the rest of your home is if there is a lot of aged sandstone throughout it already. Then the grey and the aged look will make the perfect combination.
2. Will there be direct or close water contact with your stone cladding?
As we mentioned previously, most natural stones are porous in their composition. As such, not all natural stones are suitable to use around swimming pools
There are two reasons.
Firstly, some natural stone claddings like Mica-Schist Quartzite can leak certain minerals, like iron. This will contaminate the water and subsequently, contaminate the person swimming in the water.
Secondly, in our experience, we have seen some people install sandstone cladding as water fountain features. However, this is not ideal because sandstone is an extremely porous material and thus vulnerable to salts and acids. If the sandstone is exposed to chlorinated or salt water over prolonged periods, it will deteriorate over time and the crumbled sand will fill the pool. The filter won’t be able to remove it and over time, will eventually stop working altogether. This is why we do not recommend installing sandstone cladding in any outdoor area where it is exposed to water.
3. Can you install cladding on a plaster wall?
While some glues are suitable for tiling and installing lightweight stones onto plaster walls, stone cladding, which weighs roughly between 90kg-180kg per m2, is simply too heavy to adhere to such a soft building material as plaster.
4. How high is the wall? Would the cladding require mechanical fixing?
The height of your wall or substrate, coupled with the weight of the stone cladding, plays a crucial role in the installation process.
If you are applying heavy stone cladding to a high wall, 2 metres and more in height, angles and mechanical fixing will be required. Alternatively, if you are installing lighter stone cladding on a wall under 2 metres in height, moisture-sensitive quick-drying glue is sufficient for the application.
In saying this, if you are installing light or heavy stone cladding on a wall over 2 metres in height, you will need to use angles at every 800mm mark. For instance, 2.8m, 3.6m and so forth. This will ensure that your stone cladding is supported with the best infrastructure and doesn’t create a hazard for anyone walking around it.
If you are using sandstone cladding, be mindful that each individual piece can be 600x300mm in size and weigh up to 40kg. In this instance, it is best practice to pin each individual stone one at a time, to the substrate.
If you are unsure about your chosen stone cladding and the substrate that you are applying it to, or if you are installing the cladding onto a pier or column, reach out to us for assistance and a free consultation. We can help you figure out the best size and installation process for your project.
Wall cladding can really add character and personality to an otherwise dull substrate, column, pier or wall.
When choosing the right stone cladding for your home, remember to select something that complements your landscaping and design, meets your budget and more importantly is made of the right material for the environment.
As wall cladding can be a luxury, and costly, investment, reviewing all these factors is essential to making a decision that ensures the longevity of your project.
If you need any help choosing the right stone, we would love to invite you to our showroom in Glebe, Sydney. We display our products in real-life settings and would love to help guide you with bringing your dream to life.