As a country that experiences some extreme weather, Australia’s architects are heavily invested in finding cladding solutions that are durable, affordable and stunning. There are thousands of architectural cladding options on the market, but the same categories remain popular for their beauty and longevity. We’re going to discuss some of the most common cladding solutions and how they’re being put to use in Australia’s modern architecture scene.
1. Bricks and Brick Veneer
Bricks have long been one of Australia’s most popular cladding options. Affordable, attractive and highly durable, bricks make for some of the best exterior finishes on the market. These days bricks come in thousands of different shapes, sizes and formats, making them the perfect solution for architects that want to make their projects stand out. As an added bonus, bricks also offer natural thermal efficiency, making them ideal for Australia’s harsh climates.
But bricks aren’t always the correct solution, and brick veneer may be more appropriate in some settings. Brick veneer is designed to look and feel just like real brick. In reality, brick veneer is an imitation product that’s made up of thin slivers of bricks and mortar. These types of veneers have all the warmth and durability of real brick, but they’re a fraction of the cost and much lower weight, making them suitable for decoration, high rise buildings or budget-conscious projects.
2. Weatherboard Cladding
Weatherboard cladding is an ever-popular solution, known for its affordability and durability. Weatherboards are available in a huge range of sizes, styles and materials, making them perfect for any aesthetic. Traditional weatherboard products were made from timber. These days, weatherboards are made of all types of timber, vinyl and fibre cement. This allows them to be moulded and shaped into a variety of formats and profiles. These can then be used to create stunning, textured exteriors that boast all the beauty of the natural timbers that inspired the trend.
3. Timber Cladding
Timber is an all-time favourite cladding material all over the world. Originally used as simple weatherboards, timber cladding products have come a long way in recent years, and the stunning natural material is now the perfect architectural choice.
The major benefit of timber is that it’s a living material. It changes over time, allowing your home to blend into its surroundings. This effect is highly prized in natural settings where homes sit among Australia’s iconic bushland.
If you need more convincing, timber remains a popular solution thanks to the sheer amount of choice available. Timber cladding manufacturers supply panels in a huge array of colours, sizes, shapes and profiles. These panels can be used to lend an unparalleled sense of texture and depth to your project.
4. Fibre Cement Cladding
Fibre cement is often viewed as a budget option, and it arguably doesn’t lend as much character or variety to a home as the alternatives. But fibre cement is one of the most environmentally friendly materials on this list, and it’s available in a huge range of colours and finishes, so it can be used to achieve anything you have in mind.
5. Stone Cladding
Stone remains one of the most characterful cladding options on the market today. Australia’s natural stone deposits mean we have fantastic access to cladding systems that include granite, limestone and quartzite. These natural stones not only look fantastic, they’re highly weather-resistant and an attractive option for all internal and external spaces.
Natural stone cladding typically requires very little upkeep. Like brick, it’s capable of withstanding Australia’s harsh sun and weather without the need for coating or repainting. It’s also highly thermal efficient, making it ideal for our hotter climates.
6. Metal Cladding
Metal cladding products such as Colorbond have always been considered a budget alternative to alternatives like timber. But metalworking has evolved, and steel cladding options are now more versatile than ever. From flat-panel products that provide a sleek and minimal aesthetic, to textured and ribbed panels that offer unrivalled depth, metal cladding can achieve it all.
The majority of metal cladding systems are produced in either steel, aluminium or a combination of the two. This provides the most design flexibility and allows cladding styles to be mixed and matched for maximum visual impact.
7. Aerated Concrete Cladding
Finally, aerated concrete cladding has been gaining popularity for its affordability and industrial aesthetic. While aerated concrete sheets were once exclusively used for commercial and industrial buildings, the material has become increasingly common in residential projects. The sharp lines of concrete lends itself to brutalistic and minimalistic design languages, and it also pairs perfectly with natural materials like timber.