What is timber cladding?
Timber cladding is a widely-used, common exterior finish for buildings; 'cladding' refers to a covering for a structure, as well as all the components attached to achieve this.
It is available in a range of species (the tree that the timber originated from) and is machined to a range of profiles (which determines the way the pieces fit together). Different timber species have varying physical properties and looks. The choice of profile, similarly, can affect the properties and aesthetics of the cladding.
Cladding doesn’t have to be timber, of course. But the natural aesthetic appeal of wooden cladding has made it a timeless, popular choice that will never go out of fashion. Cladding is an extremely old weatherproofing technique that has accordingly been perfected over time.
What’s the best profile for timber cladding?
Cladding doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all solution. One particular profile (how the boards fit together) can have particular benefits over another, making one profile perfect for a specific project.
There are three common profile types for wood cladding — Tongue and V-Groove, Shiplap and Feather-Edged, but currently the trend is for Shadow Gap and Rainscreen-style cladding.
Tongue & V-Groove
Tongue & V-Groove cladding is considered the most popular style of cladding, in part due to its subtle aesthetic neatness.
Much like shiplap (mentioned below), tongue and groove has the ability to shield buildings from water, wind and the cold — creating great all round weatherproofing.
The main difference between Shiplap and Tongue & V-Groove cladding is that there’s a scoop on Shiplap cladding, providing further run off protection against moisture and rainfall. It is usually fixed horizontally.
What are the benefits of timber cladding?
1. Natural beauty
Perhaps the foremost benefit of timber — the reason many people turn to it — is its undeniable natural beauty. Outdoor wood cladding gives a warm feel and once weathered is able to blend into their natural surroundings.Timber cladding allows you to create seamless transitions between buildings and woodland. Exterior wooden cladding can also give a calming, natural aesthetic to buildings in urbanised areas.It's versatile, too. A beautiful timber exterior finish can be right at home in a traditional or contemporary setting.
Aside from its marvellous natural beauty, timber cladding is also an unbelievably eco-friendly material. In fact, it’s probably the greenest building choice you could make. For every tree used to make cladding there is always the opportunity to plant new ones. As well as being 100% renewable, timber stores carbon from the atmosphere, helping to fight global warming. NR Burnett' are able to source our timber from FSC and PEFC-certified suppliers which guarantees that the timber used is 100% renewable and harvested sustainably. That’s not to mention that any leftovers can be reused or disposed of in an eco-friendly way - seldom so easily the case for other building materials.
3. Customisable and changeable
Timber cladding is far easier to replace than other exterior finishing materials, so if you’re wanting a change in the future or need a cladding spruce - timber is guaranteed to be the least hassle. Wood is one of the cheapest materials to customise since it doesn’t require any special equipment. For those with a keen eye for design, it’s worth noting that timber cladding is highly customisable. It looks fantastic painted and, with various stains available, there are endless design opportunities for creative homeowners. Wood is easily repainted, too, so a cladding colour change is never out of the question!
4. Naturally-insulating: for heat and sound
Inside timber is a cellular structure which contains air pockets. This makes wood a fantastic natural insulator - keeping the home (indeed, any building it’s applied to) hotter. In fact, wood insulates fifteen times better than masonry, 400 times better than steel and 1,770 times better than aluminium. It’s also a good sound insulator, keeping noise out.
5. Time and cost-effective
Cladding projects fulfilled with timber, as a rule, tend to come in at a cheaper price than with other building materials. Of course, costs can vary - but as a rule, timber is a great choice for those on a budget. That’s not to say you can’t splash out on some expensive, exotic timber if that’s what your heart desires! It’s also worth noting that timber is lighter than other building materials, making the cladding quick and easy to transport, manoeuvre and install.
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