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Composite Cladding, Aluminium Cladding vs Timber Cladding – What is the Best Option?

Composite Cladding Aluminium Cladding vs Timber Cladding What is the Best Option 1
The construction industry is constantly developing, with an increasing amount of cladding options available.

Timber alternatives are rapidly making their way into the exterior cladding space, with “wood look” composites and aluminium proposing to be lower maintenance.

So are these products really as good as they claim?

The short answer is it is too early to say, many of these products have not been in the market long enough to have real world experience.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each option:

Composite Cladding

Made from wood plastic composite, often coated with a thin skin of PVC known as a cap.

Pros:

  • Does not require recoating in the short to medium term
  • Minimal fading and movement
  • May have favourable fire retardancy

Cons:

  • No clear solution at what will happen after 15 year warranty expires – PVC cap will eventually fail, what happens then?
  • No long term performance history
  • Most Warranties do not look comprehensive, with a number of “snags”
  • Not particularly flexible for designs, clunky accessories

Wood Look Aluminium

Typically powder coated or wrapped aluminium.

Pros:

  • Does not require recoating in the short to medium term
  • Long history of performance as window joinery
  • Dimensionally stable
  • Good fire resistance

Cons:

  • No clear solution at what will happen after 15 year warranty expires – powder coat will eventually fail, what happens then?
  • Most Warranties do not look comprehensive, with many snags, including annual cleaning requirement
  • Fairly cold look, wood grain finishes look artificial

Timber

For the purposes of this exercise we have assumed a stable, durable timber such as Vulcan Cladding.

Pros:

  • Authentic timber look
  • Long history of performance
  • Easily re-finished 10-15 years onwards
  • Easily worked with well-developed accessories

Cons:

  • Will require regular coating, 2-4 years for semi transparent and 8-12 years for quality paint systems
  • May not be fire resistant (species dependent)

Just checking you’re heading to the right place

Make sure you get the right information about our carefully crafted timber products by visiting your local Abodo website.