/ Articles by: Ram G

4 BENEFITS OF WALL CLADDING YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW

Wall cladding is a skin or insulation on the wall of a building and interior space. The word cladding means layering a material over another material. Wall cladding is used on buildings to reduce the thermal degree in the interior space and protect the building from adverse effects of climatic conditions and ageing. 

 

WHY IS GRANITE USED FOR WALL CLADDING?

Wall cladding has become a popular choice for moderations in interior walls and exterior. Wall cladding is done using different materials like natural stone, wooden panels, glass or mirror, vinyl, aluminium and artificial stones. Even so, natural stone always comes as a first preference due to its good adaptation capability. The best choice for wall cladding among natural stones is granite, as they have good properties to resist devastating conditions in a measurable unit than other natural stones like marble, limestone and sandstone. Granite resists moisture and it increases the mechanical strength of the structure. It also acts as a thermal insulator and has a good sound absorption property which makes it an excellent choice for exterior walls.

Now let’s see what are the key benefits of using granite for wall cladding

 

BENEFIT 1: STRUCTURAL STRENGTH AND DURABILITY 

Granites are the most preferred stones when it comes to wall cladding. The main reason why people often choose granite is its hardness and resistance properties. Wall cladding offers a good structural strength to buildings. On tower buildings, it is always better to use a sturdy stone like granite for wall cladding, especially on exterior walls. Granite protects the cement wall and prevents the formation of cracks in a thermal environment. Un-finished or finished granites can be used on walls as they resist moisture better than other natural stones. Granite also doesn’t fade upon the exposure to UV- rays. Granite is considered as an auspicious stone and is used in temple structures that are built to last for eternity. The Brihadeswara Temple located at thanjavur, TamilNadu is one such structure that proves the durability of granite.   

 

BENEFIT 2: SUSTAINABLE CONDITIONS 

Along with modernisation, it is vital that we focus on building a harmonious relation with our ecosystem. We are living in a world where everything is in the process of being sustainable. Commercial projects, these days, are working on energy-efficient methods. Now let’s understand what role does granite play in these sustainable projects. Granite has the efficiency to adopt heat and therefore are used in solar plates, which are installed on roofs to generate electricity. Granites also act as thermal insulators when used in wall cladding for interior and exterior walls. The incident light from the sun falling on a building in the morning and afternoon emits thermal energy which is stored in between the gaps of wall cladding. This energy will then act as a natural heater during night in cold areas. Even though they are mined from mother earth they don’t cause any disturbance to the environment. Using mined blocks for wall cladding offers a wide range of advantages like eliminating the use of paints and shielding the soil from possible damage that could arise as a result of the deterioration of man-made panels.

 

Fig 1. Granite solar cell, Cladon blue

 

Fig 2. Granite Slab used as thermal insulator on exterior or interior wall

 

BENEFIT 3: AESTHETICS

When it comes to the aesthetic appeal of a building, there is nothing that can add a touch of elegance to the building better than a natural stone like granite. Granites are the most commonly used material for wall cladding. They come in different finishes like sawn, honed, polished and flamed. They provide an elegant and seamless look to tower projects. Katti-ma, as a proud quarry owner, offers natural stones of different colours like red granite, blue granite, black granite, grey granite and white granite. We have also worked on multiple tower projects with our wide variety of stones. 

  

BENEFIT 4: MAINTENANCE 

Maintenance is the main element of all types of projects. Only a well-maintained material can stay durable. That’s why you should always choose the right material for your interiors and exteriors. It’s proven that granite is the best option available for wall cladding in the market. Granite has amazing properties that make it durable. The stone adapts well to all weather conditions and doesn’t fade easily. Its hard surface protects it from abrasions. The maintenance is also a very simple process. The walls are usually washed with a pressure washer and in rainy areas, nature does the job for you. 

 

INSTALLATION GUIDE FOR WALL CLADDING 

⦁ Measurement  

The first step in the installation process is to measure. The area on which the granites are to be installed is measured and the stone requirement is calculated accordingly. The area is calculated in square feet or square metre for flat surface by multiplying the width and the height. The area of windows and door jams are calculated in running feet or running metre.

⦁ Solid foundation

The foundation is a highly considered factor while installing a stone cladding surface. It’s advised to construct the building with brick or concrete. The stone can be installed on the building surface in three different ways. The first method is using adhesive to stick them directly on the wall. The second method is creating an insulator layer supported with heavy duty aluminium clamps. The third method is directly clamping with a heavy holding clamp on the wall with a minimum of 30mm air gap. In case the foundation is an existing structure, it must be cleaned, levelled, and reinforced.

⦁ Prepare the surface

The surface preparation has to be done before installation. For the first method, the wall is made even and rough which gives a good bonding strength and in the same process all the contaminating materials like paint and wax oil are removed. In the second and third methods, the clamps are bolted to the wall and for the same, the wall should be made smooth and painted with a primer to avoid rust of fasteners and bolts. 

⦁ Prepare the stone layout

The stones to be installed are kept ready and their arrangement is also planned in advance by variations denoting either of V1, V2, V3 and V4. Based on the method used to lay the stones on the wall, the stones are arranged on the ground based on their size, texture, thickness and colour. 

⦁ Quality adhesive/ Clamps 

The quality of the adhesive is very important for the bonding of the stone with the concrete wall. There are several stone adhesives available in the market. If the right adhesive is not chosen, there is a chance of the material losing its adhesive strength and falling apart over a time period. A notched trowel is used to apply the adhesive to the back of the stone. The adhesive is evenly spread on the stone and is then pressed firmly against the wall.

For the clamping process, the clamps should be of aluminium base to avoid rust conditions, the fastening screws should be made of stainless steel.

The layering method should always start from the left or right corners towards the centre of the wall. To check the wall calibration, use spirit level and check if the cladding is vertically and horizontally equal. 

⦁ Grouting

Once the stone cladding is installed, the gaps need to be filled to avoid moisture and contaminants. There are two types of grouting one is epoxy grouting and the other is gypsum grouting. Epoxy grouting is recommended for exterior wall cladding as it prevents moisture and water from entering the gaps. The gaps are cleaned and the grout is filled with matching cladding stones. Let the grout dry and before it hardens make sure the joints are cleaned for excess material with a scraper and a striking stick. 

⦁ Finish

The final step is to dust the entire area and clean the excess grouting. The next process is to apply a good quality sealer to ensure the durability of the stones. Sealing is essential for exteriors exposed to humidity and moisture or bathrooms with high humidity. 

Granite and Quartz have been part of a long running debate of which one is better than the other. Even though the answer is too obvious, it is imperative to support this answer with a thorough comparison of the properties of Granite and Quartz.

Granite is an igneous rock formed by quartz, feldspar & mica. It’s hard enough to resist abrasions and strong enough to bear significant weight. It can also resist weathering and can accept a brilliant polish. They are directly mined from the quarries and are cut into slabs of different measurements based on the requirements of customers.

Quartz is termed as an engineered stone or man-made stone. It falls under the category of natural stone, as it’s manufactured by mixing earthed natural quartz and polymer resins.

Now that we know the basic points that distinguish granite from quartz, let’s move on to the facts that prove granite is in every way a better option than quartz.

1. Durability

So, we have a question here! If you’re to build your dream home, what would you prefer for your kitchen top, benchtop, island counter and wall cladding, an artistic and durable stone or something that’s just ravishing in terms of looks? Undoubtedly, it’s going to be a durable stone. Granite, being a naturally formed material, has good properties and good rating on Mohs hardness index. The hardness of granite makes it easy to give a long-lasting glossy finish to its surface. Granite can withstand high temperatures and other adverse conditions. You’ll be surprised to know that quartz lacks these amazing properties to some extent. A hot pan can literally burn the surface of a quartz countertop. The reason behind the low heat resistance of quartz is epoxy resin, which is a bad conductor of heat. Granites are also widely used for invisible cooktops due to its high resistance to heat.

2. Ease of maintenance

While choosing a material for your residential or commercial project, it’s always important to consider the maintenance which will consume both your time and money. Porosity is considered as an important property of granites. Some granite materials need to be protected from stains that penetrate due to its porous nature. A good quality sealant can be used to avoid this stain penetration. If you think of it, you’ll understand that spending some time sealing the granite is much better than having a quartz countertop that easily melts upon exposure to high temperatures. You’ll also have to spend a fortune to fix the damaged area.

3. Aesthetics

You can’t deny the fact that aesthetics is one among the many elements you want to see in your house or commercial buildings. A natural stone like granite can give an aesthetically pleasing look to your wall claddings and benchtops. Granite comes in a huge range of colours and patterns. In some countries like the USA, Canada, Australia, China and the Middle east, granite is considered as a symbol of social status. They use the stone in the interior and exterior decor of their residence. Granites come in different colour ranges like, blue granite, red granite, black granite, pink granite and grey granite. Talking about the sizes in which granites are available, the rough blocks directly mined from the quarry are cut into gang saw size or cutter size based on the customer’s preference. Granites are available in different surface finishes in the market like, honed finish, leather finish and polished finish. Quartz are cheaper stones and can’t be sculptured to the required model or shape and its surface can’t be polished to high gloss or any other texture as of granite. The range of colours in which quartz is available is very poor and it’s also not as aesthetically pleasing as granite.

4. Eco-friendly

At first, it’d appear as if quartz causes less environmental degradation. But when you actually think of the processes involved in the production of both the stones, you’ll realise that quartz is more dangerous to the environment than granite. As both the stones are natural stones, both of them are mined from quarries. But quartz poses the real threat as it undergoes additional processings to mix the polymer resin which is a chemically hazardous material to use on countertops.

5. Negligible fading issues

Direct exposure to sunlight can easily fade a quartz surface and can change the properties of the resin which tends to lose the artificial shine over a particular period. This is why granite is widely used in exterior works like landscaping, monuments, staircases, and wall cladding.

At Katti-ma, we offer a wide range of granites in different colours, and some of them are exclusively available at Katti-ma. We are proud owners and distributors of the exotic Costa Dakota, Cladon Blue, Steel Blue, Red Pearl, Elephant Grey granites. We also have – Indian black, Black Pearl, Hassan Green, River White, Black Fantasy, Viscont White, Black Galaxy, Sera Grey, Steel Grey, Bahama Blue, Indian Mahogany, Paradiso, Blue Pearl, Catseye Brown, Kovai Gold, South African Dark Grey, Regal Black, SG Black, Samantha Blue. The range is constantly expanding with the addition of more colours.

Red is a colour of positivity and health. Red Granite, with its exquisite properties, has already made its name known in the construction industry. Enormous range of patterns and colourful compounds of red granite are found in nature. It can easily adapt to different finishes, which makes it stand out from all other granites. It’s used for both interior and exterior structures like benchtop, table top and wall cladding. Katti-ma group is the largest quarry owner & exporter of economically viable red granite in South India. We fall under the top 10 exporters of red granite in major countries like the USA, Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Here are the 6 reasons why you should use Red Granite 

Reason 1: Durability

The Red Granite has a high glossy finish and wear resistance with a rating of 6 on Mohs Hardness Index. As it has excellent resistance to different weather conditions, Red Granite is widely used in open spaces like high traffic pavements, airports, temple & religious projects, facades & walkways as it’s easy to maintain and adds up a ravishing look. In China & South East Asia, Red Granite is the go-to colour for staircases, raisers & countertops in residential projects. Because of its auspiciousness, Red Granite is used for Puja rooms & entry verandah in Indian homes.

Reason 2: Auspisionness & Culture

Red is China’s national color. It is also the most auspicious color used across the Chinese mainland. Hence, Red Granite is a popular choice in Chinese for Buildings & Worship places. It is also used extensively inside homes for staircases, raisers & all countertops. Red and gold are synonymous with prosperity in Asia. In India, red is considered as a very auspicious color and is widely used for rituals in worship places. Red Granite also makes a perfect building facade and beautifies high maintenance areas such as walkways, airports.

Reason 3: Vibrance

The red is always termed as a colour which blends with any background in the interior space. The Red Granite is available in shades ranging from dark to light in the natural stone market based on the resources. They are of different finishes like honed finish, leather finish & polished finish, which makes red granite rich in its look and feel. The stones are quarried from the mines and cut into Gangsaw or cutter size based on the client’s requirement.

Reason 4: Natural material with Zero Carbon emission

Red granite is a variety of Alkali feldspar granite, they are rich in the mineral potassium feldspar (K-spar). It’s a dense rock with a phaneritic texture. Red granite is found in 22 countries and the major resources are obtained from China, India, The USA, Russia and Brazil. Unlike artificial tiles & engineered stone, it is formed naturally and does not impact the environment in any way.

Reason 5: Usage & life

The properties of Red Granite are not much different from other granites like blue granite, black granite, white granite, grey granite etc. The most enthralling properties of Red Granite are its elegance, durability and porosity. What makes granite the most desirable stone in the construction field is its resistance to abrasions, easy maintenance, seamless finish, unique pattern and acceptance to changing weather conditions.

Reason 6: Outdoor Usage & Memorialization

Red granite is really hard and highly porous making it last for years & decades without any damage and therefore, it is extensively used to build monuments. The Veterans War memorial project in the USA uses granite to preserve the history that gets engraved on the stone. Granite possesses a unique capability of passing the tales of past generations & civilizations to different generations.