DIY Wall Cladding Projects: Tips and Tricks

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If you’re looking to create an eye-catching yet understated look for any indoor or outdoor area, wall cladding is a worthy investment. It makes it easy to elevate your home and stand out from all the other properties in your neighbourhood. It’s also the perfect wall upgrade option because of its durable structure and aesthetically pleasing design. 

Below we’ll explore the various elements of wall cladding and take you through the steps of how to apply cladding to a wall. We’ll also reveal how you can add character and beauty to your outdoor and indoor areas through simple but effective techniques.

But first, let’s take a look at what wall cladding is.

 

What Is Wall Cladding?

Wall cladding is an effective technique for enhancing the appearance of any building and giving it some personality. It employs various materials such as stone, wood, composite, and more to make beautiful wall coverings that are fixed or adhered to any existing wall structure.

External wall cladding is typically used for outdoor water features and building facades. Interior wall cladding is used for kitchen and bath backsplashes and adding gorgeous accents to living area walls and fireplace edging, for example.

One of the best materials for outside wall panels is composite wall cladding, which helps to dramatically reduce maintenance and ensure that your building looks good year after year without having to worry about sanding. Composite cladding wall tiles are also UV resistant which ensures that your walls keep their colour even during the very hot South African summer months.

Other types of wall cladding include natural stone, artificial stone, vinyl, wood, fibre cement, external foam, weatherboard, ceramic, concrete, metal, and brick. Each dramatically changes the look and feel of any wall, pillar, column or surface it is applied to, creating an interesting and elegant accent.

 

Where Can Wall Cladding Be Used?

Wall cladding can be used for a variety of indoor and outdoor projects, including entry pillars, archways, outdoor seating areas, garden walls, water features, fireplaces, accent walls, and more, to add character and an attractive look.

It can also be used to protect a building’s structure from harsh weather conditions and adverse weather elements. A viable option for commercial and residential spaces, it offers a sleek, upscale finish and a layer of protection for exterior and interior walls.

 

Tips and Tricks on How To Apply Wall Cladding

  1. Prepare The Surface
    Prepare the surface, being careful to make sure it is clean and ready for cladding before either adhering the cladding to the wall (if stone, wood, metal, etc) or fixing battens to the wall (if composite) and then fixing the composite cladding to the wall. Begin by giving the surface a thorough cleaning to get rid of any dust, debris, or loose particles. 

    Pro tip:
    To ensure the lifespan of your wall cladding, fix any cracks or flaws beforehand.
  2. Decide On The Type of Cladding
    Achieving your intended look requires a bit of planning and forethought, so take the time to consider your personal preferences and how you plan on using the space. Keep in mind that the architectural design and layout of your home can play a big role.

    Once you’ve decided on your look, select a wall cladding material that will go well with your design concept, whether that’s a more rugged appeal or a sleek and refined look.
  3. Plan Your Design
    Start by measuring the area, taking into account any windows, doors, and other construction-related details. Layout an arrangement beforehand and consider the positioning of the borders and edges to guarantee a precise and pleasing outcome.
  4. Gather Tools and Supplies
    Make sure you have all the equipment and materials needed to ensure a seamless installation. This will likely include screws, tile cutters, wet saws, spacers to maintain uniform spaces between stones, a spirit level, adhesives, mortar, a trowel, and a notched trowel for applying adhesive.
  5. Apply Cladding
    If you choose composite cladding, fix the battens to the wall and then fix the cladding to the battens by screwing through the tongue of the wall cladding board. The grooved side of the wall cladding board is designed to fit over the tongue and hide the screws, giving a completely hidden fixing.

    If stone, wood, metal, etc. cover the back of the cladding with a thick coating of strong adhesive using a trowel. Then press the cladding firmly against the wall. Make sure to cover everything evenly, particularly in the corners and edges. Work quickly and stick to small areas to keep the adhesive from drying out before you lay the cladding. 
  6. Level and Align
    To ensure that you’ve laid or fixed the cladding evenly and correctly to the wall with minimal gaps, use a spirit level to check that all is precisely level and lines up with the cladding next to it as you arrange them together. For a flawless finish, use spacers to keep the spaces uniform and make modifications where required.
  7. Trim and Cut
    Some pieces will inevitably need to be trimmed or cut to fit around architectural features or into corners. If you need to make accurate and neat cuts use a wet saw or tile cutter for the job. For adequate safety when cutting, put on safety gear including eyewear and gloves.
  8. Grouting and Sealing
    If you are using stone cladding, make use of a rubber float to spread grout between wall cladding once the adhesive has dried (this can usually take up to a day). With a moist sponge, remove any extra grout and allow it to air dry. To improve the cladding’s longevity, seal it once the grout has dried, if necessary.

Conclusion

Whether your goal is to add a striking feature wall, transform your indoor living space, or accent your fireplace, wall cladding is an incredibly useful and versatile material that can be applied to almost any wall design application.

As you prepare to DIY your wall cladding we hope the above tips and tricks help. Let your creativity flow and enjoy every moment as you apply this beautiful, long-lasting wall solution. 

For inspiration check out our range of Composite Wall Cladding and 4EVERDECK ULTRA WALL CLADDING

Contact us if you have any questions and feel free to take a look at our other blogs for more expert tips and insights into composite products and home improvement.

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