When it comes to giving the exterior of your home a unique aesthetic touch, exterior cladding is one of the best investments you can make. Exterior cladding can be done with a variety of cladding materials such as timber, vinyl, aluminium, brick and composite cladding. As a homeowner looking to get the best outcome with exterior cladding, the cladding materials you choose are very important. Two of the most common cladding materials homeowners tend to go for are timber and composite cladding. But which is better? Keep reading to find out.
Composite cladding vs timber, what are they?
Composite cladding is a synthetic cladding material usually made of a mixture of plastic and recycled wood fibres. Timber cladding on the other hand is made entirely of only wood although they can be of two types namely; pressure-treated timber (which contains chemicals for better durability) and hardwood cladding.
When trying to compare and decide between composite cladding and timber, there are some key features that you should look out for.
In terms of durability, composite cladding tends to have far more durability than timber. This is true even with the hardwood timber type (which is the more enduring of the two types of timber cladding). Although the other type of timber cladding which is softwood may be treated with chemicals to enhance its durability, it is still less durable than composite cladding.
Another thing to consider is that over time, timber cladding (both pre-treated softwood and hardwood) tends to become less durable. They can also become susceptible to moisture absorption, pest and termite infestation, splintering, rotting, fire and the elements. Composite cladding on the other hand offers better durability due to its synthetic nature and has a higher resistance to warping, moisture, UV, splintering, termites (pests), rotting and fire.
Although timber cladding offers a more natural and uniquely textured look, the only appearance you can get is the look of timber unless you paint over it. With composite cladding, you have access to a wide array of textures, designs, and colours. Timber cladding might be able to match your vision for your exterior walls to some extent, but it still falls short when compared to composite cladding which caters to a broader variety of looks.
A natural-looking composite cladding panel can even be made to look like and rival timber cladding for authenticity. This means that you can clad your home’s exteriors with your preferred natural timber look without having to deal with the maintenance requirements of real timber.
Composite cladding also takes the win here. This is because although timber cladding may be natural and beautiful, it can be vulnerable to termite and pest infestations if staining, sealing and painting maintenance work isn’t done regularly. Sanding and painting are also necessary for timber cladding to maintain its aesthetic look since timber tends to fade over time. Composite cladding, on the other hand, requires only occasional cleaning with water. It maintains its aesthetic appeal for a long time without the need for sanding or painting. It also doesn’t require any sealing work to deter termites or pests.
Installing composite cladding tends to be more expensive than timber cladding. But, if you take into consideration the total cost of ownership including maintenance costs, you will find that composite cladding is the more cost-effective option. Composite cladding lasts longer and requires minimal maintenance when compared to timber so you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and money on labour costs.
Your exterior cladding is what gives your property an extra layer of protection and aesthetic appeal and as such, it is highly necessary that you choose a cladding material like composite cladding that offers more benefits. From being pest deterrent and water-proof to being highly durable and available in a wide range of textures and colours, composite cladding takes the win.