Porcelain Cladding – All You Need to Know
Mar 25, 2023
Porcelain cladding is an excellent alternative among all cladding material options due to the outstanding properties of porcelain. World of Stones USA is going to give detailed insights on porcelain cladding in the current post.
North Kensington, West London
“On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-story Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, and caused 72 deaths.”
According to Wikipedia, the first report of the inquiry released in October 2019. It addressed that the exterior, cladding in particular made of combustible material Polyethylene. Hence, it was not complying with building regulations and became the central reason why the fire spread
“The Nevins condos needed a cladding to match the natural & human-made beauty of a historic Brooklyn neighborhood.”
Brent M. Porter & Isaac + Stern Arch found perfect texture & tone for the façade using porcelain cladding as an absolute solution.
Filter Nine Townhouses
“Filter Nine Townhouses transformed their Philly neighborhoods’ look through cutting-edge design and custom façade.”
QB3 Design found a great blend of finishes in porcelain cladding mimicking natural stones’ look-n-feel.
In our previous blog- Garden Wall Cladding – 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose This Stone Walling, we have discussed wall cladding in detail. Of course, it was about natural stone cladding. However, we know the stone veneer is a bit costly solution when you have large-scale projects like multistory buildings.
Therefore, synthetic materials come into consideration, and porcelain is a prime winner. Let’s how it is.
In our blog- Types of Porcelain Tiles – All You Need to Know, I have explained:
- What is porcelain?
- What is the porcelain making process?
- Different types of porcelain.
- Physical properties of porcelain tiles for cladding
- Comparison of porcelain with natural stones as well as ceramic tiles for cladding
- Finally, the benefits of porcelain
To avoid repetition, I am going ahead with advanced concerns and information regarding porcelain cladding.
Porcelain Cladding – A Superb Choice
The following diagram illustrates why porcelain cladding is the superior choice among other materials for wall cladding.
- We know that the porcelain making process requires a higher temperature than in the cases of typical fire incidents, reporting due to wall cladding materials, across the globe. It renders porcelain a non-combustible cladding material in the construction industry made of natural minerals like clay.
- Besides it, porcelain is a water-impervious material with the least porosity compared to rests of wall cladding materials used in interior and exterior spaces.
- Low porosity also results in high density. Thus, porcelain is a denser material with lighter in weight.
- Despite its lightweight, porcelain is sturdy and durable in other physical and chemical properties required for the standard cladding material.
- Porcelain is an excellent choice for outdoor or exterior cladding projects as it is waterproof and weatherproof material.
- Porcelain is made from natural substances/minerals so, and it is an environment-friendly and sustainable material with recycling capacities.
Installation of Porcelain Cladding
Installation of porcelain cladding is not a recommended job for DIY enthusiastic, as it demands some expertise and experience. So, try to hire a skilled stonemason with expertise & experience in porcelain installation.
Let’s get a glimpse of the installation process.
Preparation for Porcelain Cladding
- Porcelain cladding is possible on a variety of surfaces, including RCC, cement plaster, plasterboard, sand/cement screed, render, plywood, brick mortar, and even stones.
- However, walls or other vertical or horizontal surfaces must prepare to make it even and apply primer/solution.
- Primer paste or solution helps in reducing the absorption of fixing solutions or mixture. You can apply primer using a roller or brush and leave it to dry at least two hours prior to applying adhesives.
Setting Out for Porcelain Cladding
- Setting out requires vertical & horizontal lines.
- You can start setting out of porcelain tiles from the center.
- You find out the center of the wall and mark vertical & horizontal lines using sprit level and measure tap.
- Start dry lay at the center and work out towards either end, one-by-one.
- To keep tiles of the same size at either end, you can do it by adjusting the vertical reference line.
Cutting of Porcelain Cladding Tiles
- Although porcelain tiles are hard yet brittle on cutting, so, try to use score & snap tile cutter for fewer thickness tiles & straight cutting.
- For thick porcelain tiles, a wet wheel diamond tile cutter is the best tool so far in regular shape cutting.
- For irregular cutting, an electric wheel diamond cutter is an excellent option.
Fixing of Porcelain Cladding
- Select fixing adhesive or solution/mortar depending upon the type of surfaces.
- Begin applying fixing adhesive at the middle reference point, and use it to an area of approx. one or two meters only to prevent drying.
- Use notched trowel of 6mm at a 15-degree angle to the wall for applying adhesive.
- You must firmly press the tile into the layer of adhesive by twisting motion to an extent.
- In the case you are fixing porcelain tiles in a brick pattern, the use of T-spacers is mandatory to get consistent grout lines with a decent appearance.
There are four kinds of fixing options mostly found in the Australian construction industry.
A – Installation of Open Expressed Joint Fixing Channel
- It may be a mechanical process or chemical/adhesive-based process.
- Cladding units fixed to vertical support angle profiles.
- It leaves 10mm open type of joints.
B – Installation of Closed Joint Profile Trim
- It is a concealed fixing with mechanical or chemical fixing technique.
- It used an H-profile joiner trim with a 7.5mm width.
C – Installation of 6mm Expressed Joint
- It uses the James Hardie backing strip, which mostly used for CFC.
- It requires fixing of panels horizontally to vertical support profiles using adhesive or tape.
D – Installation of Closed Joint
- It is a kind of adhesive and double-sided tape method.
- It leaves approx. 2mm Joint.
Grouting of Porcelain Tiles for Cladding
- Tile adhesive needs at least full 24-hour curing before grouting.
- Follow the instructions of the manufacturer to mix the grout to get even paste.
- You can use a squeegee or rubber grout float at a 45-degree angle to the wall to fill into the gaps.
- Use a damp sponge to wipe any excess grout from the face of tiles. Be careful in keeping grout lines intact.
- After an hour, use a soft dry cloth to buff the tiles to remove any grout haze on the surfaces.
Finishing of Porcelain Cladding
Apply matching silicone at all internal corners, be they horizontal or vertical, to eradicate any fissure or cracking from movement.
Maintenance of Porcelain Cladding
High-quality products always require less effort in maintenance. You must have a regular and periodic maintenance program for porcelain cladding to keep its look-n-feel intact. We can apply the following tips to extend the lifespan of our porcelain cladding.
Cleaning of Porcelain Cladding
- In the regular cleaning program, we can use plain water to remove dust & dirt on the surfaces of porcelain cladding tiles.
- In the periodic cleaning program, we can use LTP Wax wash like washing solutions for polished/sealed or not sealed tiles.
- In the annual cleaning program, we should refrain from using stem cleaning, breach cleaning, or application of strong acid/alkaline solutions on polished or sealed porcelain tiles.
- Tiles with gloss or satin finishes – Use a damp cloth with warm water and dry. You can buff them with a soft towel to enhance shine.
- Tiles with matt or riven finishes – Use a damp cloth with warm water and dry, but not buff.
- To remove mild to intense staining, follow the instructions of the manufacturer only and make a selection of solution as well as application methods accordingly.
Sealing of Porcelain Cladding
Sealing is mandatory for polished porcelain cladding tiles, as an apparent loss occurs on the top preventive layer of tiles during the polishing process. You can avoid the sealing process for unfinished tiles. The sealing process consists of the following simple steps.
- Clean and dry surface.
- Underfloor heating is the best.
- Use LTP MPG Sealer or similar sealing solutions prescribed by the manufacturer.
- Apply sealing solution evenly to the surface. You can use LTP buffing cloth for the same.
- After 20 minutes, remove excess from the surface by buffing it. Remember that sealer solution should wet while doing buffing.
- Let surface dry for the next three hours and protect it from wetting with water and scratches due to walking for the next three days.
Replacement of Porcelain Cladding
Replacement is easy, but demand skills and experience. So, it is better you hire stonemason for the replacement. You can replace one or more tiles using your reserve stock or order the new ones akin to your installed tiles. Keep matching of color, style, pattern, and finishes when you go for porcelain tile replacement. It is the reason for that custom order always comes with additional pieces of tiles to adjust loss during installation and replacement during maintenance programs.
Which Porcelain Tiles Are Best Choice for Cladding?
Porcelain cladding tiles are a kind of manufactured or human-made product. It means you can use HD Ink-Jet Printing on it apart from the infusion of colors during or at the end of the manufacturing process.
- You can get a multitude of colors, styles, and patterns with porcelain cladding.
- You will have natural stones like appearances on your outdoor walls and patio paving with porcelain cladding.
- You might create realist wood-like effects on the façade, garden walls, and decks.
In short, you will have a long-lasting alternative for cladding to carpet, Lino, laminate, hardwood, paint, & wallpapers across the interior and exterior spaces.
Where to Get the Best Quality Material for Porcelain Cladding?
World of Stones USA is the best place to get high-quality porcelain cladding tiles, slabs, and entirely customized sheets at the market competitive rates. You will get complete guidance regarding your porcelain cladding projects, including material competency to local and state code, your weather, and, most importantly, your right contexts.
Surf our product catalog for porcelain tiles on our eCommerce site and get the best bargain in terms of pricing, offers, and services.