House facades from natural and artificial stone

Opinion: stone for building facades and exterior cladding


Building facades can be clad with both natural and artificial stone. Stone cladding not only looks great but is also durable and long-lasting. Some types of natural stone are very resistant to external weather conditions, unaffected by large temperature fluctuations, heavy rainfall, sudden freezing, and defrosting. Such resilient stones suitable for facades include granite, basalt, and slate. They are a great choice for architectural elements that are subject to constant weathering.


In warmer climates, house facades can be clad with travertine. A travertine facade is slightly softer, more porous, and more delicate than granite, but naturally warmer and lighter due to the composition of this stone. Since travertine is a highly porous stone, a travertine facade absorbs more moisture than, for example, granite. Travertine is also less resistant to freezing, defrosting and extreme cold than granite.


Travertine facades are more sensitive to acids and atmospheric pollution, so over the years, they tend to darken. However, this is not a problem - travertine buildings can be refreshed by professional cleaning, and regain their original color. Many travertine buildings can be found in Southern Europe and Great Britain. The ancient Romans widely used travertine to build temples, houses, baths, roads, aqueducts, theaters, and squares.


Luxurious villas and distinctive buildings in warmer climates can be clad in marble. The properties of this stone are similar to travertine, only marble is more delicate and softer. The Romans liked marble as much as travertine, and left as many marble buildings after them. Marble is more susceptible to weathering and erosion than travertine. Atmospheric pollution and acidic rainfall leave traces on it. Marble can change color due to acids in rainfall, becoming stained. To maintain the impeccable appearance of natural marble facades, they need to be well maintained.


An excellent alternative for natural stone facades is cladding made of artificial stone. Artificial stone is non-porous and does not absorb water, so such facades do not need to be impregnated, and their maintenance requires little effort. Particularly resistant and suitable for various climatic conditions is cladding made of sintered stone, also known as ultra-compact surface. Sintered stone facades are lighter than natural stone because the panels of artificial stone are thinner. Facades clad with large panels of sintered stone look modern and elegant.


Sintered stone is an extremely hard and 100% natural material, resistant to scratching, extreme heat, and cold. You won't burn or scratch quality sintered stone facade with a knife. Some manufacturers of sintered stone offer slabs that are resistant to paint, so graffiti drawings can be easily cleaned off such facades. Due to this property, sintered stone is used for facades of educational institutions, such as schools, universities, kindergartens. Sintered stone is the hardest and most durable artificial stone material, tolerating maximum traffic and extreme weather conditions.


Other materials used for exterior facade cladding include ceramic and porcelain. These materials are also lighter than natural stone because their panels are thinner. Facades can also be clad with acrylic solid surface panels (see pictures). However, porcelain and acrylic stone are more suitable for facades in warmer climates where there is no extreme cold and freezing.


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