Natural stone cladding
Natural stone cladding is the use of a thin layer of stone as a cladding for the outside of a structure. It is also sometimes used on internal surfaces. When applied properly, the thin layers achieve a textured and three-dimensional appearance, giving the impression that the structure is constructed entirely of natural stone.
Typically, stone cladding is used:
- To give a stone finish to an existing structure.
- To create a stone finish at lower weight, and so with reduced structural support requirements.
- To allow faster and lower cost installation.
- To allow modern the use of modern construction techniques and high-performance detailing, but with a traditional appearance.
- To allow off-site manufacturing, with reduced on-site construction.
- To reduce waste.
Stone cladding is manufactured by quarrying natural stone and milling it into thin pieces. A range of different sizes, thicknesses, shapes and patterns can be created according to the specification of the design. Cladding can be supplied either as single stone pieces, or as large, bespoke panels prefabricated form a number of pieces, such as storey-height panels or shaped parts such as reveals and lintels.
Alternatively, cladding panels can be made by laminating thin pieces of stone onto a carrier panel made from lightweight concrete. Because the two materials have similar physical characteristics, they work well together as a composite and provide good weather protection.
Where very thin stone pieces are used (around one inch thick), providing a final finish to a substrate such as blockwork, this may be described as a 'stone veneer'.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Four practical tips to bring sustainability into your building design.
Have a look at these designs for a new cross-laminated timber tower in Toronto.
Geniebelt examine the urgent need for change in construction.
Read our introductory article to the contractor's design portion.
Four ways in which smart cities could make our lives better.
Mayor Sadiq Khan announces new Greener City Fund in drive to make London the first 'National Park City'.
BSRIA announce UKAS accreditation for sound absorption testing.
The full terms of reference are published for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Read our introductory article into the role and practice of the architect.
Despite dividing opinion since its 1955 completion, Stalin's gift to Poland, the PKiN, is still Warsaw's most recognisible landmark.
Graduate Engineer Brittany Harris asks, what makes a great place to work?
Mayor Sadiq Khan publishes new guidance aimed at fast-tracking affordable housing projects through planning.