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What is Granite Cladding?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2016
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Granite cladding is cladding for a building made from granite, a type of rock famous for its strength, durability, and beauty. This stone cladding product usually needs to be installed by a specialty company which is comfortable and familiar with granite, as the stone has some special needs which must be addressed during installation to avoid problems in the future. As a cladding option, granite can be quite beautiful, but it can also be very expensive, especially when it is installed properly by a competent team of stoneworkers and construction professionals.

This type of rock forms from molten magma under ground. Over time, granite formations are exposed as a result of uplift and weathering. Essentially, they are pushed up from below, while softer materials around them wear away, leaving the granite visible. Granite has a distinctive crystalline structure and can occur in a range of colors, with many types being flecked with varying colors in distinctive patterns.

Cladding is the exterior facing material used on a building. Cladding is designed to complete a building aesthetically, making it look visually interesting and covering up the less attractive materials used in core construction. It also offers protection, acting as the first line of defense against the elements to protect the inside of the building from issues such as water intrusion. Cladding also adds to the insulation of a building, adding another layer of material which keeps temperatures inside stable.

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In the case of granite cladding, the building is faced in sheets of granite which are cut to size and carefully put in place. In addition to sheets, people can also use dressed granite blocks. The granite may be left rough, or finished and polished, depending on the aesthetic goals of the builders and the needs of the building. Granite cladding can also be carved with ornamental elements which will add to the visual interest of the building. In areas where earthquakes are an issue, some special steps may need to be taken with granite cladding to make it as safe as possible.

Companies which work with granite cladding may use local granite, if it is available, or they may import granite from other locations. Imported granite cladding may look exotic, but it can be extremely costly, as granite is very heavy and the shipping fees can be steep. Some things to think about when installing or repairing granite cladding include the color of the stone, the finish, and the way in which the granite will be cut.

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