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What Is PVC Cladding?

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  • Written By: Paul Scott
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2014
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The term PVC cladding describes a large selection of pre-formed boards, strips, or sheets of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material; this material can be glued, nailed, or screwed into place as a protective or decorative covering, or cladding, on existing walls or structures. PVC cladding may be used as a substitute for tiles, paint, wallpaper, or timber paneling commonly used as protective or aesthetic construction finishes. These products hold several distinct advantages over the more conventional materials and are becoming a standard for do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs and commercial construction in many countries.

Polyvinyl chloride is a tough, flexible, and abrasion resistant plastic that exhibits ultra violet, bacteria, mold, and fire resistant qualities. It is totally waterproof and produced in an array of forms, sizes, textures, patterns, and colors, making it a generally ideal material for complimenting any decor theme. PVC cladding is produced for any or all of these qualities according to its intended end use and may be purchased as large boards or sheets, plain or tongue and groove strips, and tiles.

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It can be excellent choice of decorative finishing for many interior applications due to its latent longevity, low cost, and ease of installation. These products are complimented by a wide range of finishing accessories such as decorative corner pieces, cornices, and fitment consumables. The ease and speed of installation also makes PVC cladding an ideal DIY project material. Boards, strips, and sheets may simply be glued or pinned to an existing wall and the joints finished with decorative accessories. Many of the products are of a click-fit or tongue and groove design which makes the job that much easier.

Cladding products may be embossed with various patterns such as wood grain and granite and color impregnated accordingly. Applying paint to PVC cladding is possible with correct preparation and suitable paint. Considering the wide range of colors available and the excellent weather resistant qualities of the cladding, however, it is seldom encouraged or necessary. The application of paint or varnish would also require constant maintenance which is not the case with untreated PVC cladding.

Plastic cladding is available in several grades for interior, exterior, and specialist applications all of which are specially formulated to give the maximum service life in that specific area of use. PVC cladding also has the added benefits of being an non-porous, easy to clean, and usually impervious to the formation of fungi and bacteria. These characteristics may make PVC cladding particularly suitable for installation in kitchens and bathrooms where constant exposure to splashes, spills, and steam often cause problems with conventional finishes.

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