Friday, February 04, 2005

UPVC Cladding v Wood Based Systems

There are two distinct types of waterproof wall panelling: those made from plastic and those made from wood.

The plastic panels are an extruded UPVC cladding with a printed or embosed pattern on the outer surface. They joint together using a tongue and groove system to make sure they line up perfectly and to make installation a doddle.

The wood based panels have a plywood core and are faced with a hard laminate surface which contains the pattern. They also utilise a tongue and groove system for ease of installation.

Both systems have many common features:

  • no grout to turn mouldy
  • completely waterproof
  • can be installed over existing tiles
  • no maintenance
  • large range of colours and finishes

Both systems have their pros and cons. Upvc cladding

  • is lightweight and easy to handle
  • has panel sizes that tend to be smaller and easier to install
  • is easier to cut
  • has a range of joint types - some of which make a feature of the joint

On the downside

  • it is not structurally soild
  • it has to be fixed to a solid surface
  • fixtures have to be anchored throughthe panels not to them (shower heads etc.)
  • will melt in contact with high temperautures (cigarette ends, open hobs etc.)

The wooden panels are much more robust in their construction as a consequence of being developed for the commercial market. They are less of a DIY product than the plastic panels requiring a little more skill to install correctly. They are also quite large, which can be problematic in domestic situations (more difficult to manoeuvre, more wastage).

UPVC cladding manufacturers include

Laminate panelling manufacturers include