Since its launch at the end of last year, DesignClad has provoked lots of questions. We had designers besieging us at the SGD Conference—not only asking questions but making suggestions for its use—which is thrilling, because it shows how this new material really gets the creative juices flowing.
DesignClad—if you don't yet know—is an extremely hard-wearing, scratch-resistant, colour-fast and non-porous material that offers a real alternative to render. Easy to wipe clean, the light (1m2 weighs only 7.1kg), Porcelain-hard material comes in 3mm thick panels, requiring only external tile adhesive to fix it to surfaces.
We offer it in six standard size sheets, ranging from 500 x 300 mm to a design-inspiring 3000 x 1000mm, and that's where the excitement really sets in. With sheets as large as that, the bespoke possibilities are enormous.
DesignClad is particularly suited to low-rise walls up to two metres high, where it works equally well as an elegant backdrop to a central feature or, with imaginatively sized and shaped panels and crisp, even joints, will provide a feature in itself.
One stunning example of this is on display at our showrooms: 3000mm x 200mm planks with 4mm joints. It creates an oversize brick effect that makes the wall surface sing. The beauty of the 3000 x 1000mm sheets is that all sorts of shapes are possible—even curves and waves. We're experts at cutting this ultra-hard material, even to the extent of engraving it for a truly unique effect and if you know us well, you'll know we're itching for you to challenge us to create something really complicated.
Our current range of eight colours has been chosen, in part, to blend with our wide range of Porcelain and Natural Stone paving, but two in particular are flying out of the door—Steel Dark and Steel Corten.
These colours are not just extraordinarily similar to the real thing—without the weight, cost and awkward handling of heavy metal—and they're proving particularly popular for modern-style planters. The standard sheets, at 3mm thickness, will take neat, near-invisible joints with a resin-chamfered edge in a colour to match your cladding. However, if a pure mitred edge is required, then thicker sheets are available.
One question that comes up is the provenance of DesignClad. Not surprising, given the pride designers take in creating a space that will satisfy their clients for a long time to come. But while DesignClad is certainly new to the UK market, it's been in use elsewhere for well over ten years and is a proven material that's well-established in its country of origin.
We'll be releasing an installation guide with tips on the best ways to handle DesignClad in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas you'd like to talk over, or need an absolute colour match for a design, get in touch with our right-hand man for designers, Garden Design Consultant, Craig Potter. He'll talk through DesignClad's potential with you and, as part of our new Garden Designer's Partner Scheme, will be happy to visit your site for a consultation. Just give us a buzz!