7 Best Types of Exterior Cladding for Modern Buildings

Choosing the right exterior cladding is crucial for enhancing the aesthetic appeal and durability of buildings. Exterior cladding not only improves the visual impact of a building but also offers essential protection against environmental elements. This guide explores various types of exterior cladding available, especially those commonly used in Canada and the Greater Toronto Area, to help you make an informed decision for your project.

Aluminum Composite Panels (ACM)

Aluminum Composite Panels (ACM) consist of two thin layers of aluminum bonded to a non-aluminum core. Known for their lightweight nature and versatility, ACM panels are a popular choice in modern construction. They are often chosen for their sleek appearance and the ability to create complex shapes and designs.


  • Durability: Resistant to weather and corrosion, ensuring long-lasting performance. ACM panels do not easily dent or crack and can withstand harsh environmental conditions.
  • Aesthetic Versatility: Available in a wide range of colors and finishes to match any design vision. They can mimic the look of other materials such as stone or wood while providing the benefits of metal.
  • Fire Resistance: Many ACM panels are designed to meet strict fire safety standards, providing an extra layer of protection for buildings.


Ideal for commercial buildings, high-rises, and contemporary residential constructions. ACM panels are often used in facades, signage, interior walls, and column covers. Their ability to be molded into different shapes makes them suitable for unique architectural designs.

Profiled Steel Cladding

Profiled Steel Cladding is made from steel sheets that are cold-rolled into various profiles, including corrugated and ribbed shapes. This type of cladding is known for its strength and robustness, making it a popular choice for industrial and commercial buildings.


  • Strength and Durability: Exceptional resistance to impact and adverse weather conditions. Steel cladding can withstand heavy loads and is resistant to dents and scratches.
  • Energy Efficiency: Often used with insulation to improve thermal performance, reducing heating and cooling costs.
  • Low Maintenance: Minimal upkeep required, reducing long-term costs. Steel cladding is resistant to pests and does not rot or warp.


Suitable for industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. Profiled steel cladding is commonly used in warehouses, factories, and agricultural buildings due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. It is also used in residential homes for a modern, industrial look.

Fiber Cement Sidings

Fiber Cement Sidings are composed of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, offering the look of wood, stone, or brick. This material is known for its toughness and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions without compromising on appearance.


  • Fire Resistant: Provides excellent fire protection due to its non-combustible nature, making it a safe choice for building exteriors.
  • Durability: Resistant to rot, pests, and harsh weather conditions. Fiber cement does not warp or crack easily and can handle fluctuating temperatures.
  • Versatility: Available in various textures and colors to suit different design preferences. It can mimic the look of wood, stone, or brick, providing aesthetic flexibility.


Ideal for residential and commercial buildings, especially in harsh climates. Fiber cement sidings are commonly used in homes, apartment buildings, and commercial structures. They are also popular in coastal areas due to their resistance to salt air.

Aluminum Plates

Aluminum Plates are solid aluminum sheets that are cut and bent into specific shapes for architectural applications. They are valued for their high strength-to-weight ratio and flexibility in design.


  • Strength and Lightweight: Combines robustness with ease of installation. Aluminum plates are much lighter than steel, making them easier to handle and install.
  • Corrosion Resistant: Ideal for exterior applications exposed to the elements. Aluminum naturally forms a protective oxide layer that prevents corrosion.
  • Aesthetic Flexibility: Can be finished in various styles to complement different designs, including anodized, painted, and brushed finishes.


Used for facade cladding, decorative elements, and structural features. Aluminum plates are often found in curtain walls, storefronts, and decorative architectural elements where both aesthetics and performance are important.

Longboard Sidings

Longboard Sidings are aluminum sidings designed to resemble wood, providing the aesthetic appeal of wood with the durability of metal. They offer a modern alternative to traditional wood sidings without the associated maintenance.


  • Low Maintenance: Does not require the upkeep associated with natural wood, such as painting or staining.
  • Weather Resistant: Performs well in all weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and moisture.
  • Fire Resistant: Adds safety to the building, as aluminum does not burn.


Suitable for residential and commercial exteriors. Longboard sidings are often used in homes, commercial buildings, and institutional projects where a wood-like appearance is desired without the maintenance.

Lux Sidings

Lux Sidings are high-quality steel sidings known for their innovative design and robust performance. They combine the aesthetic appeal of traditional wood with the strength and durability of steel.


  • Fire Resistant: Ensures safety and compliance with building codes. Lux sidings provide a higher level of fire protection compared to traditional wood sidings.
  • Durability: Long-lasting and resistant to weather and pests. Steel does not warp, crack, or rot.
  • Variety of Finishes: Wide range of colors and textures available, including woodgrain and metallic finishes.


Ideal for commercial and residential projects. Lux sidings are used in high-end residential homes, commercial buildings, and public structures, providing both durability and aesthetic appeal.

Porcelain Panels

Porcelain Panels are high-performance cladding materials known for their durability and aesthetic versatility. Made from dense, non-porous ceramic, they offer superior resistance to weather and impact.


  • Non-Combustible: Adds to the building’s fire safety, making it suitable for high-risk areas.
  • Graffiti-Proof: Easy to clean and maintain. Porcelain surfaces do not absorb paint, making graffiti removal simple.
  • High Durability: Resistant to weather, UV rays, and impact, ensuring long-term performance.


Suitable for high-traffic areas and harsh weather conditions. Porcelain panels are often used in commercial buildings, cultural institutions, and high-end residential projects for their combination of aesthetics and durability.

Exploring Other Exterior Cladding Options

While CanaArch specializes in the above types of cladding, other options are available in the market:

  • Wood Cladding: Natural appearance but requires regular maintenance. Wood cladding provides a traditional and warm aesthetic but needs regular upkeep to prevent decay and damage.
  • Brick Cladding: Classic and durable but can be costly. Brick cladding offers excellent thermal performance and a timeless look but comes with higher material and installation costs.
  • Stone Cladding: Luxurious and low maintenance, suitable for high-end projects. Stone cladding provides a natural and elegant appearance with minimal maintenance.
  • Vinyl Cladding: Cost-effective and low maintenance, often used in residential projects. Vinyl cladding is easy to install and comes in a variety of colors and styles.
  • Glass Cladding: Modern and sleek, ideal for maximizing natural light and creating a contemporary look. Glass cladding is used in modern architectural designs to provide transparency and a sleek finish.

Transform Your Building’s Exterior with CanaArch

Choosing the right type of exterior cladding is essential for both the aesthetic appeal and durability of your building. CanaArch Building Solutions offers a range of high-quality cladding options, backed by expertise and precision in installation. Whether you need the modern appeal of ACM panels or the robust performance of steel cladding, CanaArch has the solution for your project.

Ready to enhance your building with premium cladding solutions? Contact CanaArch Building Solutions today for expert advice and high-quality installation tailored to your architectural needs.

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Are you ready to transform your architectural vision into reality? Contact CanaArch Building Solutions today and discover how we can elevate your project with our innovative cladding solutions and expert guidance. Together, let’s set new standards of excellence in the architectural world.

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