Timber look aluminium provides architects and designers with the option to give a real timber aesthetic to a project where it would usually be impossible.
By utilising a lightweight, non-combustible material such as aluminium, designers can avoid issues such as weight restrictions and fire compliance which can force the sacrifice of the overall design intent.
Below we show you the advantages of aluminium when used as a timber substitute, along with the various options we provide for feature walls, ceilings and facades.
Why use timber look aluminium?
Aluminium offers a huge range of finishes as an interior lining or exterior cladding product, and is often used on applications such as
- Interior walls
- Interior to exterior transitions
- Areas requiring Group 1 rated or non-combustible materials
Along with powder coat and anodised options, timber look options are a popular choice largely due to the following benefits they provide over traditional timber battens and cladding –
- Aluminium is deemed non-combustible and Group 1 compliant
The major factor in why designers and architects will choose to use a timber look aluminium product is to meet fire compliance requirements. Aluminium meets the highest standards of fire compliance and can be used in almost any application.
- Aluminium is stronger
Aluminium is much stronger and resistant to movement when compared to timber. This allows for lengths of up to 6 metres and larger spaces between fixings, minimising visual disruption and allowing for an even faster installation.
- Aluminium lining products weigh less and are far more resistant to movement
Aluminium battens and cladding typically weigh considerably less than timber alternatives, due to the hollow shape of the battens and the reduced thickness of the cladding boards. This means the entire feature wall or ceiling weighs less and requires less structural support.
Timber products can also be susceptible to movement depending on factors like moisture, where aluminium is highly resistant and will not warp or cup like timber can.
- Aluminium requires less maintenance.
When used externally, traditional timber facades typically require maintenance every 6-12 months, which can even include a re-coating depending on the desired outcome. This maintenance schedule can be minimised by using timber look aluminium, as it requires little to no maintenance.
Timber look options
We offer two timber look options for you, Wood Finish Aluminium and a Real Timber Veneer range that allow us to provide the right solution depending on the needs of your project.
Both ranges are manufactured in similar ways, through a process of wrapping aluminium battens in a thin coating. This process takes place in our Australian factory, using the highest quality materials from all over the world. The specially designed wrapping machine glues the coating into place, then uses a series of rollers to ensure a strong connection.
Wood Finish Aluminium
Our range of wood finish aluminium uses a thin vinyl coating which is wrapped around the aluminium battens. Printed on this coating is a photorealistic timber look pattern to provide the timber aesthetic. We offer 10 colours which are based on real timber species, however on request, we can match existing colours or discuss any particular requirements.
- Exterior grade
The biggest advantage of our wood finish aluminium is its ability to be used on interior and exterior applications. The aluminium, the wrap layer and the glue holding them together are all extensively tested to ensure long term performance.
- Highly resistant to fade
When choosing a timber alternative, an important aspect is the coatings ability to retain its colour. Many designers choose timber look aluminium to avoid the natural greying process that timber goes through. Long term testing under simulated weather conditions indicates that our Wood Finish Aluminium is up to 3 times more resistant to fade than other woodgrain powder coat competitors.
“The Wood Finish Aluminium was the right solution for this installation, enabling us to comply with fire compliance requirements. The light weight nature of the aluminium profiles was a key factor in this decision, enabling us to avoid installation additional structure to facilitate the new installations.”
Real Timber Veneer
As the name implies, our Real Timber Veneer uses actual timber in the place of a vinyl wrap or woodgrain powder coat, making it only available for internal applications. The veneer consists of timber sliced down to under 0.5mm thick, then delivered in rolls.
This veneer is then applied to our aluminium battens, blades or cladding using our wrapping machine in our Australian factory. Due to the extra processing involved in using real timber, a smaller range of 4 colours is available in Real Timber Veneer. Some advantages of this timber look option are –
- Natural variation
With any timber alternative, re-creating the natural variation in colour that timber provides is a challenge. The natural features which give timber its characters such as knots and gum veins are difficult to replicate at scale in a repeating pattern. Real Timber Veneer can provide this level of variation by using genuine timber as its coating, often making it indistinguishable from a traditional timber feature wall or ceiling.
- Authentic Material
Many designers try to avoid using materials in their projects which can be seen as inauthentic. Often issues such as fire compliance conflict with this approach, as materials like timber do not meet the fire compliance requirements of a certain area. Our Real Timber Veneer provides the best of both worlds by utilising actual timber as the coating while remaining fire compliant.
- Sustainability Sourced Options
Where sustainability certification is required, our Real Timber Veneer can be sourced while maintaining chain of custody requirements, allowing designers to find a balance between the unique needs of their project.