Frame & Fixings

There are a variety of methods of fixing cladding panels back to masonry/blockwork raw backing walls or onto lightweight steel frame backing structures.

These fixing systems hold the cladding panels onto the structure sitting behind them to the required strength and spacing. This façade system is called ‘rainscreen cladding’, or ‘decorative cladding’; both fall under the general classification of ‘ventilated facades’. If your project is at design stage or not yet out of the ground, you have the flexibility to weigh up each method in terms of suitability and cost. If the project is an over clad or involves cladding applied to a particular part of a building, the fixing method will also be determined by the existing sub structure of the building.

There are a number of factors to consider before selecting a fixing method:

  • the thickness of the cladding panel required and the type/brand.
  • the size of the panel you require to achieve the desired external aesthetic design.
  • the effect of wind loading in certain areas or at a certain height of the facade.
  • the substructure being fixed back to and the required pull-out strength.

The best advice is to talk to your local independent VIVALDA branch and make an informed decision together based on the cladding manufacturer’s guidelines and the fixing structure manufacturer. VIVALDA can guide you to the most suitable fixing method and offer a choice of systems. The fixing system manufacturer will then be able to calculate a safe and robust method aided by your information which VIVALDA can then cost up for you. A number of methods can be costed up as a comparison.

The simplest and least expensive method of fixing cladding is by screw or rivet, directly onto a timber batten or aluminium vertical rail which itself has been fixed to the sub structure. A rule of thumb is one fixing every 600mm but this has to be checked with the cladding manufacturer’s guidelines. If the required finish is for the fixings not to be seen, bonding or mechanically secret fixing are possibilities. With a new build project, a fixing method can be designed using an aluminium frame structure onto which the cladding panel can be riveted or hung using a variety of brackets and hanger systems.

With so many choices it is best to ask why you can’t go for the simplest and least expensive first before being clouded with sophisticated options. However do not exclude what modern building methods offer, as a new design can save you time and money if applied to the whole through wall build to achieve the best insulation, acoustic and aesthetic result in one design.

Please note: the information on the website is intended to provide general recommendations only. Any measure provided is industry standard. Please check directly with the specific manufacturers for accurate specifications.

Types of Fixing System

There are three types of common fixing methods used to fix façade cladding panels back to a timber batten or aluminium rail substructure. First is Face Fix otherwise known as Through Fix or Visible Fix, this includes rivets or screw. The, Secret Fix or Concealed Fix which involves bonding the panels with recommended adhesive product systems. Finally there are also manufacturer specialist fixing systems, which include Mechanical Secret Fixing Systems using SFS thread cutting concealed screws or KIEL undercut anchor fixings. Nvelope, Kladfix and Plastestrip are the leading suppliers of rainscreen cladding frame and fixings in the UK.

Explore the options

Accessories & Trims

VIVALDA offers all the accessories required to fit any brand of exterior cladding panel, including gaskets, profiles, vents, corners, colour matched torx screws and rivets, joints, edge finishes, hangers, rails and adhesive systems.

Explore the options

NVELOPE® Thermal Solutions

Utilising its UK Patent Pending technology SFS have been able to create a high performing solution that guards against thermal degradation due to compression of the thermal pad, ensuring no loss in thermal performance. This combined with the bracket material of Aluminium or stainless-steel ensures that a full range of tailored solutions can be created for any project.

Explore the options


VIVALDA offers accessories by Plastestrip. This is the original Plastestrip range consisting of a stocked range PVC extruded protective edging strips, capping, joining, protective trims and the ability to produce custom extrusions from a drawing or sample of an existing extrusion.

Explore the options


ROCKWOOL® RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® is a stone wool insulation product specifically developed for use within ventilated cladding systems, as well as sealed systems such as curtain walling.

Explore the options

SIDERISE® Cavity Barriers

SIDERISE® Cavity Barriers allow for continuous ventilation and drainage behind the cladding while providing a hot smoke and fire seal. SIDERISE® fire barriers are composed of a non-combustible stone wool lamella core, faced on exposed surfaces with a reinforced aluminium foil. This system includes products for both horizontal and vertical solutions.

Explore the options