What are the benefits of aluminium over terracotta?

Aluminium has been the superior cladding material since façade projects were a thing.

 In a nutshell:

  • Aluminium lasts longer than terracotta due to its resistance to corrosion and weathering.
  • Terracotta is susceptible to cracking under high temperatures.

  • Aluminium provides diverse coating choices, including mimicking terracotta's appearance.

  • Aluminium's recyclability makes it more environmentally friendly than terracotta.

Aluminium has long been regarded as the pinnacle of cladding materials, outperforming terracotta in several key aspects. Its inherent durability, coupled with aesthetic appeal, and superior strength-to-weight ratio, render it the preferred choice for specialised façade subcontractors. This article delves into the rationale behind the widespread adoption of aluminium façades by architects and builders, citing it’s longevity, low maintenance requirements, and enhanced sustainability in modern construction.


Aluminium's natural resistance to corrosion, rust, and weathering provides it with a distinct advantage in terms of durability. In contrast, terracotta may degrade over time, leading to structural weaknesses and susceptibility to cracking.

Design Versatility

Terracotta cladding imposes limitations on architectural creativity, primarily confined to two-dimensional designs. Conversely, aluminium serves as a versatile alternative for architects, capable of being folded, twisted, and expanded into a myriad of shapes. This versatility not only enhances aesthetics but also minimises material wastage.

Coating Options

While terracotta may possess a natural aesthetic appeal over uncoated aluminium, the latter presents numerous advantages. Aluminium can be powder-coated in a wide range of colours, with the option to mimic the texture and colour of terracotta. Additionally, terracotta lacks the capability for anodising, a process that enhances aluminium's durability through the formation of a protective oxide layer.


Aluminium's high recyclability underscores its sustainability, as it can be melted down and repurposed without compromising its properties. This sets aluminium apart as a more environmentally conscious choice compared to terracotta, which lacks similar recyclability.

In summary, while terracotta may possess aesthetic appeal, aluminium offers compelling advantages in terms of durability, versatility, maintenance, and sustainability, cementing its status as the preferred choice in numerous construction projects.

Submit new questions 

Would you like to see your questions answered? Submit them to us and we'll let you know when we've found the answer. 

Submit questions