What is silicone render?
Silicone render is the finishing element or the final coat of a thin coat render or external wall insulation system. This finishing coat is both textured and tinted to any colour, providing an almost endless combination of finishes.
The silicone render is ready to apply straight out of the bucket – you don’t need to add any water or any other additives, and once dried on the wall, it provides a robust finish to the system for years to come.
The silicone render finish is also ‘cement free’, which makes it highly elastic – so no cracking.
Why is silicone render so central to what everything EWI Pro is trying to do?
Silicone renders have been within the EWI Pro suite of products for a number of years. Our first thin coat system was the mineral render system, and while still a good alternative to silicones, it didn’t have all apparent installer advantages. Mineral render is just as breathable as the silicone render but, to achieve a coloured finish it still requires painting. Also, the mineral render comes in a bag form, so you still need to add water to it to make it work.
We then produced our first synthetic render (which came in a bucket) and this was the ultimate game changer. While new to the UK, this product had been used across Europe for decades, and basically allowed the applicator to apply a protective layer of render, in any colour, in one application pass. This first synthetic render was the acrylic finish. It took us a further 5 years to start introducing the silicone renders into the armoury of products.
Silicone renders have two major advantages over acrylic render – they are breathable and hydrophobic – so repel water. Breathability is key, especially here in the UK, where properties often have damp solid brick walls – the silicone renders allow any trapped water to dissipate. The acrylic renders are limited for this reason and are much better suited for dry, warmer climates.
So what we have done is taken the silicone render – with its breathable and hydrophobic properties and developed new specific silicone renders to cater for different requirements and in the following sections we look in to these different silicone renders in a bit more details.
Comparing the EWI Pro Silicone Renders
EWI-040 Silicone Silicate Render
The silicone silicate render was introduced some time after our first full silicone render was launched. There was a greater demand for a render that was superior to the acrylic but not as costly as the full silicone finish.
Silicone silicate render is been a very popular through-coloured, polymer-modified, topcoat render. This coloured render is breathable, flexible, hydrophobic and self-cleaning and made from a similar technology as the acrylic render but enhanced to provide all of the additional benefits. The render contains potassium crystals and silicone emulsion mixed together.
The silicone silicate render can be coloured through any colour but performs best with light and medium contrast colours. The render also comes in different grains starting from 0.5mm going up to 3.0mm render grain – with 1.5mm texture being the most popular on the market.
We have found the silicone silicate render to be very smooth to work with – this attribute being very popular with contractors looking to install the product on large wall areas.
In summary, the silicone silicate render is a good starting point within in our range, used by contractors looking to be cost effective on large projects. However, although better than our acrylic render, it is not as optimal in performance as our silicone render.
EWI-075 Silicone Render
The full silicone render was first introduced in Europe 15 years ago as a higher spec version of our acrylic render but with full breathability benefits of the mineral render. Then 7 years ago we further enhanced the silicone finish by introducing nano-particle technology to increase how hydrophobic the product was to ensure long lasting protection.
Silicone render has been our most popular polymer modified; ready-to-use render that normally gets applied onto all different types of substrates. The render finish is suitable for use on brick, concrete, render carrier boards, traditional plasters, gypsum substrates and on external wall insulation systems.
The silicone render benefits from nano-technology, which means under a microscope, the finish performs brilliantly under stress from dirt and algae build-up.
The silicone render can be tinted with any colour but performs best with light and medium contrast colours. The render also comes in different grains starting from 0.5mm going up to 3.0mm render grain – with 1.5mm texture being the most popular on the market.
We have found the silicone render is very popular amongst installers, although new installers will find this render slightly sticker than the EWI-040 Silicone Silicate render due to the quantity of silicone within the render.
In summary, the silicone render is the high-quality mid-upper range finish, used by end-users looking to have a high-quality silicone finish for their property. The silicone is a better performing render than the silicone silicate with more elasticity and additional UV protection so that colours can stand up better to the test of time.
EWI-076 Premium Bio Silicone Render
The Premium Bio Silicone was introduced into the UK market a couple of years ago, following 2 very successful trials here in the UK and over in Germany . While Silicone render is recognised for its self-cleaning properties, flexibility and breathability – the Premium Bio Silicone seems to take all of these characteristics to a whole new level. The Premium Bio Silicone Render is also made from higher quality raw materials giving a superior final product.
Premium Bio Render has enhanced self-cleaning properties over the Silicone Render due to the anti-fungal additives added to the mix. The anti-fungal additives repel even more organic growth from forming on the surface of the render than the silicone or the silicone silicate. The presence of the anti-fungal additives means that the Premium Bio render is perfect to use in high vegetative areas.
The render has additional protection from mechanical damage versus the silicone or the silicone silicate finishes. While all the silicone finishes need to have a basecoat and mesh layer installed prior to the finish, even without the reinforcement layer, the Premium Bio stands up better to external damage than other EWI Pro Silicone renders and it therefore is perfect to use in coastal or exposed areas.
Premium Bio Silicone Render is our upper range silicone finish and has proven very popular with architects and projects involving render being installed in high-exposure places such as properties near rivers or the coastal areas.
EWI-077 Nano Drex Silicone Render
Even though we introduced the Premium Bio Silicone render into our portfolio of high-quality products, we have never rested on our laurels and have always looked to improve and innovate. Over the years we have received some great feedback from our customer base. We always get asked to make our renders even more self-cleaning and long lasting. This feedback drove us to take the silicone render development to the next level and perfectly introduces us to our latest technology, which is the Nano-Drex Silicone Render.
Our Nano Drex Silicone Render is our most advanced, high technology silicone-based render. It goes without saying that it is extremely hydrophobic, offering unrivalled performance over a long period of time. The other silicone renders may occasionally require a splash of clean water to wash off surface stains, but the Nano Drex Silicone Render repels all settling deposits on the surface of the render that could lead to mould.
Due to the advanced technology in the Nano Drex Silicone Render, it actively prevents problems with organic growth on the external walls of your home, ensuring a perfect and lasting render finish for years to come.
The Nano Drex Silicone Render is also highly elastic – this helps the product flex over a period of time and this will mitigate the cracking and breaking up. This product, while not as impact resistant as the Premium Bio Silicone render, is marginally more breathable and self-cleaning.
Since the launch of the Nano Drex Silicone Render in 2020 in the UK market, we have found this finish to be popular with end homeowners. We have found end users who are rendering their new properties, extensions or the existing house are selecting this finish as their prime choice over the other silicones. The Nano Drex Silicone Render is our highest-end silicone finish.
Silicone renders – which one should you choose?
In summary, if looking to render a building, look no further than one of our silicone renders. They are breathable, self-cleaning and can be used on multiple types of substrates.
Our EWI-075 Silicone Render has proven to be our most popular finish given it has excellent attributes and properties, while still being affordable to most consumers. We are however seeing the market become more and more sophisticated in terms of consumer choice, led by numerous factors including location, customer requirements and wanting to hit certain type of product standard so our Premium Bio Silicone and Nano Drex Silicone Renders are performing better and better in the marketplace.