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You’ve likely come across homes or businesses that have natural or veneer stone on them. The stone creates a beautiful look that enhances the visual appeal of any property. As you view these walls, you probably can’t even tell whether stone veneer or natural stone was used. That is because the veneer is so well-designed, it looks natural. Stone walls look beautiful no matter what, but which option is best? Is there even such a thing as the right choice?
Why You Should Add Stone to Your Home’s Exterior
Whether you choose natural or stone veneers, adding stone to your home’s exterior offers a lot of benefits.
Adds Color, Texture, and Timeless Appeal
Stone is a great way to add a splash of color or a different texture to your home and garden. Stone exteriors drastically change the look and feel of a property. For some properties, stone evokes a feeling of formal elegance, while it creates a rustic appearance in others. Stone reflects permeance and strength. There’s no denying the appeal of homes with stone walls.
Increases Property Value
Stone wall construction is one of those home improvement projects that will increase property value. The increase in value depends on the scope of the project, but you can rest assured you’ll get back some of the money you put into the project when selling your home. Using a stone veneer to restore the siding on your home, for example, is a great little project for boosting property value.
Enhances Curb Appeal
Speaking of property value, the curb appeal improvement of a natural stone wall can’t be overlooked. These walls look beautiful and make a home feel more inviting. Some stone here and there are sure to make your home eye-catching.
Plenty of Choices
Stone offers a lot of versatility and choice. Stone comes in all different colors, styles, and textures. Builders and designers have a lot of freedom – as do homeowners – when it comes to stone wall construction.
Looks Good with Other Materials
Not only does stone look good by itself, but it fits together perfectly with most other materials. Don’t worry about different materials in and around your home, as stone looks impressive when combined with concrete, wood, siding, and other materials.
Stone veneers, also known as architectural stone, cultured stone, or manufactured stone, is a kind of stone designed and built to resemble the real thing. Stone veneers are made from a mixture of cement, iron oxides, and aggregates. The cement improves the stability of the product, while the iron oxides offer pigments and coloring. Please note there is a difference between stone veneers and faux stone veneers. Faux veneers are a polymer similar to Styrofoam and are sort of a manufactured product.
Pros of Stone Veneer
Manufactured Stone Pavers
There are benefits to having stone manufactured for you. With stone veneers, the walls of a property have a predictable quality to them. Veneers are made to a uniform size and are easy to cut. Get the shape and appearance you need by having it made for your space.
A natural stone wall looks great, but those stones can get pretty heavy. Veneers are made from concrete, which is lighter than natural stone. Veneers can also be made with other materials to make them lighter for easy installation.
As mentioned, a veneer is lighter than natural stone. It’s easier to move around and install as needed, no matter where you need it. Because veneers are cut to a specific size and shape, there’s less concern about finding stones that fit together neatly too. It all goes together for a smoother and faster installation process.
Manufacturing stone is a lot cheaper than mining natural stone. There’s a lot more veneer to go around than natural stone too. These savings are passed on to the customer.
Stone veneers are built to last. Not only are they naturally rugged and tough, but they are treated to be even more stain-resistant. Their natural tolerance to damage, combined with treatments, means that your stone veneer will last for years to come. Veneers are also naturally resistant to weather damage, as well as regular wear-and-tear.
Cons of Stone Veneer
While it’s true that you get a degree of uniformity from manufactured stone, the downside is that sometimes the stones look repetitive. If you take a close look at the stone wall construction for veneer, you’ll likely spot some similarities between the stones.
Depending on the kind of stone you get, the color of the stone can fade over time. Stone walls are treated to last longer, but their coloring isn’t totally natural and can wash away or be erased by the elements. You may need to have them treated every so often to keep them looking great.
The natural stone used in houses and stone wall interiors is 100% stone quarried out of the earth. This stone is presented as-is, with nothing added or taken away, including no color additives. Natural stone can be sold as it was found, with natural shapes, or it can be carved into a required shape, such as blocks for stone walls.
Pros of Natural Stone
Ideal for Outdoor Living Spaces
It should come as no surprise that natural stone makes for an ideal choice in outdoor living spaces. Nothing looks better in a garden than natural stone. A natural stone wall is a perfect addition to an outdoor kitchen or entertainment area.
Unique and Beautiful
Natural stones come in all shapes and sizes. The stones are quarried and are entirely natural, which means they are all unique. It’s not like manufactured stone, where you can see the similarities. No two stones are the same, which means your walls will be as unique as the stones they are made from.
Because there is so much variety in natural stone, it can be used to create interesting patterns and mixtures. The right stones look amazing when put together. You can create all kinds of exciting stone walls with natural stone.
Weather and Heat Resistant
Natural stone stands up to the elements well, including rain damage. Stone takes years and years to erode, so you shouldn’t worry about weathering with a natural stone wall. Stone is also resistant to physical damage and is built to last.
Easy to Clean
It couldn’t be easier to clean natural stone. All you have to do is spray it down with a hose or use a bucket of water. Scrub away anything stuck to the stone and use natural stone cleaners and treatments for the tough bits. You might not even have to worry about it at all if you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain.
Potential to Outlast Veneer
Veneers are built to last, but the natural stone has the potential to last even longer. Natural stone is incredibly sturdy and resistant and is sure to last for years to come.
Cons of Natural Stone
The main drawback of using natural stone is that it is more expensive. Natural stone has to be quarried, which makes it harder to source. It can’t be created as needed as a stone veneer can. Natural stone can be harder to cut to the required size and shape. Expect to pay more if you go the natural route.
Which Should You Choose?
Choosing between natural or veneer stone is more of a personal preference than anything else. Some people want manufactured stone because it is lighter and easier to install, while others prefer the natural look and feel. Budget is another important factor, of course. Go natural if you can afford it, but don’t be afraid to try out manufactured stone. You simply can’t go wrong!
Whether your project requires an authentic-looking manufactured stone or an imported natural stone, U.S. Brick & Block is your single source for the finest stone available in the market. Contact us for a free estimate today.