I Want To Renovate My House, Where Do I Start?
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Building and renovating can be exciting, but can also turn into
a daunting task as you go through the process of choosing
an optimal layout and the right product. If you're considering
the addition of a stone product because you love the look and
unique aesthetics of stone, and are keen to invite the beauty of
nature indoors to play a role in your renovation, we suggest
you become acquainted with a few things to make a smooth
Stone veneer is a decorative and functional building product
which can be used throughout the inside and outside of a
home. Familiar places of use in the interior are living rooms,
fireplaces, kitchens, bathrooms, stairways, wine cellars,
entertainment places and the list goes on. On the exterior, common
uses include full facades, entry ways, landscape structures,
outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, dressing up concrete or wood pillars, and
free-standing feature walls built as a focal point.
Architects, builder, remodelers and the like, all agree that no
other product can turn the “standard build” into an eye-catcher
like the natural and sophisticated look of stone. If you are
considering this improvement that provides an upscale look to any property,
we hope you find this guide helpful for choosing the right stone veneer and
its application, whether it’s manufactured or natural.
MANUFACTURED OR NATURAL STONE VENEERS
Currently there are two types of products to choose from, manufactured
and natural. Both need careful consideration to pay off big at the
end.The manufactured stone veneer is made with concrete that has been
pressed into molds - closely replicating natural stone textures and colors,
allowing for a wide range of applications based on the current design
One of the most significant advantages of the manufactured stone veneer is that it
is very light and may require less prep of an existing wall to support its
weight. Depending on your stone profile of choice, manufactured stone may or
may not be of much difference in cost than its natural counterpart,
providing you are comparing apples with apples.
This product is extremely durable and versatile and will easily
withstand color fading and weathering, except in areas where it will be
under constant water exposure.
Both manufactured and natural stone veneers have been made available to
just a few inches in thickness, giving them the big advantage of being lightweight,
eliminating the associated expense of costly foundations to support the weight of
a full-size natural stone or brick.
*** Surprising to many, even those with a strict renovation budget,
stone veneer has become extremely affordable due to its ease of
So, we are left with the deciding factor of Natural or Manufactured.
Depending on which supplier you are talking to, you may end up with a
bit of an unbiased response and be left more confused than when you
As installers of these two products for over 27 years, we encounter the
eternal question from our clients as to which product is best,
MANUFACTURED OR STONE VENEER?
Our answers have never changed.
Either product will achieve a dramatic improvement to any areas of your
home, therefore, choose the stone that you are attracted to and move on
to complete your project, leaving all worries behind.
Whether natural or otherwise, if you fall for the color, texture, and profile
of one of these two materials, chances are high you will love the end
NOT ALL MANUFACTURED STONES ARE EQUAL.
Over the years a large number of companies have produced their version
of “the best”; these statements are far from factual.
Unless you are in the business and understand what the right valance of
aggregate, quality of the color pigments used, curing process employed,
and other crucial technical factors that go into the making of
manufactured stone, you may just be throwing your money away.
Selecting a leader in the making of manufactured stone veneer is key to a
successful investment. You will notice that the price difference may not
be much difference with its counterpart (natural stone) unless you are
buying a low-quality product.
Yes, you hear this many times from your suppliers and videos on
YouTube, the installation of stone veneers is “easy.”
We admit that to a greater extent this statement is true,
however, the lack of attention to detail and proper surface preparation with
either of these two products will squash the potential of a great finish.
We have seen and redone numerous projects over our years in business
just because the most basic of all steps were omitted.
Whether manufactured or natural, the installation of these products requires
a solid substrate and strict attention to detail if you want a realistic finished
look that makes the viewer think it has been there forever.
THE NATURAL STONE VENEER OPTION
Even to a trained eye, from a distance, it could prove a challenge to
distinguish natural stone veneer from manufactured; if you are
buying from a quality maker that is.
However, look more closely and the manufactured stone veneer doesn’t
stand up against the authenticity of natural stone.
As natural stone veneer is a quarried product, there are no two pieces the
same. The color variations are vibrant, and its unique depth and texture set
the two apart. These characteristics are what make this product of unique appearance.
Natural stone is extremely durable and a sustainable product straight from the earth.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING NATURAL OR MANUFACTURED STONE VENEERS?
• Lighter in weight
• Cost-effective, and less labor-intensive than a full-scale stone
• Does not require fasteners or footings
• Much less waste, requiring smaller purchases
• With the right product, it can adhere to an extensive list of
• Highly customizable
• The manufactured stone choice, adds consistency in
color & texture options
KNOW YOUR STONE BEFORE YOU START
Each architectural style calls for its own unique stone veneer application.
How to decide on which type of stone depends on some of the following:
• What kind of look are you going for and can you achieve it
with natural or manufactured stone?
• Do you want a traditional or modern style?
• What colors: Golds, burgundies, grays, creams, earth
• What shape: Linear, rectangular, round or Irregular?
• Is your substrate (surface of application) suitable for proper binding of the chosen stone veneer?
• Have you selected the appropriate bonding material best for the