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Stone Veneer is the hottest trend in landscaping and construction, for some very good reasons. You get the enduring and rich look of stone, and the low-maintenance benefits, but it is much more affordable than traditional stonework. What's more, veneer can be used almost anywhere, without the weight restrictions of real stone.
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Stone veneer - What is it?
Veneer vs. Full-bed Stonework
The term "stone veneer" is actually a catch-all phrase that can mean many different things. Make sure that you know what you are getting when you get quotes for stone veneer installation. The terms natural, faux, cultured and manufactured all apply to stone veneer products, and they need to be defined.
Types of Stone Veneer:
Full bed stonework means constructing with stones that are 12 to 18 inches in depth. Walls built with full bed stone require proper foundation work to meet building codes, and to prevent shifting due to the considerable weight of the stone wall. It demands stone masonory skills and heavy duty equipment to install it.
The stone construction industry has developed a variety of alternatives to full bed stonework.
This means using only a veneer surface layer of real stone or "stone-appearing" blocks.
This veneer has a depth of sbout 2" thick, and can be mounted to almost any sub-surface using much simpler construction techniques. Like brick, it can even be installed by ambitious do-it-yourselfers.
- Natural Stone Veneer
- Faux Stone Veneer
- Manufactured Stone Veneer
- Cultured Stone Veneer
- Cast Stone Veneer
- Stone Mold Veneer
- Polyurethane Faux Stone Panels
Which is right for you?
Natural Stone Veneer - this is *real stone* that has been cut into 2" deep blocks of various size. These blocks are applied to a metal lath and scratch-coat mortar base, also with mortar between the stones, for integrity. Real stone veneer has the weight of real stone, and it may require stone construction skills and tools for detail installation work. It has the advantage of being real stone, and less susceptible to discoloration or deterioration.
Faux/Manufactured/Cultured/Cast Stone Veneer - This is the group of stone veneer products that have the appearance and feel of real stone, but they are actually man-made castings. They are made from concrete and stone aggregate slurrys that result in a lighter-weight, easier to install product.
Rubber Mold Stone Veneer is generally "cast-on-site" for each installation. It has the advantage of being fully-customizable, in terms of stone color, while also providing considerable variety in the shape and design of the cast stones.
Polyurethane Stone Panels - These are cast polymer panels that are, basically, heavy plastic. They provide fast and easy installaion, using basic hand tools. While it is certainly not as durable as real or cast veneers, it can be quite presentable in the right location, at a fraction of the installed cost of the alternatives.
It all depends upon your budget, the application, the durability demands and the design requirements of your installation. You should research and get quotes for all of the above products.
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Hardscape Tip of the Day
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