What Is Stone Veneer?
Stone veneer is an economical, long-lasting addition that looks like natural stone in a thinner, lighter-weight material but it’s easier to handle and install than natural stone. It’s available in individual pieces so you can create your own varied patterns for quicker installation. Stone veneer is easy to maintain and comes in different shapes, sizes and colors to complement an array of design schemes.
Manufactured stone veneer, sometimes called architectural stone or cast stone, is a cast replica of natural stone made from concrete. It has some advantages over real stone, including being less expensive, lightweight, easier to cut and it comes in a variety of colors.
Faux stone veneer comes in panels, is made from high-density polyurethane and is usually no thicker than 3/4 inch.
Interior and Exterior Use
Many stone veneers are suitable for interior and exterior use. They add texture to an environment as well as character. There are many application options, from installing a lath, attaching furring strips or applying building paper. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific project needs.
Stone veneer works great on accent walls, around doorways and arches, as a rustic kitchen backsplash, as a fireplace surround and more. It can be installed on various substrates, including drywall, plywood, cement board, masonry or concrete. For easy cleaning, wipe down with a mild soap or detergent and rinse with clean water.
Stone veneer complements your home’s siding, columns, mailbox surrounds, decking, outdoor kitchens, chimneys and more.
Before installing veneer on an exterior wall or surfaces other than concrete, apply a weather-resistant barrier, a metal lath and a scratch coat of mortar. The rough texture of the scratch coat will help ensure a good bond for the stone veneer.
When installing architectural details, such as door trim, window sills or ledges, ensure that proper flashing has been installed before applying mortar.
Exterior stone veneer is also easy to clean and usually requires only a wash-down with a hose or a scrub with a soft-bristle brush.
Cutting Stone Veneer
Stone veneer can be cut in a number of ways using hand or power tools.
A wet tile saw reduces the amount of dust kicked up and makes a clean cut, however, you can also use a circular saw with a finishing blade. An angle grinder with a diamond or masonry blade is another option that offers a precision cut. Marking, scoring and striking along the groove with a hammer and cold chisel are other ways to cut.
Never use a wire bristle brush, whether using on an interior or exterior surface, since it can mar and damage the stone veneer.
When using as a fireplace surround, use stone veneer that’s fire rated.
Whether installing on interior or exterior concrete, ensure that the surface is clean and free of dust, dirt, oil and paint. Before you begin installing, make sure you’re in compliance with local regulations or building codes that may affect your installation.
When cutting stone veneer, always wear safety gear, such as safety glasses and a safety mask.