Redecorating and Remodeling with Stone Veneer

Drive around any of the new neighborhoods springing up in your area and the latest eye-catching trend on many of the homes’ exteriors is the use of stone veneer. Primarily seen on columns, chimneys and as decorative panels, stone veneer is a simple way to update your home’s curb appeal. 

What is stone veneer?

Also known as manufactured stone or architectural stone, stone veneer is engineered stone designed to have the look and feel of natural stone but at a much lower cost. Created to form a semi-liquid mixture, the main components are Portland cement for stability, iron oxides for pigmentation, and lightweight aggregates which is then baked in textured molds designed to look like stone. 

There is also a faux stone veneer created from a high-density polymer that resembles Styrofoam. Used primarily for interior projects, faux stone is not weather resistant and has a very low durability rating.

Is stone veneer affordable? 

Stone veneer is, on average, half the cost of natural stone. Selecting an unusual or unique stone pattern can increase the cost along with veneers that contain more pigment and provide a more luxurious and richer appearance.

Labor costs are less than natural stone installation due to the fact stone veneer usually is applied in panels rather than individual pieces. The final cost will depend on the complexity of the installation, the overall square footage of the project, and as always with any home construction repair or remodeling project, getting several quotes before selecting an installer is always best. 

Can stone veneer be installed over existing exterior material?

Stone veneer is estimated to be around 30 percent lighter than natural stone, so the weight factor must be taken into consideration. And while the answer is almost always yes that is a question that only the installer is qualified to answer. They will have to inspect the existing brick or vinyl to determine if the underlayment is sturdy enough to support the added weight. The installer should be able to easily manage the job if the underlayment needs to be replaced or fortified. 

Attaching to wood siding is a bit more labor intensive, requiring both a moisture barrier and metal lath to be installed prior to the stone. The only exception to the above information is when stone veneer is being used on concrete. For slabs and blocks, the veneer can be installed directing onto both. 

How is stone veneer installed? 

If working with individual pieces a pattern needs to be determined. For panels they will need to be cut to fit the area. Once this is done then the veneer is set in place with mortar, much like brick masonry. Apply the mortar, set the stones or panels, and then grout the joints. While this can be a DIY job, it’s best left to a professional unless you have some experience with bricklaying or have a small unobtrusive section you can practice on first. 

Numerous home repair projects on your list but not enough time to get them done? Call Closing Contractor today at 864-326-2640 to schedule an appointment with our experienced professionals. Or you can simply fill out our convenient online form for faster service.

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