Many homeowners want to give character to their homes, both interior and exterior. With so much vinyl siding on modern houses, the look of stone is a welcome difference. Natural stone for the exterior has been one of the most popular and beautiful building materials for millennia. It can not only be found on the exterior of houses but also fences, pathways, fireplaces and more. Unfortunately, the time-consuming process of mining, cutting and installing it also makes it a quite expensive product.
This is why stone veneer, also known as faux stone, has become a very appealing alternative, and this blog will look at the pros & cons of stone veneer siding.
What is Faux Stone Veneer Siding?
As the name suggests, stone veneer, faux stone, cultured stone or architectural stone contains no natural stone. Instead, it is manufactured to resemble natural stone at a fraction of the cost.
It is made from a mixture of cement, natural aggregates and pigments. It can be moulded into different shapes and textures, which truly mimic natural stone, especially if the moulds are cast from genuine stone pieces. The costs of mining, shaping, transporting and installing natural stone have led to stone veneer becoming a very popular alternative among contractors and builders.
Generally, stone veneer comes in two options: single bricks of varying sizes or panels that make the installation quicker and easier.
Stone Veneer Pros
Long-Lasting and Durable
Stone veneer is a durable product, and when properly installed, stone veneer can last for many years, even decades. It can withstand cold and blistering heat and, if installed correctly, is also impervious to rain, making it a great and durable alternative to other siding materials, like vinyl.
Several reasons make stone veneer a very versatile product compared to natural stone. First, it is very light, so it does not need additional support, especially on non-load-bearing walls.
Stone veneer also can be combined with other materials, such as metal, wood and stone. The back of the bricks or panels also are designed to make the installation easy. However, leaving the installation to a professional installer is still recommended due to the potential moisture issues that can arise with improper installation.
If you are worried about the stone veneer siding cost, one of the most significant differences between natural stone and stone veneer is the considerable difference in pricing. As veneer does not have the cost of mining, shaping and transporting attached to it, these cost savings go right to you.
As it is also a lot easier to install due to its low weight, it will take contractors less time to install, saving you money right there, and you don’t have to hire an experienced stonemason either.
Wide Range of Colours and Styles
Due to the many different pigments and aggregates used to manufacture the stone veneer, they can mimic any type of stone out there. Through different moulds, even the textures can replicate the original. This allows you to choose the right colours and styles to match the exterior of your house perfectly.
As the stone veneer is very robust and durable, it requires little maintenance. If installed correctly, it can withstand anything Mother Nature throws at it, whether sun and heat or rain or snow.
What are the Disadvantages of Stone Veneer Siding?
It is essential to be aware of manufactured stone veneer problems; these are the most common issues with stone veneer panels.
Potential Moisture Problems if Not Installed Correctly
The biggest potential problem of stone veneer siding is that it can lead to moisture issues. Suppose there is no proper moisture screen behind the panels and insufficient caulking at joints and around windows, doors and other cutouts. In that case, water can creep between the siding and the wall, leading to wood rot, mould and structural damage.
This risk makes hiring experienced professionals to install stone veneer essential, as it can prevent issues that could cost thousands of dollars in repairs.
More Expensive than Vinyl
While stone veneer is considerably cheaper than natural stone, it still is significantly more expensive than other siding options, such as vinyl.
As every vent in your home has to be clear, stone veneer makes things a little more challenging. Whereas with regular siding, the vent is surrounded by a sealant, stone veneer requires mortar to be put around it for the veneer to adhere to.
Mortar is less flexible than regular sealants, so if the house moves or settles, it may crack the vent cover, and with it being set into the mortar, it makes it difficult to replace.
Might Fade Over Time
Whether natural stone or stone veneer, exposure to sun and the elements will lead to fading. Granted, it will take many years, if not decades, for this to happen, but it’s still something to consider. Please note that this is a purely cosmetic drawback; if you bought a quality product in the first place, this will not affect its strength.
If you want a natural stone look for your home but don’t like the price of natural stone, stone veneer is a great, affordable alternative. It is durable, requires minimal maintenance, and comes in many colours and styles.
On the other hand, the quality of its installation significantly affects its performance, as improper installation can lead to moisture issues.
This is why the professionals of Custom Contracting are here to help you ensure everything is installed correctly. Custom Contracting is a professional contracting company serving Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, specializing in roofing, siding and other exterior work.
We offer a wide selection of stone veneers to match your home’s exterior.
Call us at 289-212-6569 or fill out our convenient online form to find out how we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Faux Stone Heat Resistant?
Yes, stone veneer is as heat resistant as natural stone, so you don’t have to worry about any downgrade in performance if you live in an area with hot summers.
How Long Does Faux Stone Last?
It depends on how well the installation has been made, but generally, most manufacturers will give warranties of up to 40-50 years, with some higher-end brands even longer.
Is Faux Stone Waterproof?
As long as the bricks or panels are correctly installed with the necessary moisture barrier and caulking, stone veneer is as waterproof as other types of siding.