Natural stone is a durable and visually beautiful choice for outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and exterior siding, but many homeowners are hesitant to renovate using natural stone due to the cost involved. Thankfully, homeowners have a lower-cost option with stone veneers. Stone veneers are made of natural stone that is glued to a panel using a high-strength epoxy. The panels are simply installed on a surface much like tile, which makes installation easier. You also need much less stone for your renovation, which saves on the cost of stone and the cost of transporting it. Below are three great reasons to seriously consider using stone veneers in your next renovation, allowing you to mimic the look of natural stacked stone without the cost.
1. Lower Installation Cost
The primary advantage of stone veneers over stacked stone is installation cost. When you build a project using stacked stone, you'll need to hire a master stonemason. He or she needs to spend time selecting stones and hand fitting them together using mortar in order to provide a stable and beautiful stone structure. Not only is hiring a stonemason expensive, but the process of building using stacked stones can take several days.
Stone veneers that are attached to a panel, on the other hand, are installed like tile. If you have installed bathroom tile before, you can feel comfortable installing stone veneers as a DIY project. Even if you don't do it yourself, hiring a contractor who is skilled in setting tile is less expensive than hiring a stonemason to stack loose stones. In addition, stone veneers can be installed very quickly, which further reduces the labor cost for your project.
2. More Durable and Easier to Maintain
While stone is very low maintenance, stacked stone isn't invulnerable to the weather. Over a long period of time, rain can wash away the mortar that binds the stones together, which weakens the structural integrity of the stacked stone and may cause it to fall apart. When water intrudes into the center of the stacked stone, it can also cause mold and mildew to form.
With stone veneers, you don't have to worry about water intruding between the stones because there's simply no space for it. Panels are installed over a waterproof coating that keeps water away from the installation surface. This makes it much less likely that mold will form on stone veneers since there's no place for water to collect.
The only maintenance issue with stone veneers is that the epoxy that binds the stone to the panel may degrade over time, causing the stones to simply fall off of the panel. You can reduce the chance of this happening by purchasing your stone veneers from a reputable stone supplier that attaches the stones to the panel in dry conditions using a high-strength epoxy.
3. Wider Variety of Styles and Colors
When you use stone veneers, you'll have more style and color choices than you would have with stacked stone. The reason for this is that you're often limited to working with a single type of stone, such as travertine, when you build with stacked stones. Mixing different types of stone together complicates the project since it can be difficult to fit them all together in a visually appealing way. With stone veneers, all the cutting and fitting is done by the manufacturer — this allows manufacturers to use a wider variety of stones together in a single panel since they will all be cut to fit. You'll also be able to easily imagine what the finished result will look like. This is much more difficult with stacked stone since the result depends heavily on the skill and style choices of the stonemason.
Overall, stone veneers are a great choice for any project that needs a natural stone look without the expensive installation costs of stacking stone. If you think stone veneers are a good fit for your next project, contact a reputable stone supply company that creates a quality, long-lasting product.